Final Four 2012 Odds: Best Bets for Remaining Teams

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IMarch 26, 2012

BOSTON, MA - MARCH 24:  Jared Sullinger #0 of the Ohio State Buckeyes celebrates after defeating the Syracuse Orange during the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball East Regional Final at TD Garden on March 24, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

For those of you who aren't content just watching the Final Four, the Vegas point spreads have come out, guaranteed to create a tizzy across the land.

Naturally, everyone is searching the World Wide Web for advice on the spreads, from Louisville vs. Kentucky to Ohio State vs. Kansas.

Here's my take on how both matchups will go down.

But stay safe out there, kids. Betting on March Madness is about as mad as it gets.

Note: Odds via


Louisville vs. Kentucky (-9)

For me, it's not a matter of whether or not the Kentucky Wildcats will win. They will. It's a matter of how many points Kentucky will win by.

I'll say this: Louisville's defense has caused several teams trouble in the NCAA tournament. Even when Florida exploded in the first half in the Elite Eight, Louisville switched to man-to-man defense in the second half and severely disrupted the Gators' attack.

But this is Kentucky we're talking about, a team that has four players (Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Terrence Jones, Doron Lamb) who could be top-20 picks in the NBA draft. Kentucky will prove to be one of the most dominant college basketball teams to come around in years and beat Louisville by more than nine points.

Go with Kentucky here.

ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 25:  Anthony Davis #23, Marquis Teague #25, Terrence Jones #3 and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist #14 of the Kentucky Wildcats react during the first half against the Baylor Bears during the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball South Regional Final at th
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Ohio State (-3) vs. Kansas

This is the tougher game to call.

Kansas has a true superstar in Thomas Robinson, who will pose problems in the interior, and a point guard in Tyshawn Taylor, who erupted at just the right time against North Carolina in the Elite Eight. The Jayhawks also have a premier shot-blocking presence in Jeff Withey, who should make life difficult for Jared Sullinger.

But Sullinger is still Sullinger, an elite NBA prospect playing at a very high level right now. In the NCAA tournament, Sullinger is averaging 18 points and 8.2 rebounds.

The Buckeyes also have a point guard in Aaron Craft who can frustrate Taylor and Sullinger's partner-in-crime, Deshaun Thomas. Thomas has been huge for the Buckeyes in the tournament, averaging 21.7 points and 8.5 rebounds, and his long-range shooting will lure Robinson out of the paint on more than one occasion.

In the end, I like the defensive pressure that the Buckeyes create, particularly with Craft on Taylor, and I think this ends up being more than a one-possession game at the buzzer.

Go with Ohio State.

BOSTON, MA - MARCH 24:  Deshaun Thomas #1, Sam Thompson #12, Jared Sullinger #0 and Lenzelle Smith, Jr. #32 of the Ohio State Buckeyes celebrates towards the end of the game against the Syracuse Orange during the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball East Regional F
Michael Heiman/Getty Images


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