Ky., Ohio St stay firm as Final Four Vegas faves

Sin City casinos are sticking with Kentucky and Ohio State as

Final Four favorites and still think the Wildcats have by far the

best shot of winning the NCAA title.

Odds put out by Nevada casinos after the matchups were set show

they think Kentucky – the No. 1 seed overall in the tournament –

has a 52 percent shot at the title despite needing to win two more

games, gambling expert RJ Bell of Pregame.com told The Associated

Press.

”Clearly, Kentucky feels like a significant favorite,” Bell

said.

Casinos believe Ohio State has a 25 percent chance, Kansas a 15

percent chance and Louisville an 8 percent chance, Bell said.

Cantor Gaming, which operates six sports books in Las Vegas and

shares its lines with the vast majority of Nevada’s 186 sports

books, made Kentucky a 9.5-point favorite over Louisville and Ohio

State a 3-point favorite over Kansas for Saturday’s semifinals.

Mike Colbert, Cantor’s risk management director, said early

wagers including several bettors gambling $10,000 each on

Louisville pushed Kentucky down to a 9-point favorite. But he said

he expects Wildcat bets to come later in the week.

”Kentucky, to me, is still basically a pro team out there. They

put five guys that are going to play in the NBA on the floor

basically at all times,” Colbert said.

Kentucky’s odds over Louisville are the widest gap between two

teams in a semifinal matchup since 1999, Bell said.

Bell said 17 of 27 champions have been No. 1 seeds since 1985,

when the tournament expanded to 64 teams.

Officials say that of 5.1 million brackets filled out on

CBSSports.com, just over 4 million – nearly 79 percent – picked

Kentucky to get to the Final Four. More than 43 percent picked the

Wildcats to win the title.

Oskar Garcia can be reached at http://twitter.com/oskargarcia

.