The 2016 season is drawing to a close, and most major sports betting operators have now turned their attention to the future. One of the most intriguing match-ups coming up in the Final Four is the Kent State vs Oklahoma college basketball game. The Sooners, who are making their first ever appearance in the Elite Eight, are widely regarded as the favorites, with most books listing them as 3.5- to 4-point favorites. The underdogs, Kent State, are also making a grand entrance in the Elite Eight, having taken the NCAA tournament by storm. They opened as 3-point favorites, but after their performance in the Sweet Sixteen, that price jumped up to 4-1/2 points. Many are calling this the ‘underdog version of March Madness’.
What will be the final odds for this historical clash? Let’s take a quick look to find out. Below, you will find a breakdown of the current line on this year’s highly anticipated NCAA tournament matchup.
Kent State vs Oklahoma Odds”>Odds & Lines Movement
It’s not unusual for bookmakers to completely change their views on an event after the first couple of games, particularly in the NCAA tournament. That is what has happened with the Kent State vs Oklahoma match-up. The Sooners opened as 3-point favorites, but after a blowout opening win for the home team, the public has turned on the Sooners, making them +4.5-point underdogs on March 18th. Following a tough home loss to Baylor in round two, the Sooners are now around +6-1/2 points against Kent State. This game will be played on April 4th, meaning that the opening line of 3-point favorites has already been moved to +6-1/2 points. This sort of thing tends to happen in the later rounds of the tournament, when the competition starts to heat up. It is rare for a team to move up so close to the current line after just three games. That is a reflection of just how far Kentucky’s blowout victory over New Mexico State in the round of 64 has moved the line. The Sooners are now 7-1/2 points favorites in that game, meaning that the public has already made its mind up on that one.
Another interesting aspect of this year’s tournament is just how early some of the favorites have started to come in. Just three games in, and the line for Texas A&M vs UCLA is already +13.5 points. That is a big jump from the 3.5-point spread that had been offered by some books prior to the Sweet Sixteen. It is safe to say that nobody saw that coming. The Bears are now 6.5-point favorites in that game, while Arizona is a 4.5-point underdog. This is interesting to watch, as many thought that the Wildcats would be in a good position to cover the spread based on their outstanding defense and experience. Experience can also be a factor in a team’s performance in the playoffs. The more years a team has under its belt, the more prepared it will be for when the time comes for it to close out a game. In the history of the NCAA tournament, only twice has the favorite in a round advanced to the finals after starting the tournament as a 4-point underdog. The Kansas Jayhawks were a 6.5-point underdog to Purdue in 1968, and then, ironically, the same thing happened to Arizona in 2004. For those who like a good upset, the Kansas Jayhawks have been a 7-point underdog in their five previous meetings with the Purdue Boilermakers, so the upset factor is definitely there. This could be a good year to be an Oklahoma or Kent State fan.
Summary Of This Year’s NCAA Tournament
Before we wrap up, let’s take a moment to recap the remarkable performances of this year’s NCAA tournament so far. First, there is the Kent State vs Oklahoma match-up. Second, there is the Villanova Wildcats vs Kentucky Wildcats game, which Villanova won as 2.5-point favorites. Third, there is the North Carolina vs Michigan State game, which North Carolina won as 4-1/2 point favorites. Fourth, there is the UCLA vs Arizona game, which UCLA won as 6-1/2 point favorites. And last but not least, there is the Purdue Boilermakers vs Kansas Jayhawks game, which Purdue won as 7-1/2 point favorites. These are all four classic upsets and they all came from underdogs. This is a fantastic story so far for this year’s NCAA tournament.
This year’s NCAA tournament has been full of upsets, which has made for an exciting tournament so far. The level of competition in this year’s tournament is at an all-time high, and fans have gotten the chance to see some great college basketball. One of the best things that this year’s tournament has done is to make everyone believe in the underdog. Prior to this year’s tournament, people may have felt that an underdog was an underdog no matter what, but this year has shown that there is a lot of luck involved in the postseason. A lot can happen in a few short months, and that is what makes this year’s tournament so exciting.