Final Four Predictions: Computer Picks Badgers, Huskies to Cover Spreads

OddsShark.comFeatured ColumnistApril 5, 2014

Florida's Joakim Noah (13) cutws down the net after the Gators defeated Ohio State 84-75 in the the Final Four basketball championship at Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Monday, April 2, 2007. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Gerry Broome

Both of the higher seeds will win and both of the underdogs will cover the spread if computer predictions on the Final Four prove to be correct.

Connecticut was a seven-point underdog earlier Saturday at most sportsbooks monitored by, which would mean the Huskies will cover the spread if the computer’s 70-66 score favoring the Florida Gators holds true.

In the late game, the Wisconsin Badgers are rare underdogs as the No. 2 seed against the surging No. 8-seeded Kentucky Wildcats. The point spread had been bet down to -1 for the Wildcats, but the computer predicts a 74-73 win for Wisconsin.

However Final Four betting shakes out, it looks like it will be a modest day for betting shops as wagering action seems evenly split on both games.

“It looks like pretty even wagering across the board, according to our betting consensus data,” Jack Randall, an analyst at, said in an interview Saturday afternoon.

Roughly 55 percent of the side bets were on UConn in the early game and the breakdown was tighter in the late game, with about 51 percent of wagers tracked by Odds Shark favoring the Wildcats.

Over-under wagering was also fairly even with 54 percent betting the OVER in the early game and the same percentage betting UNDER in the late game.

Overall, betting on lower seeds to win or cover spreads in the Final Four has been a money-losing deal in recent years.

Since 2005, higher-ranked schools have won 13 of 14 games at the Final Four and championship game stages of the bracket. And betting on the higher seeds in those games has produced a profitable 11-2-1 against-the-spread advantage at the betting window, according to the NCAA hoops database results.

There are positive trends favoring both teams in the Kentucky-Wisconsin matchup. The Wildcats have won 10 straight tournament games and are 8-1-1 ATS in those games. The Badgers are 9-2 ATS in their past 11 tournament games and are riding 6-2 SU and ATS streaks in their past eight games as underdogs.

Both Florida and UConn have excelled at this stage of the bracket. Florida is 5-1 ATS in Final Four games since 2000, while the Huskies are 6-1 SU and 5-2 ATS in Final Four games since 1999.

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