Insider's group of Vegas experts, Dave Tuley, Ted Sevransky, Geoff Kulesa ("Wunderdog"), Sal Selvaggio, PJ Walsh and Jay Kornegay, is back to give you its thoughts on the best bets for this year's Final Four. Power ratings for all four teams, coaches' tourney records, whether to hedge your futures bet, most public Final Four teams and ATS picks for both games -- it's all here.
Final Four Vegas Rankings
What a difference two weeks makes.
When we last updated the Vegas Rankings using the combined power ratings of our panel of handicappers -- Teddy "Covers" Sevransky, Geoff Kulesa of wunderdog.com and yours truly, Dave Tuley -- in ESPN Insider's NCAA tournament betting guide, Florida was our No. 2 team behind Louisville with a power rating of 99.5, and it now tops the list at 100. OK, not too much of a change there. But when we look at the rest of the Final Four, we see that the other remaining teams have closed the gap.
Two weeks ago, we had Florida 10.5 points ahead of UConn, the team the Gators will face in the first national semifinal Saturday, but now it's rated only six points higher than the Huskies. Kentucky and Wisconsin also have closed the gap.
Let's take a look at each matchup compared to our current power ratings:
1-seed Florida versus 7-seed UConn: The oddsmakers and the betting market are pretty much in agreement with our number. The line opened as low as minus-5 at the MGM books in Las Vegas, with most books opening at Florida minus-6. Early money drove the line up to 6.5 and even 7 at some books, but the market then felt that was too high and corrected itself. As of early Thursday morning, the consensus line is 6.5. That looks like the right number, although I should point out that both Sevransky and Kulesa had Florida as a bigger favorite. (I have Florida as only four points better than UConn.)