2020 NCAA Basketball National Championships Odds: Who Are The Early Favorites?

  • BetOnline has Duke (+700) and Kentucky (+700) as the early favorites to win March Madness 2020
  • Defending champion Virginia (+800) and Michigan State (+800) lurk close behind
  • North Carolina (+1400) and Kansas (+2000) are long shots to win the 2020 National Championship

Before the Cavaliers could cut down the nets, before “One Shining Moment” finished airing, before even one Virginia undergrad was impregnated during the campus celebration, bookmakers had already come out with 2020 NCAA Basketball National Championship odds.

I know what you’re thinking: “How am I supposed to know who’s going to win next year? I don’t even know what colleges Nike is bribing guys to attend yet!” Well, with uncertainty comes value.

Let’s take a look at the futures at BetOnline and weigh our options.

Odds to Win 2020 NCAA Championship

Team Odds to Win 2020 NCAA

Championship at BetOnline

Duke +700
Kentucky +700
Michigan State +800
Virginia +800
Michigan +1200
North Carolina +1400
Gonzaga +1600
Villanova +1600
Kansas +2000
Marquette +2200
Oregon +2200
Louisville +2500
Arizona +2800
Auburn +3300
Mississippi State +3300
Tennessee +3300
Texas Tech +3300
Texas +4000
Cincinnati +5000
Florida +5000
Houston +5000
Iowa +5000
Purdue +5000
Syracuse +5000

*Odds taken on 04/11/19

The Favorites: Duke (+700) and Kentucky (+700)

Frankly, these schools are probably the co-favorites going into every year. Two of college basketball’s premier programs always seem to have two or three one-and-done NBA lottery picks playing for them, and are only juxtaposed by the contrasting style of their two coaches. There’s just no world where Mike Krzyzewski and John Calipari like each other, is there?

While Duke and Kentucky will eternally attract the top recruits in the country and be discussed ad nauseum by the national media, the truth is both have missed the Final Four now for four consecutive years with freshmen-heavy teams. Krzyzewski’s last win came in 2015, while PayPal Cal’s drought goes back to 2012.

The Defending Champ: Virginia (+800)

If Virginia wins another title, legendary singer Tony Bennett is going to have to make another jazz album with Lady Gaga to reclaim his name (or Beyoncé perhaps). The Cavaliers are primed to lose 6’ 7” star sophomore De’Andre Hunter to the NBA, but most of their roster should remain in tact. Is the best is yet to come or am I making yet another reference to the 92-year-old crooner?

The Izzo Factor: Michigan State (+800)

Check out the video below and try to keep in mind that this encounter came with Michigan State up five points and on a 10-0 run. Freshman, don’t mess with Mr. March! The Spartans return a large part of the core that brought them to the Final Four, including the Big Ten Player of the Year, Cassius Winston.

As long as Tom Izzo does not murder one of his players, they’re a great bet to win it all.

Pearl of Wisdom: Auburn (+3300)

Despite the team’s magical March run, Auburn just squeaked in Sport Illustrated’s top 25 list of early 2020 contenders. Still, I’m tempted to bet on the Tigers just because I can’t have enough Bruce Pearl in my life. After a few federal investigations kept Pearl out of the national spotlight for a solid decade, the orange, goofball maniac is back and March Madness is better for it.

The Blue Bloods: North Carolina (+1400) and Kansas (+2000)

College basketball experts are down on these traditional powerhouses. The Jayhawks’ recruiting class is being described similarly to my lovemaking (“underwhelming”) while the Tar Heels are losing tons of talent to the draft and graduation. Still, it’s a rare year when one of these schools isn’t in the Elite Elite.

Roy Williams just finished his 16th season at UNC. As you may remember, he was in Kansas for 15 years before that, and somehow old Roy is still four years younger than 72-year-old Mike Krzyzewski.

My point, of course, is that everything in college basketball doesn’t make sense. You might as well place a long shot bet on a familiar face from a big school.

Steve Dominey

Steve has almost 15 years of experience in marketing, PR and sports television. After acquiring a Journalism degree from Carleton University, he assembled highlight packs for Canada's most-watched sports network (TSN) before transitioning to a career in communications. He describes himself as a good father, great dog owner, and mediocre gambler and husband.