College Basketball Odds, Buzzer-Beaters & Other Final Four Props
by Richard Gardner | Bodog Sportsbook Manager - 3/31/2011
One of the most famous plays in NCAA basketball history came in the 1983 final when NC State’s Dereck Whittenburg heaved up a desperation shot from 30 feet out that teammate Lorenzo Charles snatched out of the air and dunked to give the underdog Wolfpack a 54-52 victory over powerhouse Houston.
That buzzer-beater capped off one of the great Cinderella runs in sports history, and with Virginia Commonwealth and Butler each looking to cap off magical runs of their own in the 2011 NCAA men’s basketball tournament, perhaps we’re in for another last-second title win.
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With that in mind, we’ve created a special prop at Bodog for our players to bet on whether either Final Four game or the championship game will be decided by a buzzer-beater. If you think it will, we’ll give you +1000 on the college basketball odds.
We’ve booked a few small bets on this prop so far. Granted, it probably doesn’t make sense from a value standpoint to risk a ton of your bankroll on a buzzer-beater, but our players like props like this one because they’re fun, not because they’re the wisest investment on the board. I imagine it would feel pretty good to receive a thousand percent payout for nothing more than watching an exciting finish to a huge game. Might be nice to brag about, too.
If you’re looking for value, you might be wise to look at our odds to win Most Outstanding Player at the tournament. Our current favorites are Connecticut’s Kemba Walker and Kentucky’s Brandon Knight, each at 2/1.
But what if it’s VCU or Butler that win it all? The MOP almost always goes to a player on the winning team, the last player to lose the final and win the award being Houston’s Hakeem Olajuwon in 1983.
VCU’s Joey Rodriguez is the favorite Ram to be named MOP, at 12/1 odds, while Butler’s Shelvin Mack can be had at 13/2.
We’ve even booked some action on the long shot of the bunch, VCU’s Bradford Burgess (20/1), who scored 26 points and made the winning layup with six seconds left against Florida State in the Sweet 16 round. And that outstanding performance against the Seminoles came one game after dropping 23 on Purdue.
One final prop that’s garnered good interest from our players asks whether VCU coach Shaka Smart will still be the coach next year. Obviously when you take a No. 11 seed to the Final Four you’re going to create some buzz in coaching circles with any number of schools wondering if you could do the same for their program. However, our odds makers seem to think Smart will be back coaching the Rams next year (-400), and that’s the way our bettors have been leaning.
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