Final Four Betting Props with March Madness Expert Wagering Predictions
It feels like a missed opportunity that the books do not get more creative with prop bets for the Final Four. It's the prop bets that makes the Super Bowl and other major events so much fun. But on this weekend's activities they not only don't get as creative as the Super Bowl, but they don't even really try at all. At this point in the week the most interesting Final Four props mostly consist of the MOP futures and the exact matchup for the finals. Here's a look at both:
Most Outstanding Player
The way you go on this one depends, obviously, on who you think is going to win the tournament. A guy from a losing team can technically win the award, but it last happened in 1983 when Hakeem Olajuwon, who was still known as Akeem back then, did it when Houston lost in the finals for the first of two straight years. There have been some really nice players this year, but none so far good enough to go against a historic trend like that. A guy like Zion Williamson could perhaps have done it if he had stayed alive, but none of these guys are likely to do it.
If it is Michigan State that you like, then you have the easiest job here. Cassius Winston is by far the most likely winner if his team wins, which is why he is the +250 favorite to win the award at BetOnline. Of the 11 guys who have odds listed, the only other Spartan is Xavier Tillman, and he is a longer shot at +900.
Virginia is the slight favorite over Michigan State to win the title, but their likely MOP is murkier if they win the title. Kyle Guy is the second choice to win MOP at +375, but he's not running away with it on his team. Ty Jerome is at +750, and De'Andre Hunter is at +800. Mamadi Diakite is a long shot at +2000, but the fact he is listed means that the Cavaliers have a Final Four-high four players listed here. And among the top three, at least there isn't a lot to separate them.
Texas Tech isn't a team a lot of people know particularly well, and they play a cooperative style. Three guys from the squad are listed here. Jarrett Culver is, fittingly, the third choice to win the award at +600. Matt Mooney at +2200 and Davide Moretti at +2800 are the two longest shots on the board. If you like the Red Raiders to pull off the upset here, then Culver would be a fitting pick.
Auburn is the longest shot to win the title, and oddsmakers are, deservedly, not optimistic about their players, either. Bryce Brown and Jared Harper, the two driving forces of the team, are both at +1200 to win the MOP. It's hard to feel like those are good bets.
The oddsmakers are pulling kind of a neat trick here. They say they are letting you bet on the outcome of the championship game - which team will win and who they will beat. What you are actually betting, though, is a three-game moneyline parlay - the two Final Four games and the title game. By judging the odds offered here under that lens, it is easier to see if the bets actually make sense. If you were considering betting any of these props, you want to first figure out what the parlay would pay to see if the prop makes sense at the price it is offered. You likely won't find a price listed for the moneyline for the potential championship game pairings, but there are odds for the game posted at several books so you can approximate. If the value isn't strong with these bets, then you'd be better off looking for different ways to leverage your opinions.
Not surprisingly, the two favorites here involve the favorites to win the two semifinal games. Virginia is +300 to beat Michigan State, and the opposite is at +350. In the best-case scenario, the +300 price is only slightly worse than what a parlay would pay, but the +350 is a long way from being a good price. Virginia is also +450 to beat Texas Tech. The opposite outcome comes in at +700. The oddsmakers really don't like Auburn here - fittingly. They are +1000 to beat Texas Tech and +1200 to beat Michigan State. Those prices might seem attractive as long shots, but they just aren't. Auburn would have to be a significant favorite over Texas Tech in the final to make that price make sense, and right now they are an underdog.
Read more articles by Trevor Whenham
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