Kentucky Represents Huge Liability for Sportsbooks

The Final Four has arrived and Kentucky remains undefeated and one of the four. The Wildcats are the odds on favorite to end the season undefeated and win the national championship.

Shortly after Duke defeated Gonzaga to finalize the Final Four participants, bookmakers across Vegas and online made Kentucky the 5 to 6 or -120 favorite to win the national championship.

Kentucky is 38-0 and looking to become college basketball’s first team to go undefeated the entire season since the Indiana Hoosiers did so in 1976. However, if Kentucky does so, there are a number of books that will take hits on props bets and futures that were played months ago by bettors.

Last summer some books offered odds for Kentucky to go undefeated at 50 to 1. There were large sums of money that came in on the Wildcats and the books are now behind the eight ball for between high six figures and low seven figures if Kentucky wins.

Wisconsin will face the Wildcats and Duke will play Michigan State on Saturday. Both Duke and Wisconsin are currently 7 to 2 to win the national championship, will Michigan State a No. 7 seed in the tournament is at 8 to 1 to win the national title. Only a few weeks ago, Michigan State was a 100 to 1 long shot to win the national title. There were some takers for Michigan State at 100 to 1, but not as many as Kentucky as 50 to 1 several months ago.

Duke is 4.5-point chalk against Michigan State on Saturday. The Blue Devils defeated Michigan State November 18 as 8.5-point chalk in the State Farm Classic. Duke’s coach Mike Krzyzewski has an all time record of 8-1 against Tom Izzo the head coach for Michigan State.

One book had two bettors take Duke at 8 to 1 on a $50,000 bet and at 7 to 1 on a slightly smaller bet, which gives them a large sum of liability if the Blue Devils win the national title.

Kentucky opened as 6.5-point chalk in the other Final Four game against Wisconsin. The early betting has bet the line down to Kentucky -5.

At this point, nearly six times more money since the line opened has been bet on the Wisconsin Badgers. This is not the first time bettors went against Kentucky. In their West Virginia game in the Sweet 16, 96% of all money line bets were in West Virginia to win. The Wildcats won easily doubling the West Virginia score 78-39.

The betting public fared well this weekend on the Elite Eight as just one underdog was an outright winner.