Villanova just completed a record-destroying takedown of the Oklahoma Sooners in the NCAA's National Semifinals. The Wildcats are the top team on KenPom.com, and are awaiting a title bout with the North Carolina Tarheels on Monday.
They'll open up the betting as an underdog in Las Vegas sports books, however, with UNC giving 2.5 points. Online sportsbook BookMaker.eu opened betting with the 'Cats listed as a 2-point dog. The total is set at 151.
"It really does feel like we've got the two best, most complete teams in the tournament facing off for the national title," the BookMaker.eu oddsmakers stated. "This was somewhat of a difficult line to create because save for one game the wiseguys have been backing Villanova throughout the dance while the Tar Heels have had heavy support from the the squares. Public perception dictates North Carolina being the favorite."
The odds on Villanova winning the championship before the season were long. The 'Cats had +800 odds heading into the tournament, while North Carolina carried +500 odds.
Odds are often set based on predictions of how bettors will act. An opening line is designed to ensure that betting is not too lopsided; which could explain the small point spread opened in the opening.
KenPom.com is predicting a Villanova win, 77-76, with a 56% likelihood.