Current NCAA Tourney Odds to Win South RegionRachel Garcia
If there’s a beast in the East Region of the 2014 NCAA Championship Basketball Tournament then everyone, everywhere agrees that it’s the top-seeded Florida Gators.
While this SEC team certainly has the look of a regional winner and possible tournament winner – collegiate hardwood gamblers know that nothing is ever etched in stone when it comes to March Madness.
Having said that, there’s no doubt that Florida can be beaten, even if it looks like it will require a extraordinary effort from some other regional participant. In my mind, there are only a handful of teams in this region with even a remote possibility of beating the Gators, but again, when it comes to March Madness, nothing is ever really ordinary.
Before we get started with this regional Futures Odds betting breakdown, set your alarm clors for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament TV and betting schedule.
Current NCAA Tourney Odds to Win South Region
- Florida +100
- Kansas +250
- Syracuse +400
- UCLA +700
- Ohio State +800
- VCU +1300
- New Mexico +1500
- Pittsburgh +1600
- SF Austin +3500
- Stanford +4000
- Dayton +6000
- Tulsa +7000
- Colorado +7500
- Field (Any Other Team) +2000
Analysis: I have no idea what the NCAA Selection Committee was thinking when they put this bracket together, but the top-seeded Gators (32-2 SU, 16-13-1 ATS, 9-20-1 O/U) clearly have the easiest path to a regional final of any of the four No. 1 seeds.
After opening against Albany, the Gators will face either VCU or Pittsburgh before moving on to likely meet UCLA in the regional semifinals. Unfortunately, the other two teams (Syracuse and Kansas) that I believe can win this region, will almost certainly duke it out in the other region’s other semifinal matchup.
Now, college basketball bettors should know that Kansas would likely have been a No,. 1 seed and can beat anyone in the country – when center Joel Embiid is on the floor. The 7-0 gazelle-like center is expected back on court – if the Jayhawks can get past their first two games.
In the case of the Syracuse Orangemen (27-5 SU, 14-12-2 ATS, 10-1502 O/U), they are clearly a team that can literally beat – or lose – to just about any elite title contender out there. Syracuse has gone 6-1 ATS in its last seven games against non-conference opponents and 5-2 ATS in its last seven neutral site matchups, so I believe they’ll eventually find their way into the regional finals opposite Florida.
One team that I didn’t mention that could meet the Gators in a regional semifinal matchup is the UCLA Bruins (26-8 SU, 21-12 ATS, 15-17 O/U). While I’m not very enamored with this team, the Bruins’ did just beat another No. 1 seed in taking out Arizona in the Pac-12 Conference championship, so I guess it’s possible they could give Florida all they can handle and then some.
UCLA finished 12th in the nation in scoring (81.8 ppg) and 10th in field goal percentage (49.0) not to mention the fact that they’ve gone 5-1 SU over their last six games and 4-1 ATS over their L/5.
In the end however, I just can’t see anyone winning this region over a Florida Gators team that doesn’t allow opponents one single easy shot attempt. Florida is ranked third in the nation in defense (57.9 ppg) and has a well-rounded offense that is now led by most explosive shooting guard Michael Frazier II, the team’s third-lead scorer.
I like the Gators to win this region, followed by picks for Syracuse, Kansas and UCLA.