2014 NCAA Men's Final Four

NCAA Tournament 2014: Latest Bracket Picks and Odds Advice Before Final Four

Connecticut's Shabazz Napier responds to a question following an NCAA college basketball team workout Tuesday, April 1, 2014, in Storrs, Conn. UConn will be playing Florida in the Final Four on Saturday in Dallas. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
Steven Senne
Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistApril 5, 2014

Where's the easy money?

With the Final Four upon us, some fans are intrigued by the odds breakdown for the teams remaining. Not surprisingly, Florida comes in as the favorite, but are the Gators being overvalued? Would you be wiser placing your trust in a squad with more intriguing odds?

Let's break it down.

 

All Your Bracket Essentials

Final Four Schedule
When (ET)MatchupTVStreamingPrediction
Saturday at 6:09 p.m.Florida vs. UConnTBSMarch Madness LiveFlorida
Saturday at 8:49 p.m.Wisconsin vs. KentuckyTBSMarch Madness LiveKentucky

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 30:  Julius Randle #30 of the Kentucky Wildcats celebrates after defeating the Michigan Wolverines 75 to 72 in the midwest regional final of the 2014 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 30, 2014 in India
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Final Four Championship Odds
TeamOdds
Florida1-1
Kentucky5-2
Wisconsin7-2
UConn8-1
Vegas Insider

 

Odds Advice

Phil Sandlin

There's no point in going with Florida, is there? While the Gators are justifiably the favorites and will win the title—it's hard to ignore their experience and defensive acumen—what's the fun in siding with the team drawing 1-1 odds?

No fun. No fun at all. 

The team I would roll with from an odds perspective is Kentucky, mostly because of the talent on the roster. The Wildcats probably have seven future NBA players (if not more), led by Julius Randle, who will be a top-five pick if he enters the NBA draft this summer.

Or as I like to call him, the Double-Double Monster. From ESPN Stats and Information:

The Harrison twins have picked up their game in the tournament. Dakari Johnson showed he can be a viable replacement for Willie Cauley-Stein down low. No team remaining can match the Wildcats' combination of length and athleticism. 

And John Calipari has been down this road before with a young team. He knows how to push the right buttons.

If you aren't going to go with Kentucky, you might as well roll the dice on UConn. You're giving less to get more, after all, and the Huskies are capable of pulling this off with Shabazz Napier leading the way.

Plus, he has a solid supporting cast, as both Ryan Boatright and DeAndre Daniels have stepped up when needed in this tournament. And the dirty little secret of UConn has been that it plays really good defense and shortens games with a methodical offense. 

If you are rolling with Wisconsin, you are basically rolling with Frank Kaminsky. After the Badgers beat Arizona—and he scored 28 points and snared 11 rebounds—Arizona coach Sean Miller said of him, via Matt Norlander of CBS Sports, "Got to be one of the best offensive players who plays college basketball, for sure."

Wisconsin is a very good offensive team, but its success begins and ends with Kaminsky. Kentucky has the size to give him trouble, but then again, so did Baylor and Arizona.

 

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