The NCAA tournament isn’t solely about filling out a bracket in hopes of winning an office pool more likely to be won by the person who hasn’t watched a game all season long. It’s also about prop bets, and this is a big reason why the coming days will rank among the busiest of the year in Las Vegas.
It’s been established that Kentucky is the favorite to win the national title both in the court of public opinion and in the various sports books, but if you don’t feel like taking that one on here are some other attractive props (h/t to the folks over at Sportsbook.com).
– Tournament wins by Big East teams: O/U 10.5
The Big East has nine teams in the field, so at first glance the over looks to be a shoo-in. However the Big East had a record 11 teams in the field last season but finished 13-10, with six of those wins being posted by national champion Connecticut.
– Tournament wins by number one seeds: O/U 12.5
Going by the number the basic requirement to win on the over would be that all four ones reach the Elite 8 with one going to the Final Four. But outside of Kentucky there’s a depth-related situation that could prove to be problematic.
Syracuse lost Fab Melo, Michigan State looked good last week without Branden Dawson and it remains to be seen how much of an impact John Henson’s wrist has on North Carolina’s title hopes.
– Will a 13-seed win a game: Yes (-240) or No (+180)
The “yes”option is the favorite at this stage, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if one of those four teams (Davidson, Montana, New Mexico State and Ohio) was able to come through. But the payoff comes in betting “no”, so maybe more bettors look to that side in hopes of an increased payday.
– More NCAA tournament wins: UNLV (+110) or Vanderbilt (-140)
The Commodores should be riding high following their SEC tournament win over Kentucky on Sunday, but there’s also the weight of postseason past to deal with. UNLV has the talent needed to make a long run in the tournament as well, so this one could be tighter than some would anticipate it being.
– Will LIU Brooklyn ever have a lead against Michigan State: Yes (-240) or No (+200)
Wagers like these (there’s also one for Norfolk State vs. Missouri) are fun because they add to the suspense of the first minute or so of a game.
The first made basket (or free throw) on either end determines the outcome, but for some that may take away the joy of watching someone live and die with walk-ons on the floor in the final minute.
Raphielle Johnson is the assistant editor at CollegeHoops.net. He can be followed at @raphiellej.