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Kentucky Rises on 2018 March Madness Odds

Kentucky Rises on 2018 March Madness Odds - Bovada Sportsbook

The Kentucky Wildcats will be aiming for a sixth straight victory on Thursday when they take on the Kansas State Wildcats in Sweet Sixteen action as 6-point favorites on the 2018 March Madness odds.

The youthful SEC Wildcats looked in veteran form in the first weekend of this year’s NCAA Tournament, winning and covering in clashes with the Davidson Wildcats and Buffalo Bulls to improve to 9-1 in their past 10 outings, both straight up and against the spread.

Early exits by the top four seeds in the South Region has also fueled No. 5 Kentucky’s rise to +700 from a tournament-opening +1600 on the 2018 NCAA basketball championship odds going into Thursday night’s matchup at Philips Arena.

Kentucky faced tempered expectations entering this year’s tournament after struggling in the weeks prior to its current tear, including a 3-6 SU run that started in mid-January. However, stunning losses by top-seeded Virginia, No. 2 Cincinnati, and No. 3 Tennessee now leave the Wildcats as strong -115 favorites to win the South Region and advance to the Final Four for the fifth time in seven tournament appearances.

The Wildcats must first get past a No. 9 Kansas State squad that will compete in the Sweet Sixteen for the first time since 2010. The Big 12 Wildcats dominated in a 69-59 upset of No.8 Creighton as 2-point underdogs in the Round of 64, and followed up with a 50-43 win over No. 16 UMBC as 9.5-point chalk.

However, Kansas State is winless in two previous dates with Kentucky, including a 56-49 loss as 6-point underdogs in the opening round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament.

Kansas State continues to trail the pack at +4000 on the 2018 NCAA basketball championship odds. However, that remains a massive improvement over the +50000 odds it sported prior to the start of the tournament.


Gonzaga Also Climbing March Madness Betting Lines

The Gonzaga Bulldogs have also enjoyed a rapid climb up the March Madness betting odds, where they join Kentucky at +700. The Bulldogs punched their ticket to a fourth straight Sweet Sixteen berth with narrow wins over No. 13 UNC-Greensboro and No. 5 Ohio State, and look forward to a favorable matchup with No. 9 Florida State on Thursday as 5.5-point favorites.

The Seminoles survived opening weekend for the first time since 2011 with an impressive 75-70 win over No. 1 Xavier as 5.5-point underdogs. However, FSU’s middling 6-6 SU run is reflected on the national championship odds, where the Seminoles lag at +6000. Florida State, though, opened at +35000 on those 2018 March Madness futures odds.

With both the Musketeers and the No. 2 North Carolina Tar Heels ousted from this year’s tournament, the Bulldogs now sit as favorites to win the West Region, sporting +140 odds, just ahead of No. 3 Michigan at +210.

Last weekend’s upsets have also given a boost to the Duke Blue Devils, who now lead the way on the March Madness futures as +325 favorites – up from +800. The Villanova Wildcats follow at +375, a slight improvement on the +600 odds that made them early tournament favorites, and the Wolverines have improved from +1400 to +850.

Two No. 11 seeds round out the national championship odds, with the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers pegged at +5000, and the Syracuse Orange set at +6600.  Loyola-Chicago and Syracuse are both well up from their opening tournament longshot lines of +25000.


*Odds as of March 20, 2018

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