March 18, 2013 - March Madness can finally start as the Bracket has been released on selection Sunday. US Online sports betting fans can get to the important business of March Madness betting.
After a crazy regular season where it appeared that no team could hold onto the #1 ranking for more than 45 minutes, we finally have NCAA Final Four Tournament time. There are 3 common denominators that always come into play when it comes to deciding a NCAA Champion. The first is guard play, this has always been a guards tournament and always will be because ultimately the ball will be in the hands of the guards late in games. The second common denominator is coaching. There is a reason that Coach K, Coach Williams, Coach Self, Coach Donovan, are consistently in the tournament. Further proof is that coaches like Shaka Smart, Brad Stevens, and Mark Few have consistently brought their small schools deep into the tournament in recent years. The last but certainly not least common denominator is outside shooting. The bottom line is that late in games you must have someone to connect on outside shot because zone defenses can take away the middle of the paint.
With that said, lets look at the 4 Regions.
Strongest play: Louisville (5/1 odds favorite) - Lead by seniors who know how to play on both ends and have only gotten stronger as the season has worn on.
Team to watch out for: St Louis (25/1 odds favorite) - Playing with heavy hearts for most of the season to honor the late great Rick Majerus, St. Louis certainly has something to play for. They may be the best defense in the country and their strong showing in the A-10 tournament proves they are a force to be reckoned with.
Pretender: Duke (12/1 odds favorite)- Like most Duke teams they will flop all over the court and try to make everything look like an offensive foul. Bottom line is Ryan Kelly and Mason Plumley are not carrying anyone to a final four.
Strongest Play: Gonzaga (10/1 odds favorite) and Ohio St (16/1 odds favorite) - Ohio St may be the least heralded of the number 2 seeds but may be the best of the bunch. They can play both a physical and a speed game. Gonzaga is a team everyone seems to overlook. Bottom line is you cant win 31 games without being legit and Kelly Olynyk is the most underrated player in the country.
Teams to watch out for - Wisconsin (30/1 odds favorite) and Belmont (300/1 odds favorite) - Belmont is one of those experience heavy mid-majors who showed last season that they can play at the highest level. Wisconsin has Big Men that you have to defend at the 3 point line and when you combine that with their stingy defense they will be a tough out.
Pretender: New Mexico (25/1 odds favorite) - Underachieved for most of the season. That will continue in the tournament.
Strongest Play: Georgetown (20/1 odds favorite) and VCU (50/1 odds favorite) - Georgetown brings the tradition and a tremendous defense that has proven it can win both low and high scoring games. They also have arguably the best player in Otto Porter. VCU showed last season what type of energy they bring and their relentless full court pressure make them a team that is never out of a game.
Team to watch out for: UNC (60/1 odds favorite) - Coach Williams went to a smaller lineup late in the season and ran off a many wins. This lineup allowed them to spread to floor out and become a dangerous team. Last time they were an 8 seed they went to a final four
Pretenders: Kansas (10/1 odds favorite) and FLA (7/1 odds favorite) - In Kansas case their own coach publicly stated how bad they were. Florida just doesn't have the offensive firepower to get to a Final 4.
Strongest play: Indiana (5/1 odds favorite) and Miami (12/1 odds favorite) - Indiana can score with the best of them and has the most balanced team, however they lost more than once when they were number 1 so they haven't shown dominance. Miami is probably the hottest team and they have the best point guard in Shane Larkin. Combine that with the ability to play big or small and a fantastic Coach and you have an excellent chance.
Team to watch out for: UNLV (66/1 odds favorite) - Anthony Bennet is the best player that nobody knows.
Pretender: Syracuse (22/1 odds favorite) - Great Big East Tournament Run but they played over their heads. Too many role players without a star
Final Four Prediction
- Miami, VCU, Ohio State, Louisville
National Champion Prediction
There are many US friendly sportsbooks to bet on the Final Four, with the best Final Four odds at Bovada Sportsbook.
Brackets and opening point spread betting odds are below. Recommend US online sports betting sportsbooks for March Madness are below.
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Official 2013 March Madness Bracket
Check out 2013 March Madness Odds updated daily.
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