Bookmakers Like Tar Heels Chances of Winning College Basketball Championship

Final 4 free bet college basketball Intertops

North Carolina is favored, Syracuse is underdog in Final Four showdown in Houston this weekend.

The maddest season of the sporting year reaches its climax this weekend with America’s top four college hoops teams battling it out for the national championship title in Houston. Just one number one seed has survived the usual carnage of the four Regional tournaments, but does North Carolina now have what it takes to go all the way? Intertops Sportsbook bookmakers see the Tar Heels (+110) on top of the pile, but Villanova (+250) and Oklahoma (+300) are still right there in the mix. Syracuse (+1000), seeded 10 in the Midwest Region,  is the obvious underdog, but anything is possible at the NRG Stadium.

“Syracuse has been the big surprise of the tourney so far and we have seen plenty of interest in a semifinal upset win over UNC,” said an Intertops Sportsbook manager. “You never know, we might all be seeing Orange after Monday’s final – it’s March Madness, after all!”

Intertops adds to the hoops excitement by offering its customers $50 free bets for their picks on Facebook. They simply have to post their tip to win the Final Four before the first game gets underway and wager in the sportsbook to qualify.  The prize draw will take place after the champion has been crowned on Monday.

The world’s first online sportsbook will also reward its customers for wagering on Monday’s Championship Game with an attractive $100 free bet promotion. Details will be posted on the website on the big day.


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$50 FREE BETS
Post your picks on Facebook before the NCAA US college basketball game starts, then wager in the sportsbook to win $50 free bets.

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Intertops Sportsbook

March Madness Down to Final Four

 

finalfour2016

Over the weekend the Elite Eight narrowed the US college basketball field to the Final Four.   On Saturday, Villanova will take on Oklahoma at 3:00 pm PST and UNC will battle Syracuse at 6:00 pm PST.

BettingInstinct will have a preview and predictions from UK NCAA blogger Cathal Laughren later this week.

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FINAL 4 — $50 FREE BETS
Post your picks on Facebook before the NCAA US college basketball game starts, then wager at Intertops Sportsbook to win $50 free bets.

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Underdog Hunches Can Pay Big Time during March Madness Betting

march madness basketball betting

March Madness is biggest online sportsbetting event of the year.

There’s a reason they call it March Madness — it’s the absolute craziest betting period of the year!  People that don’t often bet on sports bet on U.S. college basketball. Super Bowl may be the biggest single betting event of the year, but way more money is bet on NCAA college basketball.  Selection Sunday saw Kansas, Oregon, North Carolina and Virginia handed the top seeds in the four Regional tournaments, but anything is possible as the best teams in the country battle it out for glory in the weeks ahead.

“We have seen a huge amount of action from the moment our March Madness lines were posted,” said the sportsbook manager at Intertops. “It’s the time of year when many recreational punters decide to try their luck — a correct hunch on one of the underdogs can provide very tasty winnings. It’s not called March Madness for nothing!”

Anything could happen on the basketball courts, but Intertops customers know they’ll be well taken care of.  The world’s first online sportsbook has a reputation for providing exciting promotions for all major sporting events and March Madness is no exception.

“We know a perfect bracket is very unlikely to be cracked, but that doesn’t mean that our players are left empty-handed. The cash prize will then be shared equally between the 25 customers with the most correct picks,” added the manager.

In the UK, writers at The Guardian predict that Duke will be out early, that Michigan’s Valentine will be a star of the tournament and that Michigan State will take the title.

NCAA forum users like Kansas to beat Michigan State in the championship game.

Jon Hale at USA Today predicts that Kentucky will take it all.

“The Wildcats had the perfect team last season, entering the NCAA tournament 34-0 and chasing the first undefeated season since 1976. But Wisconsin stunned Kentucky in the Final Four and busted brackets everywhere — showing the cold reality that the single-elimination NCAA tournament isn’t kind to even the most dominant of teams. So how outrageous would it be if John Calipari’s far-less talented Wildcats won the national championship in 2016? Wouldn’t that be wild? It’s actually not that far off.”

Ricky O’Donnell at SB Nation thinks Kansas vs. Oklahoma round three would be incredible and that Michigan State’s shooting advantage over UNC will get them into the national semifinal.  He thinks it’ll be Michigan State over Kansas in the title game, giving Tom Izzo another title.

Which teams do YOU think will make the Final Four?!

 

Teamwork will make the dream work for Golden State

NBA Golden State Seth CurryBasketball and statistics have forever been bedfellows. For decades, box scores showed each player’s basic stats: minutes, field goals attempted (and made), free throws attempted (and made), fouls, rebounds, assists and points. Those numbers, while almost entirely focused on the offensive end of the court, were able to give a rudimentary overview of a player’s basketball efficiency. Nowadays, as befits our modern sporting landscape, statistical evaluation of a player is suitably advanced and wide-ranging. Rather than cold, hard numbers, tallied by someone sitting at the side of the court, equations and algorithms conspire to give a more analytical, mathematical assessment of the production of NBA players and teams.

Such analytics will tell you that the 2014/15 Golden State Warriors are one of the best NBA teams of all time, and heavy favourites to win the NBA Finals against the narrative-laden Cleveland Cavaliers. They are accurate assessments that reflect the strength of this team, and they are more than enough to persuade someone to bet on the Warriors to win the title (as I did in January with the price still 6-1). But ultimately, this team must be seen to be believed, and that’s why I insist that anyone reading watches the NBA Finals, especially those who have perhaps seen a bit of NBA action but ‘didn’t think it was for them’.

The Warriors are led by the league’s MVP Steph Curry, as exhilarating on the court as Lionel Messi is on the pitch, while equally as humble (and much more entertaining) off it. The comparisons continue: like Messi, Curry is no maverick, privileging team ethic and hard work over individual glory or ego. Yet crucially, and just like the mesmerising Messi, Curry has both the remit and the ability to blow the minds of spectators and boggle those of opponents, to make blink veteran viewers who think they have seen it all, and, this season more than ever, the skinny kid with the weak ankles (who must also be known as the Greatest Shooter of All Time) has done so again and again. It’s not just about Curry. The Warriors have wheeled, dealed and drafted their way into just about the strongest, deepest roster that is feasibly possible in a salary-capped league. They have two former All Stars coming off the bench, for goodness sake.

Of course, since LeBron James hit the peak of his powers in 2007, his mere presence on a team has been enough to take it to the NBA Finals on six out of nine occasions. The best player since Michael Jordan, LeBron is still operating at a completely transcendent level in all aspects of the game, and the ridiculously simple advantage of ‘having LeBron’ cannot be under-estimated, nor perhaps quantified. Unfortunately, with a supporting cast of teammates that often seem to find themselves wearing casts, LeBron’s current level of basketball – which both basic and advanced statistics will tell you represents potentially the best NBA post-season performance of all-time – will still not be enough to take himself, and his hometown team, to glory. LeBron’s unrivalled set of skills and will to win should be enough to avoid a sweep, but despite the cult of the individual often taking precedence within the media, basketball is, of course, a team game, and as one of the best teams of all time, I expect the Golden State Warriors to win the series either 4-1, or 4-2.

______________________________________________

Ali Maxwell sports betting blogger

ALI MAXWELL is about to graduate with a degree in French, and is looking to enter the world of Broadcasting and Sports Media, specifically focusing on basketball and English and European football (soccer). Follow him on Twitter.

Can Spartans upset top US college basketball teams?

Underdog Spartans could beat Kentucky in college basketballEven though the Kentucky Wildcats have been a strong favorite to win the US college basketball championship in Indianapolis since March Madness began, bookmakers say there’s been a surprising number of people betting on the underdog Michigan Spartans to win.   Why is that?

It’s partly because you stand to win a helluva lot more if you get lucky on an underdog. There’s not a lot of money to be made on an obvious favorite. But perhaps more people, deep down, identify more with underdogs than with favorites.

By Tuesday it’ll be a done deal.  For now, it’s anyone’s game.  Well, it’s the Kentucky Wildcats, Wisconsin Badgers, Duke Blue Devils or maybe even Michigan Spartans game.

“The Wildcats first have to beat the Wisconsin Badgers. That could be harder than they think,” said the sportsbook manager at AllYouBet.  “Meanwhile, Michigan State takes on Duke.  I say, if Tom Izzo can get his number 7 seed team this far it’s certainly possible the Spartans could go all the way. A lot of guys that bet on them early seem to think so!”

AllYouBet sportsbook has attractive odds on the semi-final and final games this weekend. Kentucky, at -149, is currently favored to win the championship on Monday with Wisconsin at +450, Duke +325 and the Spartans are +800. (Odds as of today are subject to change.) Bonuses and a free bet offer continue through the weekend.

Final Four bet AllYouBet

March Madness Final Four could be one for the ages

Does Wisconsin have what it takes to stand in the way of Kentucky's perfect season?

Does Wisconsin have what it takes to stand in the way of Kentucky’s perfect season?

It’s usually at this time of year that the NBA plays second fiddle in the basketball world for the duration of the NCAA tournament. Fans tune in to see the stars of the very imminent future in a tournament which provides the kind of drama that has often dissipated in the later stages of the NBA, where playoff seeding is the only real incentive left.

The NBA has been holding its own this year thanks to one of the most enthralling MVP races in history but be assured – this year’s Final Four will steal the attention right back. We are set up for an incredible 3 games with 3 great teams and, quite frankly, one solid team with a great coach. There are reasons that all 4 could take home the Championship but it seems only fair to start with the team that could well go down as the best college team ever.

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Men’s NCAA Basketball Betting Odds – Outright Winner

Kentucky -150
Duke +325
Wisconsin +450
Michigan State +800
(All odds provided by Intertops.eu are accurate as of today and subject to change)

_______________________________

Betting Odds: Kentucky (-238) vs Wisconsin (+200)

At first glance, saying this Kentucky team could be the best college team ever sounds like an exaggeration. Yet the facts are simple: they have a chance of being the first team to ever go undefeated, they are already only the second team ever to go unbeaten through the regular season and they’ve matched the record for most wins in an NCAA tournament already. Not only that, they have most experts’ number 1 pick for the NBA Draft and may have 3 of their players going top 10 and 7 being drafted.

Intertops Sportsbook Final Four free bet contest

Last year they played Wisconsin at this stage of the tournament and beat them – Wisconsin’s roster has stayed relatively similar whilst Kentucky is much improved. It honestly feels picky to try and give reasons why Kentucky will lose but Notre Dame gave them a hell of a game in the Elite 8 and frankly, had they not abandoned the strategies that got them so close, we may be talking about another famous CBB upset. That’s really all you can aim at Kentucky – they have an experienced roster backing up the Twin Towers of Towns and Cauley-Stein with Aaron Harrison’s clutch play engrained in Wisconsin minds from last year’s encounter. They simply have to be favorites but this is no walkover, far from it.

Wisconsin come into this game with revenge on their minds and boasting the best offense in the country. All the talk is of Kentucky but it cannot be forgotten that Wisconsin have the best college player in the country in their midst. Frank Kaminsky has an NBA-ready body of skills – he can shoot the ball all the way out to three and boss down low. He doesn’t have the ceiling of an Okafor or a Towns but he is the most technically gifted player in the tournament right now. When he goes to the NBA he may struggle with the extended line and most certainly will struggle with the quickness of NBA athletes but those are questions for the future – right now you can guarantee Kentucky are trying to figure out how to stop him.

Just one problem: Sam Dekker. It is true that Wisconsin’s roster has stayed similar to last year but their players are improved with Dekker right at the forefront. He has been one of the best players in the tournament so far, average 21.7 points and 5.5 boards. Dekker has made his name off his smart cutting ability but showcased his range in the Elite 8 against Arizona as he led Wisconsin through a tight game. Much like that game, we know Frank Kaminsky will get his but can Dekker step up as a secondary scorer again? It will be especially important against two great defensive big men who will play Kaminsky as well as anyone.

Betting Odds: Duke (-235) vs Michigan State (+195)

The Blue Devils are back again, led by possibly the best coach in CBB history and an absurdly gifted young big man who, frankly, is becoming more underrated as people see more of him. Jahlil Okafor is suffering from a common problem – as people realise just how good certain players are, they start to try their best to find their flaws and pick holes in their games. It is part of the reason players like Dante Exum and Emmanuel Mudiay have seen their stock remain so high in recent years – we simply don’t see as much of them as others.

The simple facts with Okafor are that he is nearly unstoppable in the post one on one. He hasn’t had a great tournament and yet has been vital to Duke’s success, he cannot be left on his own, commanding a nearly automatic double team. His post game is superb, his footwork incredibly clean for such a young player and he rebounds well. Of course he has his faults but they tend to be focused on by the same people who decided Blake Griffin could only dunk.

Besides, Okafor’s relatively mediocre tournament has merely allowed another superb prospect to shine through. The lack of Winslow talk has been a little bizarre – his NBA comparison is perhaps Michael Kidd-Gilchrist but he is much more polished offensively than MKG and brings the quality defence. He has put up some great lines in the tournament including possibly the best stat-sheet stuffer of a performance so far with 13 points, 12 boards, 5 assists, 4 steals and 3 blocks. He brings absolutely everything. Between these two great prospects (and Tyus Jones, who on another team would shine a lot more) and Coach K, it’s hard to see past another Championship game for Duke.

When compared to the other 3 rosters in the tournament, Michigan State looks incredibly average. It is nearly unanimous on all Big Boards that they won’t have a single first round pick in the upcoming Draft. This is not to say that Michigan don’t have any good players. Travis Trice has scored well throughout the tournament and in Denzel Valentine they have a player who will fill up the stat sheet – an efficient scorer who will get boards and assists. However, they don’t come close to the gifts of an Okafor, Towns or Kaminsky. They have taken out the 2, 3 and 4 seed in their own Conference to get here so they haven’t been lucky with their draws. Yet they went an unremarkable 24-11 in the regular season and are the only non-1 seed in the Final Four. So how have they managed to get here? It all comes down to one man – Mr March, Tom Izzo.

Izzo is one of the finest coaches in CBB, wanted by the Cavs during LeBron’s first stint, and earned his nickname for good reason – his teams always come alive in the tournament. He has been to the Final Four 7 times – and though he only has one national Championship, he has rarely had the riches of a Duke or Kentucky. When looking at the rosters, it is nearly impossible to bet against Duke. Yet, Izzo has proved time and time again he thrives upon the underdog status.

This promises to be one heck of a Final Four. Strap in, it’s going to be a fun ride.

 

  DIARMAID HILL (@dhillmu7) is a basketball and football fan who plays both even worse than he writes  about  them. He supports the LA Clippers and Manchester United and yes, he’s heard every joke about both.  Follow  him on Twitter.

US college basketball: 3 no. 1 seeds, 1 dangerous underdog

US college basketball betting Intertops SportsbookI wish I could tell you who to bet on as the Final Four finals in US college basketball take place this weekend in Indianapolis.  But even though the field has been narrowed down from 96 to the Final Four, it’s still a tough call.  The Kentucky Wildcats, Wisconsin Badgers, Michigan State Spartans and Duke Blue Devils – three number one seeds and one dangerous underdog.  Anybody’s game.

The Kentucky Wildcats began as the obvious but the Wisconsin  Badgers have looked good in the tourney so far and there is no reason why they couldn’t eliminate their rival early. Michigan State and Duke is  a battle between two of the highest-profile coaches in the game. Tom Izzo and Mike Krzyzewski, each capable of taking their boys to victory.

Final Four bets at Intertops Sportsbook“Our players really know their hoops,” said the sportsbook manager at Intertops Sportsbook. “We’ve had some heavy action on the Spartans to surprise in the South from the word go. Many customers who bet on Michigan State to win it all at odds of +5000 will be facing a nail-biting Easter weekend now!”

“Early upsets mean that none of our customers had a perfect March Madness bracket, but the $25,000 prize we put up will be split between the top 25 entries.”

Intertops is running a Final Four Free Bet contest on its Facebook page.  Post your tip and you could win a $100 free bet.


Intertops Sportsbook US college basketball betUS College Basketball: Final Four Betting

To win outright:
Kentucky -150
Duke +325
Wisconsin +450
Michigan State +800
(Today’s odds are subject to change.)


Even for Top Seeded US College Basketball Teams, One March Madness Loss Can Mean its Over

US college basketball betting in March MadnessAs US college basketball competition begins in earnest this week, it comes as no surprise that the University of Kentucky is the overall No. 1 seed in the Midwest as Kansas hangs on to a No. 2 seed despite losing in the Big 12 title game. In the East, The Cleveland Cavaliers ended up at No. 2 in what could be a very unpredictable bracket. Duke is the favorite in the South but  Gonzaga and Iowa State could yet have a word or two to say about that. When a single loss means it’s all over, no one should get too comfortable.

It’s early days, but at this point Kentucky (+120) is favored to win the Championship on April 6th in Indianapolis followed by Wisconsin and Arizona (both +700).

AllYouBet, an American-style online sportsbook, has attractive odds on all NCAAB championship games as well as a couple of great March Madness bonus offers.

Until April 7th, AllYouBet is adding an extra 50% bonus (up to $100) to all deposits. Basketball bettors can claim this sportsbetting bonus by entering coupon code MMBONUS15 when they deposit. Everyone that wagers a minimum of $1000 on the Final Four will receive a $100 Free Bet on April 8th.

March Madness 2015 is Kentucky’s to lose

Can anyone stop Kentucky this year?

Can anyone stop Kentucky this year?

Kentucky is the best team in the country. There is no more obvious statement in the whole sports world right now. With a 34-0 record – which included victories over Kansas, North Carolina, Arkansas and Louisville – Kentucky is the undisputed best team in the country. But what is scariest is not their 30 point demolitions of Kansas and UCLA, instead it is the back-to-back near upsets they faced against Ole Miss and Texas A&M which both went to overtime, with the A&M game ending in double overtime. It was those two games where Kentucky showed that they can grind out wins even when everything is against them.

And it is that mental fortitude which will come in handy in the tournament where they will have a target on their back every single game they play. Throw in the fact that they ended up losing in the final last year to an 8 loss UConn team and this Kentucky is going to be hellbent on going 40-0 and winning the tournament.

 

2015 NCAA March Madness Outright Betting Odds:

Kentucky +110

Wisconsin +750

Arizona +800

Duke +850 

(All odds provided by Intertops.eu are accurate as of today and subject to change)

 

Looking at the top seeded teams in this year’s tournament it is just impossible to not see Kentucky emerging victorious. They are the best coached team in the country and have a size advantage that no other team can match, with Willie Cauley-Stein and Karl-Anthony Towns – two NBA-ready 7ft players. Most teams would be lucky to have one of these guys, but Kentucky has two, and it makes them completely unplayable in the paint. The smart money is on Kentucky, they are a step above every other team in the country and when you look at the odds this notion is clearly reflected. March Madness, the most unpredictable tournament in the world, is predicting one thing; and that is, to the disdain of every college hoops fan, a Kentucky victory.

But even though Kentucky is the smart bet, it is no fun rooting for the team who is overwhelmingly perceived as the tournament favourite, especially when it is a team as universally disliked as Kentucky.

 

So if you’re not going to back Kentucky then who is there left to bet on? The second tier of teams (despite all being #1 seeds) are Wisconsin, Duke and Villanova. Villanova can be crossed off the list immediately purely for being a Big East team. Yes, they have a 32-2 record and have beaten down on their conference, but how many Big East teams are actually going to make it to the second round of the tournament? And they ended up splitting the series with the best team they faced, Georgetown, that featured them getting blown out by 20 on the road. Villanova are also placed in one of the toughest regions this tournament with Louisville, Michigan State, Oklahoma and Virginia all lying in wait. It is hard to back a Big East team to win the tournament given the conference’s recent history in tournament play.

Virginia look like the team to beat in this region, finishing the season with the #1 ranked defense and only 3 losses (to Duke, Louisville and UNC by a combined total of 12 points). This Virginia team has been excellent all year and will be a great match-up to Kentucky if both progress that far. In a tournament like March Madness where there is more money to be won betting on teams who are not #1 seeds then Virginia (+1100 with AllYouBet.ag) are the most logical choice if you want an outside shot but don’t want to be taking a punt on a sub-elite Kansas or Louisville team.

 

The other team apart from Virginia where there is good value is Wisconsin, who, despite being widely considered the second favourite behind Kentucky, come with some pretty favourable odds. The main reason behind Wisconsin being seen as the second best team in the tournament is Frank Kaminsky, a 7ft behemoth who is widely regarded as the best offensive player in the country. If Wisconsin manage to reach final to presumably face off against Kentucky, then the match-up between Willie Cauley-Stein and Frank Kaminsky will be fantastic to watch, pitting an undefendable player against the best defender in the country. Wisconsin can go as far as Kaminsky wants to take them and it is never a bad move to bet on the team that features the best player in the country, especially as the earliest Wisconsin can play Kentucky is the final game of the tournament.

Kentucky may be the heavy favourite for the tournament but that creates a lot of value elsewhere with Wisconsin and Virginia being prime examples.

 

Betting Instinct Tip – Wisconsin to win NCAAB West is +150 with AllYouBet.ag

 

mattm MATT MCGRATH writes about American football, be it college or NCAA (because betting on unpaid student athletes is fun and definitely ethically correct). Follow him on Twitter.

As March Madness Begins, Early Wagering Suggests Notre Dame and Gonzaga Could be Teams to Watch

March madness bonuses and bracket contestWith Selection Sunday behind us US college basketball betting is picking up at online sportsbooks this week.  64 teams are competing in regional tournaments hoping to be one of the Final Four that goes to Indianapolis April 6th.  Kentucky, Duke, Wisconsin and Villanova are all top seeds, but it’s early days. Anything can and does happen during March Madness.

“At 34-0 for the season Kentucky is obviously the best in the country and quite possibly the best college basketball team we’ve seen in many years,” observed the sportsbook manager at Intertops Sportsbook.  “Outside of the top four, early wagering would indicate that Notre Dame and Gonzaga could be teams to watch.

So, it’s Bracket Week.  Got it all figured out already? Intertops Sportsbook will pay $25,000 for a perfect bracket – 63 correct picks. Entries can only be accepted up to the start of the second round games on March 19th, so you don’t have long to make your selections.  If you wager $1,000 or more there, be sure to  claim your $100 Hoops Free Bet on Monday, March 30th.


March Madness Bonus

Intertops  will add 20% to one deposit (available until March 25th only).