L.J. Cryer's Cougars are featured in the College Basketball National Championship Odds

2024 March Madness Odds: It’s UConn, Purdue and Houston, and Then Everyone Else

It’s getting crowded at the top—at least when it comes to college basketball national championship futures odds.

2023-24 College Basketball Championship Odds

Odds To Win College Basketball - National Champion 2023-24
Connecticut Huskies+500
Houston Cougars+650
Purdue Boilermakers+650
Arizona Wildcats+1200
Tennessee Volunteers+1200
Auburn Tigers+2000
Iowa State Cyclones+2000
North Carolina Tar Heels+2000
Kentucky Wildcats+2200
Marquette Golden Eagles+2200
Alabama Crimson Tide+2500
Duke Blue Devils+2500
Creighton Bluejays+2800
Kansas Jayhawks+2800
Baylor Bears+3300
Illinois Fighting Illini+3300
BYU Cougars+4000
Michigan State Spartans+5000
Wisconsin Badgers+5000
Saint Mary's-California Gaels+6600
South Carolina Gamecocks+6600
Florida Gators+7000
Gonzaga Bulldogs+8000
San Diego State Aztecs+8000
Washington State Cougars+8000
Cincinnati Bearcats+10000
Clemson Tigers+10000
Colorado State Rams+10000
Dayton Flyers+10000
Florida Atlantic Owls+10000
Mississippi State Bulldogs+10000
New Mexico Lobos+10000
TCU Horned Frogs+10000
Texas Longhorns+10000
Texas A&M Aggies+10000
Texas Tech Red Raiders+10000
Virginia Cavaliers+10000
Colorado Buffaloes+12500
Northwestern Wildcats+12500
Wake Forest Demon Deacons+12500
Boise State Broncos+15000
Kansas State Wildcats+15000
Mississippi - Ole Miss Rebels+15000
Nebraska Cornhuskers+15000
Nevada Wolf Pack+15000
Oklahoma Sooners+15000
Oregon Ducks+15000
Seton Hall Pirates+15000
St. John's Red Storm+15000
Utah Runnin' Utes+15000
Utah State Aggies+15000
Memphis Tigers+20000
New Mexico State Aggies+20000
Providence Friars+20000
Rutgers Scarlet Knights+20000
Stanford Cardinal+20000
UCLA Bruins+20000
Villanova Wildcats+20000
Arizona State Sun Devils+25000
Butler Bulldogs+25000
Iowa Hawkeyes+25000
Maryland Terrapins+25000
Miami Hurricanes+25000
Pittsburgh Panthers+25000
Virginia Tech Hokies+25000
Xavier Musketeers+25000
Arkansas Razorbacks+30000
Drake Bulldogs+30000
Florida State Seminoles+30000
Georgia Bulldogs+30000
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets+30000
Grand Canyon Antelopes+30000
Iona Gaels+30000
Louisville Cardinals+30000
Michigan Wolverines+30000
Missouri Tigers+30000
North Carolina State Wolfpack+30000
Notre Dame Fighting Irish+30000
Ohio State Buckeyes+30000
Penn State Nittany Lions+30000
Syracuse Orange+30000
USC Trojans+30000
Vanderbilt Commodores+30000
Washington Huskies+30000
West Virginia Mountaineers+30000
Indiana Hoosiers+40000
LSU Tigers+40000
Oklahoma State Cowboys+40000
Belmont Bruins+50000
California Golden Bears+50000
Charleston Southern Buccaneers+50000
Georgetown University Hoyas+50000
Hofstra Pride+50000
Kent State Golden Flashes+50000
Loyola-Chicago Ramblers+50000
Minnesota Golden Gophers+50000
North Texas Mean Green+50000
Oral Roberts Golden Eagles+50000
Oregon State Beavers+50000
Princeton Tigers+50000
Saint Louis Billikens+50000
Sam Houston State Bearkats+50000
San Francisco Dons+50000
Southeast Missouri State Redhawks+50000
Southern Methodist Mustangs+50000
St. Bonaventure Bonnies+50000
UAB Blazers+50000
UC Riverside Highlanders+50000
UC-Santa Barbara Gauchos+50000
VCU Rams+50000
Wichita State Shockers+50000
Wyoming Cowboys+50000
Boston College Eagles+75000
Colgate Raiders+75000
Fresno State Bulldogs+75000
Howard Bison+75000
Kennesaw State Owls+75000
Montana State Bobcats+75000
Murray State Racers+75000
Northern Kentucky Norse+75000
Richmond Spiders+75000
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders+75000
Youngstown State Penguins+75000
Bucknell Bison+100000
Davidson Wildcats+100000
Fairleigh Dickinson Knights+100000
Furman Paladins+100000
Saint Peter's Peacocks+100000
Texas Southern Tigers+100000
UNC Asheville Bulldogs+100000
Vermont Catamounts+100000
Yale Bulldogs+100000
Cal State-Fullerton Titans+999800
Chattanooga Mocs+999800
Cleveland State Vikings+999800
East Tennessee State Buccaneers+999800
Eastern Washington Eagles+999800
Abilene Christian Wildcats- -
Air Force Falcons- -
Akron Zips- -
Appalachian State Mountaineers- -
Ball State Cardinals- -
Bowling Green Falcons- -
Bradley Braves- -
Brown Bears- -
Bryant Bulldogs- -
Buffalo Bulls- -
Cal Baptist Lancers- -
Central Florida Knights- -
Central Michigan Chippewas- -
Charlotte 49ers- -
College of Charleston Cougars- -
Columbia Lions- -
Cornell Big Red- -
Dartmouth Big Green- -
DePaul Blue Demons- -
Detroit Titans- -
Drexel Dragons- -
Duquesne Dukes- -
East Carolina Pirates- -
Eastern Michigan Eagles- -
Evansville Aces- -
Fordham Rams- -
George Mason Patriots- -
George Washington Revolutionaries- -
Georgia Southern Eagles- -
Georgia State Panthers- -
Harvard Crimson- -
Hawaii Rainbow Warriors- -
Illinois State Redbirds- -
Indiana State Sycamores- -
Jacksonville State Gamecocks- -
James Madison Dukes- -
La Salle Explorers- -
Liberty Flames- -
Long Beach State- -
Longwood Lancers- -
Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns- -
Loyola Marymount Lions- -
Loyola-Maryland Greyhounds- -
Marshall Thundering Herd- -
Maryland-Eastern Shore Hawks- -
Miami-Ohio RedHawks- -
Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders- -
Missouri State Bears- -
Montana Grizzlies- -
Morehead State Eagles- -
Norfolk State Spartans- -
North Carolina A&T Aggies- -
North Dakota State Bison- -
North Florida Ospreys- -
Northern Colorado Bears- -
Northern Illinois Huskies- -
Northern Iowa Panthers- -
Oakland Golden Grizzlies- -
Ohio Bobcats- -
Old Dominion Monarchs- -
Pacific Tigers- -
Portland Pilots- -
Quinnipiac Bobcats- -
Radford Highlanders- -
Rhode Island Rams- -
Saint Joseph's Hawks- -
Samford Bulldogs- -
San Jose State Spartans- -
Santa Clara Broncos- -
Seattle Redhawks- -
Siena Saints- -
South Alabama Jaguars- -
South Dakota State Jackrabbits- -
South Florida Bulls- -
Southern Illinois Salukis- -
Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles- -
Southern Utah Thunderbirds- -
Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks- -
Temple Owls- -
Tennessee State Tigers- -
Texas State Bobcats- -
Texas-Arlington Mavericks- -
Toledo Rockets- -
Towson Tigers- -
Troy Trojans- -
Tulane Green Wave- -
Tulsa Golden Hurricane- -
UC Davis Aggies- -
UC Irvine Anteaters- -
UIC Flames- -
UMass Minutemen- -
UMass-Lowell River Hawks- -
UMBC Retrievers- -
UNC Greensboro Spartans- -
UNC Wilmington Seahawks- -
UNLV Runnin' Rebels- -
Utah Valley Wolverines- -
UTSA Roadrunners- -
Valparaiso Beacons- -
Weber State Wildcats- -
Western Illinois Leathernecks- -
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers- -
Western Michigan Broncos- -
Winthrop Eagles- -
Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panthers- -
Wright State Raiders- -

Odds as of March 5th, 2024 03:51am EST.

Purdue, the odds favorite to claim the 2024 March Madness title since the Boilermakers won the toughest Maui Invitational ever back in November, suddenly has company in the form of a certain defending national champion. Several sportsbooks now have Connecticut and Purdue tied atop the odds board, with Houston—No. 1 in just about every advanced statistical ranking you’ll find—breathing right down their necks.

Programs like Arizona, Marquette, Duke and Kansas, which you found near the top of the NCAA tournament odds field in January, have slid down the board. The opening week of February sees Purdue, UConn and Houston bunched together as the only three teams currently sporting triple-digit championship moneyline odds. And time is growing short, with Selection Sunday now a mere five weeks away.

It’s easy to see why bookmakers are favoring that lead trio over everyone else. Purdue has played the toughest schedule in the country so far (according to KenPom.com) and the Boilers and UConn each own eight Quad 1 wins (according to the NCAA’s NET rankings), most in the country to date. Houston is No. 1 in both of those indices, as well as the analytical site BartTorvik.com, due to the Cougars’ unparalleled defensive efficiency and the fact that Kelvin Sampson’s team has zero bad losses on the season so far.

All those qualities matter in March—to advance deep in the NCAA tournament, you have to play great defense, have to be able to beat quality opponents, and have to avoid being bounced out by lesser teams. Clearly, bookmakers believe that Purdue, Connecticut and Houston possess more of those traits right now than anybody else. Next month, we’ll see if they’re right.

February 2024 College Basketball Title Favorites

Connecticut, +800: The Huskies have knotted Purdue atop the futures odds board on the strength of a winning streak that as of Wednesday had extended to 11 games, and was likely to reach at least 13 with Big East bottom-feeders Georgetown and DePaul on deck. UConn has five double-digit scorers, serious offensive threats both in the post and on the perimeter, and a battle-tested, veteran lineup that will be tough to knock out in March. 

Purdue, +800: With every passing week, Purdue center Zach Edey looks more and more like a lock to become the first two-time Wooden Award winner since Ralph Sampson in the early 1980s. The big man is surrounded by three very capable guards who are all double-figure scorers and shooting over 40% from the 3-point arc. After last season’s first-round flame-out, there will be a ton of pressure on the Boilers this March—how they handle it will determine how far they can go.

Houston, +900: The Cougars have just one player averaging more than 15 points per game, and as a team they’re shooting 43% from the field. But you don’t need a lot of scorers when you have the nation’s best defense, limiting opponents to an average of 54 points per game. That defense will travel very well in March, but someone still has to prove they can hit big shots under pressure if the darlings of the analytical crowd are to win the title for the first time.

National Championship Long Shots

Duke, +3000: The Blue Devils were the No. 2 odds favorite in the preseason, and among the top 10 teams on the futures board as recently last month. A team with three returning starters and a fantastic freshman class has underperformed, with Tyrese Proctor and Jared McClain struggling to get things going on the offensive end, and a defense that’s shown serious lapses. The talent is there, though, if Duke can patch things up over the next month.

Marquette, +3000: The Golden Eagles have been grinding out wins in a tough Big East behind a star guard in Tyler Kolek and a good-but-not-great supporting cast. Kolek at times can be spectacular—he scored 32 last week to carry Marquette past Villanova—and fits the mold of the kind of guard who can carry his team a long way in the tournament. Someone else needs to step up, though, if this team is to truly break through in Match.

Illinois, +3500: The Illini feel a little undervalued, given that two of their losses came when star guard Terrence Shannon Jr. was suspended. Forward Marcus Domask has evolved into a legitimate scoring threat himself, and this is a deep team with seven players getting serious minutes. The knock is that Illinois thus far has lost to most of the great teams it’s played—like Purdue, Marquette and Tennessee—a fact that must change if the Illini are to get beyond the tournament’s opening weekend.

Final Four Long Shots

Michigan State, +1200: Hey, are you going to doubt Tom Izzo in NCAA tournament? This is, after all, a guy who in 2015 went to the Final Four with a No. 7 seed—right where ESPN currently projects the Spartans to be slotted this time around. Is this a great team? No. Does Michigan State have a great player in guard Tyson Walker who can put the Spartans on his back? Absolutely. Michigan State also now feels safely in the Big Dance field after recovering from its rough start.

South Carolina +2300: This year’s Final Four is in Glendale, Ariz., right where it was in 2017—when the Gamecocks crashed the party and reached the promised land for the first time. No coincidence, then, that South Carolina is enjoying its best season since then? Lamont Paris has a selfless, confident bunch that can fill it up from 3 and lock down on defense, a combination that wins games no matter the time of year. Ask Kentucky and Tennessee about that.

Virginia, +3300: That Virginia system still works, and can at times be devastatingly effectively—just ask Miami, whom the Cavaliers held to 38 points last week. Virginia entering this week had won seven straight against a weak ACC schedule, with games against North Carolina and Duke still to come. There’s nobody on this team that scares you offensively. But the Cavs remain very tough to beat when they play defense and control

Mid-Majors That Could Crash the Final Four

Florida Atlantic, +1700: While other promising mid-majors have waxed and waned (hello, James Madison), the Owls remain a fixture in the Top 25. The talent is there, with three starters back from last year’s Final Four team. Head-scratching road losses against the likes of Charlotte and Florida Gulf Coast are the result of FAU being everyone’s biggest game of the year. But on a neutral court, like the one on which FAU beat Arizona earlier this season? Watch out.

New Mexico, +1800: So much great basketball DNA at work here: the Lobos’ two best players are the son of Jamal Mashburn and the nephew of Mike Bibby, while the coach is the son of Rick Pitino. No wonder New Mexico as of Wednesday had won six of seven and stood at the top of a loaded Mountain West. With four double-digit scorers and a nine-man rotation, there’s a lot to work with—if the Lobos can keep it up on the game’s biggest stage.

Dayton, +2000: Is this the team that makes up for 2020, when a Dayton team that was a legit Final Four contender had its NCAA tournament hopes wiped out by Covid-19? While that might be asking a lot, these Flyers are very good, with wins in 16 of their last 17 as of Wednesday. Forward DaRon Holmes, averaging 19.7 points and 7.6 rebounds per game, is a legit star. Nobody would be surprised to see this Dayton team playing very deep into March.

Last 10 College Basketball National Champions

Last 10 March madness Winners
YearTeamPreseason Odds
2023UConn+8000 (28)
2022Kansas+1400 (7)
2021Baylor+800 (1)
2019Virginia+1350 (6)
2018Villanova+2700 (7)
2017North Carolina+1900 (8)
2016Villanova+2500 (10)
2015Duke+900 (4)
2014UConn+6500 (14)
2013Louisville+700 (2)

With their 2023 March Madness win, UConn joins the Villanova Wildcats as the only two-time champion in the last ten years. Coincidentally, the Huskies have the longest odds to win a championship on this list. In 2014, they had the 14th-longest odds at +6500 and this year they had the 28th-longest odds at +8000. As you know, they won both times, so disrespect UConn at your peril.

NCAA Basketball Teams with the Most Titles

NCAA Titles by School
School# Championships WonYears
UCLA111964, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1995
Kentucky81948, 1949, 1951, 1958, 1978, 1996, 1998, 2012
North Carolina61957, 1982, 1993, 2005, 2009, 2017
Duke51991, 1992, 2001, 2010, 2015
Indiana51940, 1953, 1976, 1981, 1987
UConn51999, 2004, 2011, 2014, 2023
Kansas41952, 1988, 2008, 2022
Villanova31985, 2016, 2018

Holding the league record for March Madness titles and longest win streak (seven years), the UCLA Bruins are the clearcut college ball champion. I mean, the John R. Wooden Award for Player of the Year is named after their head coach during that insane streak – what more of a legacy could you ask for?

Trailing UCLA are the Kentucky Wildcats and UNC’s Tar Heels with an impressive eight and six titles respectively – this year, UCLA is further down the odds list than either of these teams. It’ll be a few years before they can be dethroned, but there are undoubtedly expectations for UCLA to keep producing and earn their first title since 1995.

March Madness Betting Trends

Finding trends and patterns in bets is our specialty -- if you want to be a great handicapper, it should be yours too! We've come to know the NCAA's National Championship as a chaotic and exciting event where anyone can walk away with a title, but that doesn't mean there aren't a few trends to keep your eye on. Before placing a March Madness futures wager, check out these betting trends:

  • Conference-wise, the Big East has been on a bit of a tear, claiming 4/10 of the last NCAA titles -- the ACC isn't far behind at three in the last ten, and a Big 12 team has won in the previous two-straight years.
  • In the last three years, 12th seeds have had the 5th seeds' number in the first round -- they're 6-6 on the moneyline and 8-4 against the spread.
  • Underdogs perform well in the first round, plain and simple. They're 122-97-2 ATS since 2015, and almost half of those teams finished those games with a straight-up win.
  • Fading the public holds true in March Madness -- since 2016, teams that held 60% of spread bets have ended up going a cumulative 56-80-5 ATS.

How to Bet on March Madness

Betting on March Madness has become increasingly popular for even the most casual of college ball fans. The most common option for the tournament is selecting the overall winner by making a March Madness futures bet – nice and simple, all you have to do is pick the correct 1/68. Easy, right? There are other options for futures too, like selecting the Final Four or individual conference winners.

Of course, when the actual tournament is going on, it’ll be a free-for-all just like the regular season. Each game will have its moneylines, spreads, totals and props – if you need a refresher on how to bet on college basketball, take a look at our guide and review a few key handicapping tools like NCAAB computer picks and public consensus data.

Where to bet on the March Madness

March Madness and betting are synonymous with each other – even your coworkers and elderly neighbors have some sort of pool going to predict the winner. Because of that popularity, you’ll find March Madness odds and matchups available on any major sportsbook under the NCAAB section.

If you need any advice on what to look for in a college basketball betting site, check out our sportsbook reviews for sites that offer NCAAB action!

Understanding The Odds To Win The NCAA Championship

If you’re interested in March Madness futures, you’re likely looking to bet on the outright winner of the tournament. Like the odds table at the top of the page, odds will usually look like this:

  • Gonzaga +200
  • Baylor +750
  • Kansas +1000
  • UCLA +2500

These odds tell you the likelihood and corresponding payout of one of these teams winning a national championship. Unlike a moneyline bet, where there is a clear favorite represented by a minus sign (-), the team with the lowest odds would be the favorite. In our example, it’s Gonzaga, and the rest are underdogs even though each team has a plus sign (+) prefacing its odds.

If you were to bet $100 on the Gonzaga Bulldogs and they won, your sportsbook would reward you with $200 in profit for a $300 total win. Betting on a long-shot winner like UCLA at +2500 would earn you $2500 on that same bet – the profits are much higher the further you go down the table, but so is the risk.

To see how much you’d win on the futures odds, check out our Odds Calculator. It’ll show you what your payout would be based on the odds and amount wagered. Don’t forget you can also make selections on which teams will make the Final Four, who will win each conference, and which player will take home the John R. Wooden Award for Player of the Year in the regular season.

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