English
Odds Shark Top Sportsbooks
*Terms and Conditions apply to all bonus offers on this website. Visit operator for details.

2020 March Madness Odds: Super Early Look into the Future

College Basketball National Championship Odds

As one season closes, another is set to begin in a mere six months and it’s never too early to place a futures bet on who you think will be the team cutting down the nets at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta next April. The Virginia Cavaliers claimed the 2019 title, their first in school history, but they sit third on the oddsboard, two spots behind the Kentucky Wildcats, who are the +500 favorite.

BetOnline has Kentucky as the favorite to win the 2020 college hoops championship at +500 followed by Duke at +600, Virginia at +650, Michigan State at +800, and Michigan and North Carolina at +1200 to round out the top teams on the oddsboard.

Tread Lightly with Kentucky

Kentucky had a successful 2018-19 campaign, putting together a 30-7 record en route to an Elite Eight berth before falling to Auburn in overtime. No doubt head coach John Calipari will have the Wildcats playing at a high level, but he will have to enter the season with quite a different look. Four of Kentucky’s starting five are likely to graduate or be drafted into the NBA as Reid Travis is a senior and P.J. Washington, Keldon Johnson and Tyler Herro will likely be going pro.

All is not lost, though, as the Wildcats have already done a good job recruiting for the upcoming season, securing two 2019 McDonald’s All-Americans, shooting guard Tyrese Maxey and small forward Khalil Whitney. I expect sophomores Immanuel Quickley and E.J. Montgomery to lead the charge and will work well with the incoming freshmen. With their new look, I would be hesitant to lay a wager on this club at +500 at this point.

Kansas Could be Well-Balanced and Experienced

Kansas had a very interesting 2018-19, showing flashes of brilliance and being ranked in the top five in the AP poll for eight weeks, including two weeks in the top spot. Overall, the Jayhawks finished the year with a 26-10 record, falling to Auburn in the Round of 32. Kansas was a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde team when it came to home and away splits, going a perfect 16-0 at Allen Fieldhouse but just 3-8 in true road games – very confusing results.

The Jayhawks had to battle through injuries, losing guard Lagerald Vick for the season in early February. He’s a senior and won’t be back next year. Additionally, junior center Udoka Azubuike played just nine games in 2018-19. But Kansas, despite those big holes in the frontcourt and backcourt, still had a Round of 32 appearance. The Jayhawks should be feisty this upcoming season as I don’t expect Azubuike to be drafted and Vick will be their only loss, so odds of +2000 provide decent value.

Auburn Providing Best Value

Head coach Bruce Pearl has to be proud of the effort his team put in this past season, going 30-10, including winning the SEC tournament and falling only to eventual national champion Virginia 63-62 in the Final Four. The team had four seniors, including guard Bryce Brown, who led the team with 15.9 points per game.

However, the core of the team should return for the 2019-20 season, most notably Jared Harper and Chuma Okeke, who combined for 27.3 ppg. Harper led the team with 5.8 assists per game, while Okeke was the team leader with 6.8 rebounds per game. In addition, Pearl has recruited five players who have signed letters of intent, including small forward Isaac Okoro,who is the 37th-ranked recruit. I think this team is going to cause waves again and +3300 could be a steal as we near March next year.

Here’s a look at the full list of odds for the 2020 college hoops championship:

2019-20 College BASKETBALL Champion Odds
TeamOdds
Kentucky+500
Duke+600
Virginia+650
Michigan State+800
Michigan+1200
North Carolina+1200
Gonzaga+1400
Villanova+1600
Kansas+2000
Oregon+2200
Arizona+2500
Louisville+3300
Auburn+3300
Mississippi State+3300
Tennessee+3300
Texas+3300
Texas Tech+3300
Florida State+6600
Wisconsin+6600
UCLA+10000
USC+10000

Odds as of April 9 at BetOnline

We are on to the final weekend of the college hoops schedule and we have cut our 64-team field down to four with the national championship game approaching quickly. North Carolina’s loss in the Sweet 16 was a sign of things to come as top seeds Duke and Gonzaga fell in the Elite Eight, and Virginia – the only No. 1 seed remaining – is a +150 favorite to win the title.

Bovada has Virginia as the favorite at +150 followed by Michigan State at +185, Texas Tech at +425 and Auburn at +600 to round out the Final Four on the oddsboard.

Can Auburn Continue to Run the Gauntlet?

The Auburn Tigers continue to make waves in this year’s March Madness, being the lowest-seeded squad remaining in the Final Four as a No. 5 seed in the Midwest Region. Auburn took out some heavy hitters en route to its national semifinal berth, knocking off No. 4 Kansas, No. 1 North Carolina and No. 2 Kentucky.

All wasn’t sunshine and rainbows for the Tigers, though, as in their triumph over North Carolina they lost sophomore forward Chuma Okeke for the season with a knee injury. Okeke was third on the team in scoring and first in rebounding. Auburn is now set to take on its toughest defense of the season and the now-favorite to win the national championship, Virginia. The Tigers continue to overachieve and exceed expectations and they have the worst odds at +600 to win it all. Perhaps they can continue to relish the underdog conditions.

Will Virginia Defend Its Way to a Title?

All season long, cracking the Cavaliers’ defensive unit has been a difficult task to accomplish that only two teams were able to do. Virginia was topped twice by Duke in the regular season and once by Florida State in an ACC tournament semifinal for its only three defeats in the 2018-19 campaign. The Cavaliers lead the nation with just 55.4 points allowed per game and in March Madness, only Purdue has scored north of 60 points against Virginia, pouring in 75 in their Elite Eight matchup.

Virginia’s offense isn’t carrying the torch by any means, scoring an average of 71.3 ppg, so the Cavaliers will need to rely on that stout defense to win a national title. The Cavs will have to figure out a way to slow down the high-flying Auburn Tigers, who are on a quest of running through a murderers’ row of competition. As the lone No. 1 seed remaining, it’s no surprise to see Virginia as the favorite but its so-so offense scares me.

Is Michigan State’s Experience the Difference maker?

The team that everyone had pegged as the 2019 national champions from the outset of the season was the Duke Blue Devils, but Michigan State had different plans. The Spartans edged the Blue Devils 68-67 in the Elite Eight and are now appearing in their first Final Four since 2014-15. I was completely shocked when Michigan State was not awarded a No. 1 seed in this year’s March Madness and the team has lived up to my expectations, looking very impressive on its way to the national semifinal.

The Spartans are making their 10th Final Four appearance in school history, the most of any of the remaining teams. Virginia is making its third appearance, while Texas Tech and Auburn are both in the Final Four for the first time. Head coach Tom Izzo has been there time and time again and he will have this squad performing at its top level. I think Michigan State is the best bet at +185.

Here’s a look at the full odds for the 2019 college hoops national championship:

2018-19 College BASKETBALL Champion Odds
TeamOdds
Virginia+150
Michigan State+185
Texas Tech+425
Auburn+600

The national championship game is on the horizon as we have whittled the 64-team field down to eight, with just six games remaining before we know who will be competing for this year’s title. In the Sweet 16, we saw one of the four No. 1 seeds fall as UNC was toppled by Auburn 97-80. However, as it has been all season, Duke remains the favorite at +275 to win it all.

Bovada has Duke as the favorite at +275 followed by Virginia at +325, Gonzaga at +375, Michigan State at +700 and Kentucky at +800 to round out the top five teams on the oddsboard.

Gonzaga has silenced the Haters

All season long, I have been having my difficulties getting a full read when asking myself: Just how good is Gonzaga? It had a remarkable regular season, not losing a single WCC conference game until it fell to Saint Mary’s in the WCC tournament final, and has an early-season triumph over the consensus top team in the nation, the Duke Blue Devils.

However, the WCC isn’t exactly a powerhouse so was it just that the Bulldogs were head and shoulders a much better team in a weak conference, or are they a national championship contender? Well, through the first three rounds of March Madness, Gonzaga has been absolutely dominant with an average winning margin of 21.33. It appears the Bulldogs are on a collision course with Duke to advance to the national championship and already have one victory over the Blue Devils this season. At +375, the Bulldogs may be worth a wager.

Virginia’s defense continues to confuse its opponents

The Cavaliers have made their way to the Elite Eight and have done so seemingly at ease. The most points they have allowed so far is 56, in their Round of 64 matchup with Gardner-Webb. Virginia then limited Oklahoma to 51 points and held Oregon to 49 in their Sweet 16 matchup. Virginia surrendered the fewest ppg in the nation this season at just 54.8 and the Cavaliers are extremely dangerous from beyond the arc, hitting 39.6 percent from three-point range.

With North Carolina falling in the Sweet 16 to Auburn, I think the Cavs have a favorable path to the national championship game. Further down the road, though, could be another dance with Duke, which edged Virginia twice in the regular season, at home and on the road. I see a way that Virginia can be in the title game, so odds of +325 are far better than what it will have in that championship game alone.

Can Auburn battle through a crucial injury?

The Tigers busted a lot of brackets on Friday night in the Sweet 16 with their dominant 97-80 victory over North Carolina. However, they suffered a big loss in the victory as well, with sophomore forward Chuma Okeke going down with an injury to his left knee that appears to be season-ending. Okeke was third on the team in scoring and led the squad in rebounds.

Auburn had difficulties stopping teams inside the arc this year, ranking 219th in opponent two-point percentage, and without Okeke, I’m expecting that number to rise. All this being said, the Tigers still have two tremendous shooters in Jared Harper and Bryce Brown who can keep this team alive with their elite-level three-point marksmanship. There’s a reason Auburn has the worst odds of the remaining eight teams at +1800, but it has been counted out before this year and continues to wreak havoc.

Here’s a look at the full list of odds for the 2019 college hoops national championship:

2018-19 College BASKETBALL Champion Odds
TeamOdds
Duke+275
Virginia+325
Gonzaga+375
Michigan State+700
Kentucky+800
Purdue+1100
Texas Tech+1300
Auburn+1800

As we approach the second-last weekend of the college hoops schedule, there remain just 16 teams vying for the opportunity to cut down the net on April 8 in Minneapolis. If you stuck with the top-three seeds in your bracket, then you are sitting pretty, but here’s when the fun starts! Similarly, your futures bets are still alive if you followed the strategy and as it has been all season, the Duke Blue Devils are still the favorites at +300.

Bovada has Duke as the top team at +300 followed by Virginia at +425, Gonzaga at +450, North Carolina at +600 and Michigan State at +1000 to round out the top five teams on the oddsboard.

Do the Ducks have another win in them?

The Cinderella story of the tournament thus far and the only team in the Sweet 16 that was not seeded in the top 10 is the Oregon Ducks. The No. 12 Ducks are creating havoc in the South Region, topping No. 5 Wisconsin in the Round of 64, followed by a 73-54 drubbing of No. 13 UC-Irvine in the Round of 32.

There were high hopes for Oregon at the outset of the season as the team earned the No. 14 rank in the AP poll in the preseason rankings. However, a season-ending injury to star player Bol Bol left the Ducks in limbo. They’ve figured it out recently, though, going 10-0 SU and ATS through their last 10 games, including the first two in the national tournament.

Oregon now tips off against the Virginia Cavaliers, the No. 1 seed in the South Region, who have looked less than stellar in their first two contests in March Madness. The Ducks are peaking at the right time and if they can figure out the defensive puzzle of Virginia, then a +7000 wager for a one-in-eight chance of winning the college hoops crown isn’t a bad play.

Was Duke’s Round of 32 Scare a Sign of Things to come?

All season I have been warning about the high risk and low reward of wagering on Duke as low as +170, since any hiccup and that bet is toast. Well, that nearly came to fruition on Sunday as the Blue Devils needed to mount a last-minute comeback to sneak past the UCF Knights, earning the narrow 77-76 triumph.

Duke has a grueling schedule that lies ahead, with Virginia Tech coming in the Sweet 16, either LSU or Michigan State in the Elite Eight, and potential rematches with Gonzaga and North Carolina in the Final Four and in the final. I think oddsmakers understand this risk and have adjusted the Blue Devils’ odds accordingly as they are now +300 to win it all. I still think they are overvalued, but they have shown a great ability to overcome adversity.

North Carolina has Rolled the First Two Rounds

Since falling 69-61 on its home court to Virginia on February 11, North Carolina has gone 10-1 SU and 8-3 ATS, with its only defeat coming in the ACC tournament semifinal against Duke in a 74-73 nail-biter. Through the first two rounds of March Madness, UNC had a somewhat close battle with Iona but pulled away in the second half en route to an 88-73 triumph and followed that up with a dominant 81-59 performance vs Washington.

The Tar Heels are a well-rounded squad that has the ability to score with the best of them and showed in their game against Washington the ability to clamp down defensively as well. I think North Carolina is the cream of the crop in the Midwest Region and should advance to the Final Four where a rematch against Virginia may be on the horizon. I find it surprising that North Carolina has the worst odds of the four No. 1 seeds – I think the Heels are the best bet at +600.

Here’s a look at the entire list of odds for the 2019 college hoops March Madness:

2018-19 College BASKETBALL Champion Odds
TeamOdds
Duke+300
Virginia+425
Gonzaga+450
North Carolina+600
Michigan State+1000
Kentucky+1200
Michigan+1500
Tennessee+1600
Purdue+2000
Texas Tech+2200
Auburn+2800
Houston+3000
Virginia Tech+3500
Florida State+4000
LSU+5000
Oregon+7000

What a whirlwind the first two days of March Madness have been. Through the Round of 64 we have seen a dozen upsets, including three No. 12 seeds toppling 5 seeds and even a No. 13 seed edging a 4 seed. That being said, all the 1, 2 and 3 seeds advanced, including the favorite to win it all, the Duke Blue Devils at +250.

Bovada has Duke at +250 followed by Gonzaga and Virginia at +550, North Carolina at +700 and Kentucky at +1200 to round out the top five teams on the oddsboard.

Should you be concerned about the Cavs?

Just over a week ago, Virginia entered the ACC tournament as the top seed and was knocked out in the semifinal vs Florida State. The Cavs still earned a No. 1 seed in the South Region and began their tournament against Gardner-Webb. Old demons arose a year after Virginia was the first-ever No. 1 seed to lose to a No. 16 seed and the Cavaliers found themselves trailing the Runnin’ Bulldogs by six points at the half. All was good in the end, though, as they out-hooped the Bulldogs 41-20 in the second half to punch their ticket into the Round of 32.

Now, a slow start against a 16 seed isn’t the end of the world as overall the Cavaliers were a better team offensively and defensively. However, if they start slowly against a tougher team down the stretch, they may not be as fortunate. Was this a game to get their legs under them or are the Cavs just overrated at +550 and second on the oddsboard?

Gonzaga and Duke on a collision course for the Final Four

The top seeds on the left side of your bracket already danced once this season and the overall No. 1 seed, Duke, would love to earn redemption. Gonzaga and Duke tipped off in the Maui Invitational final back in late November. The Bulldogs edged the Blue Devils 89-87, handing Duke its first loss of the season, while Gonzaga improved its record to 6-0.

Both teams handled their business in the first round with the Bulldogs erasing Fairleigh Dickinson 87-49, while Duke overcame a slow start with an 85-62 triumph over North Dakota State. Both teams have defensive battles looming, with the Zags likely to collide with Michigan or Texas Tech, while Duke is likely going to tip off with Virginia Tech, a team that beat the Blue Devils in late February. Not surprising to see Duke and Gonzaga first and second on the oddsboard, but only one can advance to the championship game. Who will it be?

Who’s our Cinderella story?

We had 12 upsets in the first round, surely destroying many people’s brackets – mine included. But which team has it in them to make a Sweet 16 appearance or go even further? In the South Region, No. 12 seed Oregon and No. 13 seed UC Irvine will be tipping off against each other so there’s at least one lower seed heading to the Sweet 16. However, I think the one that caught everyone’s eyes was the No. 12 seed Murray State Racers throttling No. 5 Marquette 83-64.

In that game, Ja Morant revealed himself to the entire nation, for those who didn’t already know who he was, as he had a triple-double and single-handedly dismantled Marquette. The Racers have a tough draw in the Round of 32, going against a hot team in Florida State that knocked off Virginia to earn a berth in the ACC tournament final. I expect Murray State to put the all-out pressure on Florida State and look to create more damage down the stretch.

Here’s a look at the entire list of odds for the 2019 college hoops national tournament:

2018-19 College BASKETBALL Champion Odds
TeamOdds
Duke+250
Gonzaga+550
Virginia+550
North Carolina+700
Kentucky+1200
Michigan State+1300
Tennessee+1400
Michigan+1600
Purdue+2500
Florida State+2800
Houston+2800
Texas Tech+2800
Auburn+3300
Villanova+3300
Kansas+4000
LSU+4500
Buffalo+6000
Virginia Tech+6000
Murray State+6600
Wofford+6600
Florida+8000
Maryland+8000
Oregon+8000
Iowa+10000
Minnesota+12500
Oklahoma+15000
Baylor+20000
Central Florida+20000
Ohio State+20000
Washington+20000
Cal Irvine+25000
Liberty+25000

Prior to the tipoff of the national tournament, we got a look at some real contenders and pretenders over the last couple of weeks during conference tournaments. One of the most-watched teams was Duke as it won the ACC tournament and Zion Williamson returned in fine fashion, leading the Blue Devils to a big win over the rival North Carolina Tar Heels.

BetOnline has Duke atop the oddsboard at +225 followed by Virginia at +550, Gonzaga at +600, North Carolina at +800 and Kentucky and Michigan State at +1200 to round out the top five odds.

Blue Devils Proved a lot in Conference Tournament Play

Duke had a rough end to its regular season which all coincided with the injury to ACC player of the year Zion Williamson. The freshman forward was injured in the first minute of the February 20 game vs UNC when his shoe fell apart and he hurt his right knee. The Blue Devils lost that game and two of their next four games and barely edged Wake Forest 71-70.

However, Duke got its big man back for the ACC tournament and it parlayed that into an ACC title, including earning revenge with a 74-73 win over North Carolina in the semifinals. Williamson averaged 27 points and 10 rebounds in the three games in the ACC tournament and was named tournament MVP. Tough games still lie ahead for the No. 1-seeded Blue Devils but the way their prized possession is playing, it’s tough to see Duke not playing for the national title in a few weeks.

What does the Bulldogs’ Tournament Final loss mean?

Heading into conference tournaments, the No. 1 team in the AP Top 25 poll was the Gonzaga Bulldogs, who were a perfect 16-0 in WCC play and had a streak of 21 straight victories overall. Additionally, they led the nation in scoring. However, Gonzaga was stomped in the WCC championship game, falling 60-47 to Saint Mary’s.

I wasn’t sold on the Bulldogs this season because of their weak strength of schedule, which is no fault of their own, but they are 1-2 against ranked opponents, though that lone win came against Duke in the Maui Invitational final. I think Gonzaga is a good team that has the ability to fill the basket with a lot of points, but I don’t see it knocking off a couple of top teams to earn a berth in the national championship final. Not worth any value at +600.

Spartans are coming in hot

Michigan State has had a rough season, losing junior guard Joshua Langford for the season in mid-December to an injury and losing junior forward Nick Ward from late February into mid-March with a broken hand. Yet, the Spartans still finished the regular season 25-6 with a 16-4 Big Ten record winning the regular-season title, then won their three conference tournament games to win their first tournament championship since 2016.

Additionally, MSU won all three games against in-state rival Michigan. Sparty is a well-balanced and well-coached team led by head coach Tom Izzo. They have the ability to work the ball inside and have success from two-point range, while also having senior guard Matt McQuaid looming on the wing waiting to nail a triple. This team is peaking at the right time, winning 10 of its last 11 games. Getting a No. 2 seed is disgusting, though: Michigan State will have a tall task in Duke if it wants to make it to the Final Four – tough to wager at +1200.

Here’s a look at the rest of the odds for the 2019 college hoops national championship:

2018-19 College BASKETBALL Champion Odds
TeamOdds
Duke+225
Virginia+550
Gonzaga+600
North Carolina+800
Kentucky+1200
Michigan State+1200
Tennessee+1400
Michigan+1600
Texas Tech+2000
Auburn+2500
Florida State+3300
Purdue+3300
Virginia Tech+3300
Houston+4000
Iowa State+4000
LSU+4000
Kansas+5000
Kansas State+5000
Louisville+5000
Marquette+5000
Villanova+5000
Wisconsin+5000
Buffalo+6600
Florida+6600
Syracuse+6600
Cincinnati+8000
Maryland+8000
Mississippi State+8000
Nevada+8000
Wofford+10000
Baylor+15000
Iowa+15000
Ole Miss+15000
Oklahoma+15000
Oregon+15000
Seton Hall+15000
Saint Mary’s+15000
UCF+15000
VCU+15000
Washington+15000
Ohio State+20000
Arizona State+25000
Minnesota+25000
Murray State+25000
New Mexico State+25000
Saint Louis+25000
St. John’s+25000
UC Irvine+25000
Utah State+25000
Belmont+50000
Georgia State+50000
Iona+50000
Liberty+50000
Montana+50000
Northeastern+50000
Northern Kentucky+50000
Old Dominion+50000
Temple+50000
Vermont+50000
Yale+50000
Abilene Christian+100000
Bradley+100000
Colgate+100000
Fairleigh Dickinson+100000
Gardner-Webb+100000
NC Central+100000
North Dakota State+100000
Prairie View A&M+100000

There is just one final weekend ahead of conference tournaments and many teams are jockeying for seeding in their respective conferences, which ultimately helps in the NCAA Tournament seedings. As it has been all season and remains as we near the end, Duke is the heavy favorite at +210 to win the national championship in just over a month.

Bovada has Duke as the +210 favorite followed by Gonzaga and Virginia at +800, Kentucky at +900 and North Carolina and Tennessee at +1100 to round out the top six teams on the oddsboard.

When will Zion Return for Duke?

The Blue Devils will be heading to Chapel Hill this Saturday to tip off against their rivals, the North Carolina Tar Heels, and will likely be without projected first overall NBA draft pick Zion Williamson. The six-foot-seven forward was injured in the first minute of the game against UNC on February 20 and hasn’t been on the court since, and is doubtful to play in the rematch this Saturday.

Duke has gone 3-2 SU in the five games without Williamson, including the 88-72 home loss to then-No. 8 UNC, and has averaged 75.4 ppg, which is nine points below its season average of 84.6. Most recently, Duke narrowly edged lowly Wake Forest 71-70 on March 5. Coach Mike Krzyzewski says that Zion should be good for the beginning of the ACC tournament, but I would be hesitant about whether he’s 100 percent and would be wary of laying a wager at +210 with these question marks.

UNC is taking care of business down the stretch

I haven’t written much about the Tar Heels for a futures bet because I really couldn’t get a good gauge of them. Some nights UNC looks like one of the best teams in the nation, while on other nights it would look a little flat. However, since a 69-61 loss at home to Virginia on February 11, UNC has been on a tear, winning six straight games by an average margin of 15.83, with only two of the victories coming by fewer than 10 points.

The big issue for me about the Tar Heels has been their defense, which is surrendering 73.1 points per game this year. That being said, I thought holding Florida State to just 59 points on February 23 and Duke to 72 showed a lot of improvement. Additionally, senior Cameron Johnson is chipping in 21.3 ppg since the Virginia loss, over four ppg more than his season average. If UNC can continue to work out the kinks on defense, a +1100 wager isn’t a bad play for a team that appears to be peaking.

Virginia flexing offensive muscles

Virginia is having a masterful season, sporting a 27-2 record ahead of its season finale against Louisville on Saturday. Its only two defeats have come against Duke (with Zion Williamson), by two at Cameron Indoor Stadium and by 10 at John Paul Jones Arena. The defense has been talked about over and over again, leading the nation by allowing just 54.1 points per game (51.6 at home).

Recently, the offense has come around as the Cavs have poured in 77.67 ppg over their last three games, which is five points better than their season average. They put on an absolute clinic from beyond the arc at Syracuse on March 4. Virginia matched a school record with 18 triples in that game, led by Kyle Guy, who shot 8-for-10 from long range.

This should be a warning call to the rest of the teams in the nation that if you give Virginia space beyond the arc, it will bury treys with ease and run up the score. No surprise that the Cavs are tied with Gonzaga at +800 for the second-best odds – they are a great wager.

Here’s a look at the full list of odds for the college hoops national championship:

2018-19 College BASKETBALL Champion Odds
TeamOdds
Duke+210
Gonzaga+800
Virginia+800
Kentucky+900
North Carolina+1100
Tennessee +1100
Michigan+1200
Michigan State+1400
Nevada+2500
Kansas+2800
Texas Tech+3500
Iowa State+4000
LSU+4000
Wisconsin+4000
Houston U+5000
Marquette+5000
Auburn+5500
Purdue+5500
Villanova+5500
Mississippi State+7000
Virginia Tech+7000
Buffalo+7500
Florida State+8000
Kansas State+8000
Louisville+8000
Syracuse+8000
NC State+9500
Iowa+10000
Maryland+10000
Nebraska+10000
Ohio State+10000
Arizona State+12500
Cincinnati+12500
Florida+12500
Indiana+12500
Oklahoma+12500
St. John's+12500
TCU+12500
Texas+12500
Washington U+12500
Arizona+15000
Butler+15000
Connecticut+15000
Furman+15000
Miami (FL)+15000
Minnesota U+15000
Oregon+15000
Seton Hall+15000
Texas A&M+15000
Wichita State+15000
Xavier+15000
Clemson+20000
Memphis State+20000
Penn State+20000
Vanderbilt+20000
Baylor+25000
Creighton+25000
Notre Dame+25000
UCLA+25000
West Virginia+25000
Loyola University Chicago+30000

The regular season has just a week and a half left and under five games remaining for the majority of teams, with conference tournaments looming a mere two and a half weeks away. Duke, as it has been all season, remains the favorite, but for the first time all year, its odds took a drop, falling from +160 seven days ago to +210 today. Meanwhile, Gonzaga, a team that beat Duke, has emerged with the second-best odds at +850.

Bovada has Duke leading the way at +210 followed by Gonzaga at +850, Kentucky at +900, Virginia at +950 and North Carolina and Tennessee at +1100 to round out the top teams on the oddsboard.

Tread Cautiously with Duke without Zion

Many futures bettors became very anxious when they saw Duke’s superstar and projected No. 1 NBA draft pick Zion Williamson blow out his shoe and injure his right knee in the first minute against UNC last Wednesday. The Blue Devils looked out of sorts for the remainder of that game, getting thumped 88-72 by the rival Tar Heels at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Not long after, Duke fell 77-72 on the road to Virginia Tech on February 26.

In the three games without Zion, including the UNC loss, the Blue Devils are scoring just 73 points per game, a dozen points below their season average of 85. We don’t know what the extent of this injury actually is – we’ve heard that it’s a mild knee sprain – but if this is anything that’s going to linger with that big man, those +210 odds are a big stay-away for me.

Zags continue to climb the oddsboard

Although Gonzaga’s odds didn’t change from last week to this at +850, all the teams around the Bulldogs fell and they moved from fifth on the oddsboard up to second. Additionally, with the Tennessee loss to Kentucky a couple of weeks ago and Duke falling to UNC, the Zags are now the No. 1 team in the AP poll, returning to the top for the first time since early December. The Bulldogs fell from the top spot after dropping consecutive games against then-No. 7 Tennessee and then-No. 12 UNC in mid-December.

It’s really difficult to judge how good the Bulldogs are, though. They do have a narrow 89-87 win over Duke in the Maui Invitational in late November, but then dropped those two aforementioned games against Tennessee and UNC. Since then, Gonzaga has rattled off 18 straight wins, none against a ranked opponent. On paper, +850 seems like great value for the Zags, but we won’t know how they’ve progressed from those losses until the tournament actually begins, and by then their odds may fall sharply.

Kentucky’s Odds May Rise after This Weekend

Kentucky hosted then-No. 1 Tennessee on February 16 and handed the Vols an 86-69 defeat. Can the Wildcats pull off a similar outcome Saturday when they visit the Thompson-Boling Arena? Kentucky has had a very interesting season, opening the year against Duke and getting thumped 118-84, suffering its other three losses by two or fewer points, and posting four wins over ranked opponents, including the aforementioned victory over then-No. 1 Tennessee.

The Wildcats don’t blow many teams away in one particular statistical category, but rather they are a well-balanced squad that can find a way to win in high- or low-scoring games. Kentucky ranks 48th in points scored per game while being rated as the 28th-best defense, surrendering 64.9 ppg. I have been carrying the Kentucky flag for the last few weeks, getting a futures bet on the Wildcats at +2000 following their 77-75 loss at Alabama to open SEC play. I think at +900 they are still providing good value.

Here’s a look at the full list of odds for the college basketball national championship:

2018-19 College BASKETBALL Champion Odds
TeamOdds
Duke+210
Gonzaga+850
Kentucky+900
Virginia+950
North Carolina+1100
Tennessee +1100
Michigan+1200
Michigan State+1400
Nevada+2200
Kansas+2800
Iowa State+4000
Texas Tech+4000
LSU+4500
Auburn+5000
Marquette+5000
Houston U+5500
Villanova+5500
Purdue+6000
Mississippi State+6500
Buffalo+7000
Louisville+7000
Virginia Tech+7000
Nebraska+7500
Florida State+8000
Syracuse+8000
Wisconsin+8000
Kansas State+9000
NC State+9500
Cincinnati+10000
Iowa+10000
Ohio State+10000
Oklahoma+10000
Arizona State+12500
Florida+12500
Indiana+12500
Maryland+12500
St. John's+12500
TCU+12500
Texas+12500
Arizona+15000
Butler+15000
Connecticut+15000
Furman+15000
Miami (FL)+15000
Minnesota U+15000
Oregon+15000
Seton Hall+15000
Texas A&M+15000
Washington U+15000
Wichita State+15000
Xavier+15000
Clemson+20000
Memphis State+20000
Penn State+20000
Vanderbilt+20000
Baylor+25000
Creighton+25000
Notre Dame+25000
UCLA+25000
West Virginia+25000
Loyola University Chicago+30000

There are just over three weeks remaining in the college hoops schedule and there’s a new No. 1 in the AP poll that now coincides with the top team on the oddsboard and that’s the Duke Blue Devils. As it has been all season, Duke is the favorite at +160, climbing from +170 last week.

Bovada has Duke on top at +170 followed by Tennessee at +750, Kentucky at +775, Virginia at +800 and Gonzaga and Michigan at +850 to round out the top teams on the oddsboard.

Duke needs to take Care of Business Down the Stretch

The Blue Devils have had two hiccups this season, falling 89-87 in the Maui Invitational final against then-No. 3 Gonzaga and suffering a stunning 95-91 overtime upset loss at home vs Syracuse in mid-January. Outside of those two games, Duke has dismantled teams, with 19 of its 23 wins coming by double-digit margins, including an 81-71 road win over then-No. 3 Virginia.

With just six games remaining, the Blue Devils are in the driver’s seat to roll into the national tournament. However, two of those final six games are against archrival UNC, including a clash at the Dean Smith Center to close out the season. I still don’t believe a team should be that much of a favorite in a grueling tournament, but I don’t see us getting any better value on the Blue Devils between now and the beginning of the tournament.

Did Tennessee Show its true colors?

I have flip-flopped on my feelings toward the Vols this season, part of me saying the reason they were No. 1 was because of their terrific win streak and a three-point win over then-No. 1 Gonzaga in early December. However, when I watched them play, they moved the ball around efficiently and moved opposing defenses around like chess pieces leading to easy lay-ins. But the biggest red flag for me was that Tennessee had the 43rd-toughest strength of schedule and during its 19-game winning streak, only one game was against a ranked foe.

That changed last Saturday when Tennessee played its first ranked opponent since December 9, paying a visit to Rupp Arena to tip off against the No. 5 Kentucky Wildcats. The Volunteers got a rude awakening in that game, getting thumped 86-69, and promptly fell from No. 1 to No. 5 in the AP poll. They followed that up with a 12-point win over Vanderbilt but chipped in just 22 points in the second half, not the response I was looking for. Tennessee remains second on the oddsboard at +750 and I would avoid it at all costs.

Kentucky continues to climb

A few weeks ago, you could have got Kentucky at +2000, following its 77-75 loss at Alabama to open SEC play, but now those odds have free-fallen to +775 and it sits third on the oddsboard. The reason I like the Wildcats more than the Vols is that they have had a tougher strength of schedule (23rd) with five wins over ranked opponents, including the win over Tennessee.

Kentucky is very well-rounded, gets the majority of its offense from inside the arc and absolutely punishes opponents on the glass. The Wildcats are 24th in the country in offensive rebounding, including No. 7 at home. Additionally, they have a good defense, restricting opponents to 40.6 percent shooting (29th) and allowing just 65.3 ppg (32nd). Kentucky has to visit Thompson-Boling Arena in early March. That could be a statement game.

Here’s a look at the full list of odds for the 2018-19 college basketball national championship:

2018-19 College BASKETBALL Champion Odds
TeamOdds
Duke+160
Tennessee+750
Kentucky+775
Virginia+800
Gonzaga+850
Michigan+850
Michigan State+1200
Kansas+1800
Nevada+2200
North Carolina+2500
Marquette+3500
Houston U+5000
Purdue+5000
Syracuse+5000
Villanova+5000
Auburn+5500
Iowa State+6000
Kansas State+6000
Texas Tech+6000
LSU+7500
Louisville+7500
Virginia Tech+7500
Wisconsin+8000
Buffalo+9000
Florida State+9000
Indiana+10000
Mississippi State+10000
NC State+10000
Cincinnati+12500
Florida+12500
Iowa+12500
Maryland+12500
Ohio State+12500
St. John’s+12500
Arizona+15000
Arizona State+15000
Nebraska+15000
Oklahoma+15000
Oregon+15000
Seton Hall+15000
TCU+15000
Texas+15000
Texas A&M+15000
UCLA+15000
West Virginia+15000
Wichita State+15000
Clemson+17500
Connecticut+17500
Miami (FL)+17500
Penn State+17500
Xavier+17500
Baylor+20000
Butler+20000
Furman+20000
Minnesota U+20000
Vanderbilt+20000
Creighton+25000
Loyola University Chicago+25000
Memphis State+25000
Notre Dame+25000

Odds as of February 20 at Bovada

Conference tournaments are less than a month away, we are in crunch time and oddsmakers have adjusted the odds, tightening up the true contenders for the 2019 national championship. As it has been all year long, Duke tops all others on the oddsboard at +170, but No. 1 Tennessee has closed the gap and is providing much more value at +750.

Bovada has Duke leading the way at +170 followed by Tennessee at +750, Kentucky and Virginia at +800 and Michigan at +850 to round out the top five teams on the oddsboard.

Are we seeing Holes in Duke’s game?

Over the last week, we have seen a high and low of Duke, but the results remained the same and that was the team walking away with a victory. The Blue Devils went into John Paul Jones Arena and grabbed an 81-71 triumph over then-No. 3 Virginia to complete the season sweep over the Cavaliers.

However, three days later, Duke trailed by 23 points with under 10 minutes to go at then-No. 16 Louisville before mounting a massive comeback for the 71-69 triumph. Two things we learned from that: First, we can never count out the Blue Devils, because when they get hot, they are unstoppable. Second, the Cardinals used good ball movement to get the Blue Devils out of position for good looks at the rim, as they had 17 assists in the game.

I’ve been saying the value on Duke is not worth it at +170, but it is scary to think that when the Blue Devils were down and out, they came back from the dead to earn a victory, proving just how dangerous they are. It’s apparent that defense isn’t the way to beat the Blue Devils but rather trying to match them basket for basket in a high-scoring affair like Syracuse and Gonzaga did.

Gonzaga has been tearing through the WCC

Should there be more attention paid to Gonzaga? The Bulldogs were the first team to top Duke, and the only team to beat a fully healthy Blue Devils team, in the Maui Invitational final. That being said, the Bulldogs had a hiccup in mid-December, dropping back-to-back games, first against then-No. 7 Tennessee in the Air Force Reserve Classic at Talking Stick Resort Arena 76-63 and then at then-No. 12 North Carolina 103-90.

Those are the only two defeats Gonzaga has suffered this year and it has rattled off 14 straight wins since then, though all of them have come against unranked foes. It leads the nation with 91.4 points per game, four points better than second-place North Carolina. On the defensive side of the ball, it has restricted foes to 65.3 points per game, the 34th-fewest in college basketball. The Bulldogs shoot well both inside and outside the arc and I think at +900 there’s some real value here.

Is Houston a threat to win it all?

I have been getting a lot of questions on the value of Houston as it sits No. 9 in the AP poll and holds a 23-1 record at the time of this article. The Cougars sit 17th on the oddsboard with odds of +6500 so why isn’t everyone hammering that line? I think there’s a couple of factors keeping people away from them. Most notably, their strength of schedule ranks 86th and they have only had two games against ranked opponents, both of which are no longer ranked.

The defense has been very stout for Houston, which ranks fifth in the nation by limiting opponents to just 60.7 points per game and is second in opponent shooting percentage at 36.4. The Cougars offense ranks 99th at 75.2 points per game, but their field-goal percentage of 44 percent is only 180th in the country.

I think Houston is a strong team that may earn a win or two in the NCAA Tournament, but I have a hard time seeing them shutting down one of those upper-echelon offenses and although +6500 looks juicy, I would recommend you stay away.

Here’s a look at the full list of odds for the 2018-19 college basketball national championship:

2018-19 College BASKETBALL Champion Odds
TeamOdds
Duke+170
Tennessee+750
Kentucky+800
Virginia+800
Michigan+850
Gonzaga+900
Michigan State+1100
Kansas+1800
Nevada+2200
North Carolina+2500
Villanova+4000
Marquette+4500
Purdue+5000
Syracuse+5000
Auburn+5500
Texas Tech+5500
Houston U+6500
Iowa State+7000
Virginia Tech+7000
Louisville+7500
Wisconsin+8000
Florida State+8500
Kansas State+8500
Buffalo+9000
Nebraska+9000
Cincinnati+10000
Indiana+10000
LSU+10000
Mississippi State+10000
NC State+10000
Ohio State+10000
Oregon+10000
Arizona State+12500
Florida+12500
Iowa+12500
Maryland+12500
Oklahoma+12500
St. John’s+12500
UCLA+12500
Arizona+15000
Clemson+15000
Connecticut+15000
Penn State+15000
Seton Hall+15000
TCU+15000
Texas+15000
Texas A&M+15000
Washington U+15000
West Virginia+15000
Wichita State+15000
Xavier+15000
Butler+17500
Miami (FL)+17500
Vanderbilt+17500
Baylor+20000
Creighton+20000
Furman+20000
Minnesota U+20000
Notre Dame+20000
Loyola University Chicago+25000
Memphis State+25000

Odds as of February 14 at Bovada

 

The college hoops schedule is in the final month of play and we are starting to get a clearer picture of the teams that may end up competing in the March Madness. I’ve outlined teams that have the best odds (still Duke at +170) and provide the best value (Kentucky +900), and now I’m going to focus my attention on teams that you should fade when the national tournament begins.

Bovada has Duke still the favorite at +170 followed by Michigan and Tennessee at +750, Virginia at +800 and Kentucky at +900 to round out the top five teams on the oddsboard to win the NCAA Tournament.

Kansas Jayhawks (+1600)

When the preseason AP Top 25 was released, it was the Kansas Jayhawks topping the list. They were overtaken by Duke after its terrific start to the season but returned to the top spot after then-No. 1 Gonzaga fell to Tennessee and UNC in December. However, the Jayhawks have fallen down to 13th this week and following a loss at Kansas State on February 5, I expect them to tumble further.

The reason I don’t see Kansas pushing for a national championship this year is its inability to win on the road. The Jayhawks have played 11 games away from home this season, including neutral-site games, and have a 5-6 SU record, going 1-6 SU in their true road games. Kansas pours in 80.92 ppg at the Allen Fieldhouse, scoring fewer than 80 points in just five of its 12 games there. However, it scores just 66.57 ppg in true road games, topping 70 points only twice in those seven games. In neutral-site contests, it averaged 79.75 ppg with half the games going under 80 points.

Although the Jayhawks swept their four neutral-site games, three of them against then- or now-ranked teams, I just think they are going to struggle away from home in the tournament and at +1600 I really don’t see any value there.  

Virginia Tech (+6000)

Virginia Tech has been ranked in the AP poll all season, reaching as high as ninth last month, and is currently ranked 11th, while sitting 16th on the oddsboard. At +6000, the Hokies seem like a decent wager, especially after they dismantled then-No. 23 NC State in front of its home fans 47-24 – that’s not the halftime score, that was the final. However, that was just the second win over a ranked opponent, dropping three other chances, including most recently falling 72-64 at home to then-No. 16 Louisville.

The reason I wouldn’t hitch my wagon to the Hokies is they haven’t proved they can step up in big games. In three contests against teams ranked higher than 20th, Virginia Tech is 0-3 with an average losing margin of 17, including losing by 22 at then-No. 4 Virginia. The Hokies are surrendering an average of 10 more points per game in ACC play compared to its non-conference schedule. They are also scoring 11 fewer points per game in conference play compared to non-ACC competition.

I think that the Hokies are a good team that could potentially make a Sweet 16 appearance, but I think when they tip off against tougher competition, they just aren’t at that level and will get rolled as they did against Virginia and UNC.

Here’s a look at the full list of odds to win the 2019 college hoops national championship:

2018-19 College BASKETBALL Champion Odds
TeamOdds
Duke+170
Michigan+750
Tennessee+750
Virginia+800
Kentucky +900
Gonzaga+1000
Michigan State+1000
Kansas+1600
Nevada+2000
North Carolina+2400
Villanova+4000
Auburn+5000
Syracuse+5000
Texas Tech+5000
Purdue+6000
Virginia Tech+6000
Iowa State+7000
Marquette+7000
Buffalo+9000
Florida State+9000
Louisville+9000
Wisconsin+9000
Cincinnati+10000
Houston U+10000
Indiana+10000
Kansas State+10000
LSU+10000
Nebraska+10000
Arizona State+12500
Florida+12500
Iowa+12500
Mississippi State+12500
NC State+12500
Ohio State+12500
Oklahoma+12500
St. John’s+12500
Arizona+15000
Clemson+15000
Connecticut+15000
Maryland+15000
Oregon+15000
Penn State+15000
Seton Hall+15000
TCU+15000
Texas+15000
Texas A&M+15000
UCLA+15000
Washington U+15000
West Virginia+15000
Wichita State+15000
Xavier+15000
Butler+17500
Furman+17500
Miami (FL)+17500
Vanderbilt+17500
Baylor+20000
Creighton+20000
Minnesota U+20000
Notre Dame+20000
Loyola University Chicago+25000
Memphis State+25000

Odds as of February 6 at Bovada

Comments