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August 10, 2022

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Las Vegas sports books: Kansas the favorite to win title

Jayhawks listed at 5-to-2 odds, while Rebels are 300-to-1


Steve Marcus / file photo

Bettors take in a day of action at the Las Vegas Hilton SuperBook. The Hilton lists Kansas as the favorite to win the NCAA Tournament at 5-to-2.

Rebels Head to the NCAA Tournament

For the first time in 10 years, UNLV received an at-large berth into the NCAA tournament, drawing the 8-seed in the Midwest Region. The Rebels will face 9-seed Northern Iowa in Oklahoma City at 4:10 p.m. on Thursday.

Selection Sunday didn't accomplish much in shaking up the top of the list of the odds to win the national championship.

As they have virtually all season, Las Vegas sports books posted Kansas as the favorite to win the 2010 NCAA Championship. The Las Vegas Hilton SuperBook listed Kansas's odds at 5-to-2 to win the national championship.

"They've been the most consistent and best team all year," SuperBook Executive Director Jay Kornegay said. "It looks like they have all the tools to do it."

Followed closely behind Kansas are the other No. 1 seeds: Kentucky at 7-to-2 and both Syracuse and Duke at 8-to-1.

This means, of course, that UNLV could face off against the favorite to win the whole tournament in the second round. The winner of the No. 8 UNLV vs. No. 9 Northern Iowa game will take on the winner of No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 16 Lehigh.

"Obviously, it's a very tough draw," said Jay Rood, MGM Mirage sports book director. "The first-round game is a very tough game for them. Northern Iowa, maybe a lot of people don't know about them, but everyone in our business knows about them."

"And to maybe have to go up against Kansas, it's going to be a tall order for them to get to the regional."

The Hilton actually offers Northern Iowa at better odds to win the title than UNLV. The Golden Panthers are 200-to-1, while the Rebels are 300-to-1.

"I think there could have been a worse-case scenario," Kornegay said. "I can definitely think of some teams UNLV would match up worse against."

Not surprisingly, New Mexico comes in as the Mountain West Conference team that sports books are most confident in.

The Lobos are the No. 3 seed in the eastern regional — where Kentucky is the No. 1 and West Virginia is the No. 2 — and listed at 60-to-1 to win the national championship.

The Hilton offers San Diego State, which grabbed a No. 11 seed and will play No. 6 Tennessee in the first round, at 300-to-1.

BYU, a No. 7 seed and playing No. 10 Florida in the first round, comes in at 100-to-1.

"I just really hope that one of the Mountain West teams carries the flag well and represents," Kornegay said. "It would be nice for one of them to make a run into the second weekend."

Much like North Carolina last year, sports books posted Kansas as the favorite to win the national championship at the beginning of the year.

The Jayhawks, who went 32-2 and won the Big 12 Conference, haven't done much to dispute oddsmakers' original prices. No one is too surprised.

"Programs like Kansas are pretty steady and consistent," Rood said. "It's not odd if you see a program like that as the favorite all year."

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