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Final Four: Kansas popular favorite; public split on Duke-UNC

Mar 27, 2022; Chicago, IL, USA; Kansas Jayhawks guard Ochai Agbaji (30) dunks during the second half against the Miami Hurricanes in the finals of the Midwest regional of the men's college basketball NCAA Tournament at United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Moore’s torn Achilles has had an impact beyond Villanova trying to figure out how best to replace a team captain and its second-leading scorer.

It also has led to Kansas being a lopsided favorite ahead of the teams’ Final Four semifinal matchup on Saturday.

The Jayhawks opened as 3.5-point favorites at BetMGM but the line moved to 4.5 by Monday, with Kansas being backed by 79 percent of the spread bets and 89 percent of the money. BetRivers reported the same line at their sportsbook had led to 53 and 62 percent of the action, respectively, supporting the Jayhawks as well.

The 4.0-point line at DraftKings also drew one-sided action with 73 percent of the spread bets and 82 percent of the money backing Kansas.

The public has been more split on the trilogy game between ACC rivals Duke and North Carolina.

The Blue Devils were 4.5-point favorites at all three sportsbooks at midday Monday.

The early action at BetMGM has seen 60 percent of the spread bets and 68 percent of the money supporting the Tar Heels. The public has been split at BetRivers, where 61 percent of the bets have supported the Tar Heels but 57 percent of the handle backed the Blue Devils.

The spread bets are nearly an even split at DraftKings, with Duke being backed by 54 percent of the money.

The Blue Devils also have emerged as the favorites to win the national championship.

No. 2 Duke has benefited from three No. 1 seeds going down, and the Blue Devils are now +155 favorites at DraftKings and +160 at BetMGM, where they opened the NCAA Tournament at +1400 to win it all. Duke is also BetMGM’s biggest remaining liability with 9.1 percent of the bets and 11.4 percent of the money in the tournament champion market.

Kansas, the lone No. 1 seed to reach the Final Four, is second at +180 at BetMGM and +185 at DraftKings. Despite Moore’s injury, Villanova still has slightly shorter odds at BetMGM (+475) and DraftKings (+450) than North Carolina (+500 at both).

Of the Final Four teams, the eighth-seeded Tar Heels opened as the biggest longshot at +3000 at BetMGM. Villanova (+1200) and Kansas (+1600) were among the pre-tournament favorites.

–Field Level Media