College Basketball Final Four Betting Odds: Who Will Rise Again Like UConn Last Year?

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Written By Eli Hershkovich | Last Updated
College Basketball Odds

With Selection Sunday roughly a month away, there is no better time to examine March Madness odds. Sometimes, the eventual national champion will undergo a lull before reaching its peak. UConn was a prime example last season. The Huskies lost six of eight games in Big East play before adjusting to how opponents defended the do-it-all Andre Jackson. Let’s examine college basketball odds that showcase similar traits, honing in on the Final Four market.

Click any of the NCAA basketball odds below to place a wager. We’ve sorted through them to find the best available in your state.

Kentucky wildcats:

After garnering praise as a national title threat, the Wildcats have dropped four of their last seven games. They’ve barely strung together a top-120 adjusted defensive efficiency. During the most recent stretch, it’s slid more than 20 spots backward in that department.

Nevertheless, John Calipari’s team is starting to get healthy. DJ Wagner and Justin Edwards, both five-star freshmen, have returned in the last week. Moreover, the Wildcats arguably turned in their best defensive performance in Wednesday’s win over Ole Miss, surrendering 0.88 points per possession (PPP). Most notably, 7-foot sophomore Ugonna Onyenso accrued a single-game Rupp Arena record with 10 blocks.

However, Kentucky still has one significant injury to address, as veteran big Tre Mitchell required X-rays on his left shoulder postgame. If Mitchell doesn’t miss a substantial amount of time, the Wildcats’ defense may continue to trend upward, accompanying their elite offense.

Trusting Calipari to make the most of his rotation is another story, though.

wisconsin badgers:

Wisconsin played Purdue in a battle for Big Ten supremacy less than two weeks ago. Fast forward, and the sentiment around Wisconsin has completely changed. The Badgers are coming off a win over lowly Ohio State, snapping a four-game skid. One of those came against Michigan, which resides in the Big Ten cellar.

But let’s not forget about the Badgers’ strengths. Greg Gard’s unit possesses a top-10 minutes continuity, a rarity in the new-age transfer portal. AJ Storr, one of the fresh-faced additions, gifts an offensive skillset that hasn’t been felt since Johnny Davis’ tenure. It’s also tallied the 10th-best defending rebounding percentage, a significant factor in its ability to enforce a methodical tempo.

Wisconsin should be favored in five of its last six regular-season affairs. The Badgers wrap with a rematch against the Boilermakers.

new Mexico Lobos:

The Lobos haven’t endured as cruel of a spell as the previous programs, yet they recently lost consecutive games at “The Pit.” For those unaware, it’s one of the premier home-court advantages in college basketball. This shaky period caused their college basketball odds to shift.

Even so, Richard Pitino’s crew boasts a top-35 efficiency at both ends. The backcourt is partly comprised of seniors Jaelen House and Jamal Mashburn — the quintessential scoring guards to back in a tournament setting. Meanwhile, Nelly Junior Joseph & Co. rank in the top 70 of potential quick points off second-chance (PPSC) offensive rebounds per 100 possessions against the average opponent, per Haslametrics. That area is key, as manufacturing extra possessions is extremely beneficial if their shooting goes cold.

But like Kentucky, New Mexico’s NCAA tournament seeding could be impacted by Donovan Dent’s ankle injury. The 6-foot-2 sophomore supplies a top-50 assist rate. With San Diego State and Colorado State on deck, the Lobos can ill afford to have their primary distributor sidelined for a lengthy absence.

Florida gators:

Frequent readers of TheLines may recall my wager on Florida’s college basketball odds last season. Sadly, the Gators’ transfer-filled roster never reached its ceiling. An eerily identical fate could be looming for my recent St. John’s bet.

Despite falling in three of their first four SEC contests, this year’s bunch displays a much different forecast. It’s notched wins in six of the last seven games. The lone loss came by a single digit against Texas A&M, a potential NCAA tournament team. Additionally, Todd Golden’s squad has seen his defense make significant strides to pair with his top-10 offense.

Gators guards Walter Clayton Jr. and Zyon Pullin are top-tier shotmakers. To boot, Tyrese Samuel and Micah Handlogten compile second-chance opportunities at a more pristine rate than the Lobos. In fact, that has translated into the nation’s third-most PPSC. Although Florida ranks bottom 80 in minutes continuity, last year’s Kansas State Wildcats proved talent can trump this variable come March.

clemson tigers:

While I wouldn’t nominate Clemson as a title contender by any stretch, its rollercoaster resume is most parallel to 2022-23 UConn.

Like the Huskies, the Tigers blitzed through their non-conference slate — outside of a one-possession defeat at Memphis. It included wins over Boise State, TCU, South Carolina, and Alabama on the road. As of this publishing, all of them are in the NCAA tournament picture.

Brad Brownell’s team subsequently stumbled in four of its first five ACC tilts. That wasn’t surprising, as it generated a 27.0% perimeter clip in this span, greatly underperforming its 3-point shooting to tip off the campaign. Given Clemson’s five-out attack, its cold streak was more of an anomaly than anything else. Not only have the Tigers begun to regain their form since Jan. 20, but their defensive rating ranks in the 76th percentile during the six-game window as well (via CBB Analytics).

Clemson is 4-2 in roughly the last month. The marquee victory came at the Dean Dome while both losses were of the one-point variety to Duke and Virginia. It’s a projected favorite in all but one of its remaining regular-season matchups. Guided by jack-of-all-trades PJ Hall, the veteran-laden Tigers are in an ideal position to enhance their March Madness positioning, already set up for a No. 5 seed.

If you missed the best possible number for Clemson’s college basketball odds, join TheLines.com’s free sports betting Discord (under the #roles server) and receive instant notifications whenever our staff members make a pick. You can also scan my college basketball power rankings for more insight.

The Tar Heel State announced North Carolina sports betting will go live on March 11 — right in time for the ACC tournament.

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