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2020 NCAA Basketball National Championship Odds: Spartans Pegged To Win It All

NCAA Basketball Championship Odds to Win August 23, 2019

The insanity of March Madness and NCAA Basketball takes over all of us. School is nearly in session and athletes have committed to their respective college programs so it’s time to look at which team has the best odds to cut down the nets at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. According to oddsmakers, the Michigan State Spartans are the likeliest to do it.

Online sportsbook Bovada has the Spartans as +650 favorites to win the 2020 NCAA championship, which would be their third national championship in school history.

Following the Spartans are the Kentucky Wildcats (+750), Duke Blue Devils (+850), Memphis Tigers (+1000), Kansas Jayhawks (+1000), Virginia Cavaliers (+1100), North Carolina Tar Heels (+1400), Louisville Cardinals (+1600), Florida Gators (+1600) and Villanova Wildcats (+2000) to round out the top 10 on the oddsboard.

Let’s take a way-too-early deep dive on the top contenders and some long shots to win the NCAA championship:

Why Is Michigan State the Favorite?

There are three reasons why the Michigan State Spartans are the early favorite to win the 2020 NCAA championship: they return three starters from their squad that went to the Final Four in 2019, they have an All-American point guard in Cassius Winston and they have a top-three coach in college hoops in Tom Izzo.

They will be a force in the Big Ten as most of their rivals like Michigan, Purdue, Indiana and Wisconsin all took a step back this season with none of those teams nabbing a five-star recruit and all of them losing some seniors that should limit the experience on the big stage.

However, the same could possibly be said about the Spartans. This is the first time in four years that they didn’t bring in a five-star recruit to their campus and they lost two seniors in Nick Ward and Matt McQuaid, who were crucial pieces during the Final Four run, to graduation.

I’m not sold that Michigan State can win its first national championship since 2001 and at the odds of +650, it would be a waste of money to bet the Spartans before the season starts.

One-And-Done Schools Look Weaker Than Usual

The three teams that are usually the most likely to get the top basketball recruits every year are the Duke Blue Devils, North Carolina Tar Heels and Kansas Jayhawks. These teams routinely are pipelines for prospective NBA players, who have to go through the archaic system of playing one year of college basketball to be eligible for the NBA draft.

But this year’s incoming class isn’t as strong as last year’s and the game-changing players who can carry a program to the national championship may not have gone to the blue bloods. Duke was able to get the top three incoming recruits in 2018 in Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett and Cam Reddish but they had to settle with PF/C Vernon Carey and forward Matthew Hurt for this upcoming season. They will still keep the Blue Devils respectable in the ACC but Duke likely can’t be counted on to win the title at +850.

North Carolina got its next point guard in Cole Anthony, who should be a top-five pick in the NBA draft and replace the loss of PG Coby White. The Tar Heels should still be a force as they only lost White and Cam Johnson and replaced them with Anthony and another five-star recruit in Armando Bacot. The Heels’ odds at +1400 make them very intriguing and I expect those odds to drop once we get closer to conference play.

The Kansas Jayhawks may have failed to win the Big 12 for the first time since 2003-04 but they’re returning the majority of their roster and got a few four-star recruits to stabilize the team. The Jayhawks were an awful road team last season and lost seven of their last 10 road games to finish the season. I wouldn’t personally bet on them to win the national championship at +1000 but I can understand why bettors would think the Jayhawks are primed to rebound.

My Two Fave Picks To Win The National Title

The two teams that I think have the best chance to win the NCAA championship while also offering decent value are the Memphis Tigers (+1000) and Oregon Ducks (+2500).

Memphis has been on an upward swing ever since Penny Hardaway took over as head coach and his recruiting has nabbed him two five-star recruits in James Wiseman and Precious Achiuwa and a plethora of four-star recruits to round out the roster. The Tigers had the top recruiting class in the nation and that typically puts schools in the best position to go far in the tournament.

Not to be outdone, Oregon also got two five-star recruits in CJ Walker and N’Faly Dante and look poised to dominate the Pac-12. The Ducks made it to the Sweet 16 last March and almost knocked off the eventual champion Virginia Cavaliers. A steady point guard in Payton Pritchard, incoming transfers and high-end recruits make me think the Ducks will at least make the Final Four in 2019.

2019-20 College Basketball Champion Odds
Michigan State+650
Memphis +1000
North Carolina+1400
Texas Tech+2800
Mississippi State+5000
Florida State+5000
Ohio State +5500
Seton Hall+5500
Iowa +6600
Iowa State+8000
Arizona State+10000
Ole Miss+10000
Texas A&M+10000
West Virginia+10000

Odds as of August 23 at  Bovada