The Final Four and the National Championship Game may not allow for as many prop bets and novelty bets as the Super Bowl and the College Football Playoff National Championship Game, but there are some interesting opportunities out there as we look ahead to Saturday’s semifinals and Monday’s final.
Congratulations to anybody with futures left standing as we reach the conclusion of the NCAA Tournament and the Madness that is the month of March. The nice thing now is that hedging is remarkably easy and there aren’t a whole lot of roadblocks to making a profit. Per the oddsmakers at BetDSI Sportsbook, Villanova is a -115 favorite to cut down the nets at the Alamodome on Monday. Michigan is +230, which makes sense as a 5.5-point favorite against Loyola Chicago in the other semifinal. Kansas is +300 and Loyola Chicago is +1000.
Look-ahead lines in the market do have Kansas favored over the Ramblers and the Wolverines if the Jayhawks can rock the chalk in the Final Four. By all accounts, it looks like Villanova and the most efficient offense in the country will rule the day. Those with futures left standing will have to consider those odds when making their decisions. It is easy to guarantee a profit at this stage of the game.
Another prop bet being offered by DSI for the Final Four is to bet on the Most Outstanding Player for the tournament, as voted on by the Associated Press. The AP Most Outstanding Player is all but guaranteed to come from one of the last four teams left standing. Sister Jean hasn’t played a game for the Ramblers, but she could very well be the Most Outstanding Person of the entire tournament.
Jalen Brunson is the favorite at +175 and his teammate Mikal Bridges is second at +325. Donte DiVincenzo is also on the board at +5000. Kansas’s three lined representatives are Malik Newman at +500, Devonte’ Graham at +1250, and Svi Mykhailiuk at +2500. Michigan has Charles Matthews at +950, Mo Wagner at +1200, and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman at +2500. Cinderella has Clayton Custer at +5000, Ben Richardson at +9500, and Donte Ingram at +12000.
Brunson is one of the best players left in the tournament. He has averaged 17.5 points per game and four assists per contest, but he really struggled in the win over Texas Tech by going just 4-of-14 from the field. The reason Brunson is such a clear favorite is that Bridges has been inconsistent, shooting just 7-of-18 from the floor in his last two games. With Villanova so likely to win the tournament, there may be value on the +175 price. Other Wildcats like Omari Spellman and Eric Paschall just haven’t had the same consistency as Brunson. Because Kansas presents some challenges down at the rim, it will be a perimeter-oriented attack for Villanova in the Final Four, which aids the guys like Brunson and Bridges.
While Malik Newman has been terrific for the Jayhawks, one consideration with a Kansas championship is that this award is voted on by the media. Devonte’ Graham stuck it out four years at Kansas. He’s been the leader on and off the floor for this team. Those types of things make it easy to write the accompanying article about the winner. Graham is a senior and has played some unselfish basketball while his shots haven’t been falling in this tournament. Newman has the stats, but Graham has the story. I would expect Graham to play a huge role if Kansas knocks off Villanova, which could increase his stock, so grabbing +1250 isn’t a bad idea.
Michigan has been pretty mediocre offensively in this tournament. There is a pretty decent chance that the loser of the National Championship draws the Most Outstanding Player in this instance. Mo Wagner had 21 in the lopsided win over Texas A&M, but has 12, 12, and five in Michigan’s three closer games. He hasn’t even been a huge factor on the glass. Charles Matthews has been the most consistent player for Michigan in this tournament, so the award should go to him. He is the favorite on the Michigan side for a reason and the only option I could consider.
Loyola-Chicago is the best story in college basketball. An improbable National Championship win could very well mean the Most Outstanding Player award goes to Clayton Custer, who is the reason why we’re here. Custer’s game winner against Tennessee that really set this Cinderella story in motion. Donte Ingram hit the game-winner against Miami, but he had eight points over the two games against Nevada and Tennessee. Custer is really the only option here.
Enjoy the games and look around for some of these props and derivative betting options for extra ways to find edges and make money.