Kansas vs. Kentucky: 2012 NCAA Tournament Championship Betting Odds

Jeff GrantContributor IApril 1, 2012

NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 15:  Terrence Jones #3 of the Kentucky Wildcats drives the ball against Thomas Robinson #0 of the Kansas Jayhawks during the 2011 State Farms Champions Classic at Madison Square Garden on November 15, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

The Kansas Jayhawks and Kentucky Wildcats will face off in the 2012 NCAA tournament championship at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans on Monday night.

Pinnacle Sports opened up the top-ranked Wildcats as five-point favorites, but that number has immediately risen 1.5 points, while the total has settled in at 139.5.

This will be the second meeting of the 2011-12 season between two of college basketball's most storied programs, as the Wildcats captured a 75-65 win over the Jayhawks as 6.5-point neutral-site favorites at the famed Madison Square Garden on Nov. 15.

Jayhawks senior guard Tyshawn Taylor led all scorers with 22 points in that affair, but the youthful Wildcats (playing just their second game of the season) finished with five players in double figures, including a team-high 17 points by sophomore Doron Lamb.

Kentucky has been the betting favorite to win it all since the field of 68 was announced, and are coming off a 69-61 win over the Louisville Cardinals as 8.5-point favorites in the first Final Four contest.

Sports bettors will definitely want to take note that the Wildcats have tallied an 0-4 against-the-spread record when playing on a neutral court when the total is 135 to 139.5 this season.

Kansas has won three of its five games by three points or less in the Big Dance, including a 64-62 come-from-behind win over the Ohio State Buckeyes as three-point underdogs in Saturday's nightcap.

Bill Self will face a revenge-minded John Calipari on the sidelines, as the Jayhawks came away with an improbable 75-68 overtime win over the Memphis Tigers as two-point underdogs in the 2008 championship game.

Something tells me that Calipari's experience in Memphis has prepared him to cut down the nets for Kentucky.

Handicapper Line: Kentucky Wildcats -10