For reasons that should be obvious by this point, the Florida Gators remain the team to beat and the bookies have handed them the best 2014 NCAA Basketball Tournament odds with a +550 number. Of course, “best” is a relative term. I mean if were to tell me that the team with the strongest chance of actually winning would pay me 5-to-1 in any sport, I’d probably jump on them. And Florida has been unbeatable in the past 23 games and continues to roll through the riff raff of the SEC.
With senior Patric Young leading the way, they’re literally the team to beat and they’ve grown allergic to losing. But just because they have the "best 2014 NCAA Basketball Tourney odds" doesn’t mean they’re the best bet.
The worst team to bet on might be the Kansas Jayhawks who have been +600 second favorites in the book for weeks. This is a team that has never played to the level of dominance they were supposed to, losing huge games against Kansas State, Oklahoma State and now Iowa State in the Big 12 Tournament.
Sure, they don’t have Joel Embiid due to an injured back but Andrew Wiggins is supposed to be the next superstar of the NBA. Teams are literally tanking to get him. I’m not saying he’s awful, but if he’s the reason you’re throwing your money at Kansas’s 2014 NCAA Basketball Tourney odds then you need to rethink how you spend your betting dollars.
The same goes for Arizona, a team I’m not totally sure what to make of. They have floated around +750 for most of the year and that’s well deserving as the third ranked team in the country. They are clearly the best team in the Pac-12…but that’s not saying much. So what I’m saying is that their 2014 NCAA Basketball Tourney odds are a little over inflated. This team doesn’t know how to beat strong competition which isn’t their fault. Aaron Gordon is a beast of a player, and has a lot of help with Nick Johnson and T.J. McConnell on the floor but none of that makes Arizona an infallible bet. And at +750 there are simply teams with better 2014 NCAA Basketball Tourney odds to bank on.
So where do you start looking? You could venture towards Wichita State, the only undefeated team of note in the country, who have been +1000 favorites on the board. This is a great team that has all the major pieces of what made them a Cinderella last season. They’re still a fun team, but everything I said about Arizona in the Pac-12 rings true for the Shockers in the MVC. These 10-to-1 NCAA Basketball Tourney odds are still great, but Wichita State won’t be sneaking up on anyone anymore and that makes this tournament much more challenging than it was last year.
Where am I going with this? You guessed it – all bets are on! You want to swing with a longshot like Oregon at +7500 or even an improbable bubble team like NC State at (I’m guessing here) +100000 then you should. No team is safe and while Florida is still the best, overall team to bet on, there’s almost no such thing as a bad bet in the 2014 NCAA Tournament. If you think I’m just pumping up the board here…then you haven’t been paying attention to this odd and wild season.