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National Championship Odds for Kentucky Improve to +1600 With Win Over Florida

Blair Johnson

by Blair Johnson in College Basketball

Updated Mar 28, 2020 · 7:18 PM PDT

No. 10 Kentucky's National Championship odds have been shortened to +1600 thanks to a win over Florida. Blair Johnson examines if UK is a good bet to win March Madness here.
  • Kentucky’s odds to win the NCAA Tournament improved to +1600 after beating Florida 65-59 Saturday
  • The Wildcats are now 12-2 in the SEC and hold a two-game lead over Auburn and LSU in the conference standings
  • Is there value on Kentucky to win March Madness at these odds?

The Kentucky Wildcats (22-5, 12-2 SEC) are now +1600 to capture the program’s ninth NCAA title following a 65-59 victory over Florida Saturday. John Calipari’s crew owns a 12-2 SEC record and a two-game lead over Auburn and LSU in the conference standings. The Wildcats began the 2019-20 campaign with the second shortest odds to win March Madness at +513 (behind Michigan State at +475), but are now +1600

2020 NCAA Tournament Odds

Team Odds
Kansas Jayhawks +700
Baylor Bears +800
Gonzaga Bulldogs +800
Duke Blue Devils +900
San Diego State Aztecs +1200
Louisville Cardinals +1500
Kentucky Wildcats +1600
Maryland Terrapins +1700
Dayton Flyers +2000
Michigan State Spartans +2500
Arizona Wildcats +3300
Oregon Ducks +3300
Creighton Bluejays +3500
Florida State Seminoles +3500
Seton Hall Pirates +3500
Villanova Wildcats +3500
Auburn Tigers +3600
Penn State Nittany Lions +4000
West Virginia Mountaineers +4500

Odds taken Feb. 22nd

Kentucky’s 2020 National Championship odds went from +1700 on Friday to +1600 following its six-point win over Florida Saturday. The Gators’ odds remained the same at +10000.

So are Coach Cal’s ‘Cats worth a future wager? Did they show enough moxie in Lexington to merit an investment? Or should bettors hold off until Selection Sunday and see what their Big Dance draw looks like? Let’s break down Saturday’s tilt and look ahead.

Huge, Quickley, Bye

With apologies to Tiger Woods (his Stanford Cardinal are firmly on the NCAA Tournament bubble), Immanuel Quickley’s performance against the Gators at Rupp Arena was, in fact, huge.

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The sophomore guard scored a career-high 26 points, including a personal 9-0 run midway through the second half that put UK up six. Getting performances from players like Quickley — at this point in the season — bodes well for a program and fan base hungry for another Final Four appearance. The scrappy Gators hung around and made it interesting in the final minute — getting to within two points at 61-59 with :18 left. But the Wildcats showed intestinal fortitude to hang on for their sixth straight win and 14th straight victory at Rupp.

What’s Next?

Those streaks should serve Kentucky well in the final two weeks of the regular season. KenPom predicts UK will win its next time out, a road game Tuesday in College Station against Texas A&M. That one is followed by a rematch at home next Saturday against Auburn — one of UK’s only two conference losses this season.

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If Kentucky were to avenge that 75-66 loss on Feb. 1, it would be another boost heading into the Wildcats’ final two outings — at home against Tennessee and on the road against Florida. Win out, and you’re looking at a 26-5 team with extreme momentum prior to the SEC Tournament.

The Verdict

Kentucky opened the season with a 69-62 statement win over the preseason AP No. 1 Spartans.

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And while an incomprehensible loss at home to Evansville a week later brought the Wildcats crashing down to earth, UK has handled its business for the most part. Yes, the team lost to mediocre Utah and a very good Ohio State squad in consecutive games in Vegas. But Kentucky followed those defeats with a gritty overtime win over Louisville.

Calipari took the Wildcats to four Final Fours in his first six seasons in Lexington — but hasn’t returned since 2015. They got close last year, losing a 77-71 heartbreaker in overtime to Bruce Pearl’s Auburn in the Midwest Regional Final.

This year’s version looks like it could get back. As one of college basketball’s blue bloods with a huge following, Kentucky will be a popular choice if it continues to win — which I expect them to do all the way to March 15. Throw some money on UK now. Their odds will only get shorter.


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