Early March Madness Betting Tips – Contenders and PretendersJosh Bailey
Despite what the national NCAA rankings say, not all national title contenders are created equal. As a matter of fact, not all nationally-ranked hoops programs are legitimate title contenders at all if you ask me – and this is an absolute fact that collegiate hoops gamblers everywhere should know.
To that end, I have taken the liberty of separating the legitimate NCAA Championship Basketball Tournament contenders from teams that I believe are nothing more than big-name pretenders.
Wit that said and the 2014 NCAA March Madness tournament (view live March Madness betting odds) set to begin in less than three weeks, let’s get started.
Legitimate 2014 NCAA Tournament Contenders
I keep thinking the Gators are more mediocre than mighty – and they keep proving me wrong. Florida has won 21 consecutive games.
Virginia +1400 were +2500
The Cavs have won me over and apparently oddsmakers too, having dropped from a whopping + 2500 a week ago to the +1400 they currently sit at. Despite being down by one point against Syracuse at the half, Virginia won by a stunning 19 points, sending the rest of the nation a very real message.
Wichita State +900 were +1200
Oddsmakers are starting to believe in the Shockers – and they very well should. The underrated mid-major has covered the spread in a blistering five straight games and seven of their last eight overall. The Shockers also have the best ATS record in the country.
Kansas +750 were +800
The Jayhawks had their modest four-game winning streak snapped in Saturday’s 72-65 road loss, but they fell to a talented Oklahoma State team that was absolutely desperate.
Syracuse +1000 were +750
The Orangemen got blown out 75-56 by streaking Virginia in a real eye-opener for both teams. Still, this team is too talent-laden to not have a shot at reaching the Final Four. Besides, now their futures odds to win it all (+1000), is a bit better this week.
At 19-8 ATS, the Wildcats are ranked third in the nation, not to mention the fact that they’ve won four straight games and a scorching 10 of their L/11 games overall.
Other Legitimate 2014 NCAA Tournament Contenders
- Arizona +900 were +1100
- Duke +1000 were +800
- Michigan State +1200 were +850
- Louisville +1400 were +1200
- Creighton +2000 were +2500
- Cincinnati +5000 were +4000
- North Carolina +2500 were +3300
- Iowa State +4000 were +3300
- San Diego State +6600 were +5000
- Oklahoma State +2500 were +5000
- VCU +6600 were +7500
- SMU +10000
- Memphis +10000
Kentucky +1600 were +1400
The Wildcats have at least half-a-dozen future NBA players on their roster, but they’re also extremely inexperienced and wildly inconsistent at this point.
Wisconsin +2000 were +2200
The Badgers have won seven straight at the time of this writing, but I don’t think they have enough offense to beat some of the more explosive teams in the country.
Michigan +2000 were +2500
Losses to Wisconsin , Iowa and Indiana in their last 10 games tell me the Wolverines aren’t quite ready to take down the big boys.
Iowa +5000 were +3300
No matter what their ranking says, the Hawkeyes are mediocre at best, as their five losses (Indiana, Minnesota , Wisconsin, Ohio State, Michigan State) in their last 10 games suggests.
Ohio State +4000
The Buckeyes have lost two straight (Penn State and Indiana) and three of their last six games overall, leading me to believe this Big Ten ballclub is nothing more than mediocre at best.
The Rest Of The 2014 NCAA Tournament Pretenders
- St. Louis +5000 were +3300
- Connecticut +5000
- UCLA +5000
- Pittsburgh +7500