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The Dagger: College Basketball Blog

According to Vegas oddsmakers, an Ohio State-Kentucky title game the odds-on call for next Monday

Ryan Greene
The Dagger

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Kansas handled short-handed Ohio State in December. Vegas doesn't think they can do it again with Jared Sullinger …

It didn't take long for Las Vegas oddsmakers to make their predictions on who will meet in next Monday's national title game.

Within 30 minutes of the field being set with Kansas taking the last spot, they spoke: The odds are on an Ohio State-Kentucky championship tilt.

Around Vegas, according to VegasInsider.com, Kentucky is floating anywhere between being an 8.5- or 9-point favorite in next Saturday's first semifinal in New Orleans.

When the two first met in Lexington back on Dec. 31, Kentucky closed as a 10-point favorite, but Louisville covered that spread in a 69-62 loss. The over/under in that one was 138, and the number is right around there for the rematch. That non-cover for the Wildcats came during a 14-game stretch between Nov. 20 and Jan. 14 when they went 1-13 against the spread.

[Dan Wetzel: Coaches' stakes flip in Kentucky-Louisville Final Four showdown]

With a 13-point victory over Baylor in the Elite Eight on Sunday as an 8-point favorite, Kentucky covered the spread for the third straight game. It also marked its fifth straight game going over the total. As for Louisville, by coming from behind on Saturday to take down Florida, the Cards covered the spread for the eighth time in a row.

In the nightcap, Ohio State, arguably the hottest team in the field behind Kentucky, is anywhere from a 2.5- to 3-point favorite, with an over/under right now solidly at 136.5.

Kansas is 2-2 against the spread so far in the NCAA tourney this year, and is just 4-7 in its last 11 games, winning plenty of their games by simply grinding them out. Meanwhile, Ohio State is 3-1 in the NCAA tournament against the number, with 10 of their last 11 games overall having gone over the total.

The two played back on Dec. 10 in Lawrence, Kan., where Kansas became a 1-point favorite late due to Buckeye star Jared Sullinger missing the game with an injury. Kansas won that one going away with a late flurry, 78-67.

[Pat Forde: Bill Self outcoaches Roy Williams and lifts Kansas into Final Four]

Will Kentucky handle Louisville again? Will Ohio State at full strength and on a roll overwhelm Kansas?

Maybe, maybe not. But that's what Vegas expects.

Ryan Greene also covers UNLV and the Mountain West Conference for RunRebs.com. Follow him on Twitter at @ryanmgreene.

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