What a difference a very good game — and a very good player — make when you’re talking about the Las Vegas oddsmakers.
Earlier this month, Arizona was a 50-to-1 shot to win the NCAA men’s basketball championship. Just about five days ago, Arizona was anywhere from 28-1 to lower 30s-to-1 when it came to winning the title.
Saturday’s huge 96-85 win over UCLA in Pauley Pavilion has raised the bar and lowered the odds — Arizona is now 8-1 to win the title.
For example, if you bet $1 you’d profit $8. Other 8-1 teams include Duke and Kansas. UCLA is 5-1, with Kentucky being the favorite at 4-1.
Since Arizona’s big win, which keeps it atop the Pac-12 standings at 7-0, national media types have said UA is now in the conversation of a Final Four appearance. Adding to the intrigue is the Final Four is in Glendale on April 1-3.
Twitter was all over that on Saturday and it was mentioned again on college basketball shows on Sunday.
The return of Allonzo Trier, who had been out with a PED suspension until Friday, has helped UA gain added respect. He enhances Sean Miller’s rotation with a player who averaged 14.8 points per game last season.
The odds change all the time and will likely be even lower as UA continues to work on its 12-game winning streak. Of course, that’s just a guess.