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UConn a historic favorite before Final Four

Bookmakers’ confidence in the UConn Huskies is about as high as it can be heading into the Final Four.

Two wins away from a second straight national championship, Dan Hurley’s club moved into rare territory as a -190 favorite at BetMGM Sportsbook to cut down the nets on April 8.

Only the 2021 Gonzaga Bulldogs, who were -200 heading into the Final Four before losing to the Baylor Bears in the national championship game, had better odds than the Huskies at this point in the tournament since 2000, according to Sports Odds History.

Only seven teams since 1984 have had odds above -190, according to SOH.

UConn opened as a +425 favorite to win the tournament when the bracket was released in mid-March, and they did not disappoint.

The defending champions dominated four games, winning each game by at least 17 points, including a 25-point victory over No. 3 Illinois in the Elite Eight.

UConn head coach Dan Hurley tosses the net in celebration after making the final cut. UConn defeated Illinois at TD Garden in the NCAA Eastern Regional final. Boston Globe via Getty Images

The Huskies are currently a huge 12-point favorite (DraftKings Sportsbook) against the No. 4 Alabama Crimson Tide.

If UConn closes at that number, it would be tied as the third favorite in the last 50 Final Four years, according to Action Network.

This season’s dominant run follows one of the most improbable national championship titles in recent college basketball history.

UConn, which entered the 2023 tournament at +1800 to win it all, became the eighth biggest shot by far to win the national championship since 1975.

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The Huskies are looking to become the first team to win back-to-back national titles since the Florida Gators won it in 2006-07 and only the third team in the last five decades.

The Purdue Boilermakers, who are +210 to win the title, are considered by BetMGM bettors to be the Huskies’ biggest competition, followed by long-shots the NC State Wolfpack (+1600) and Alabama (+1800) .

New York Post

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