- Duke is the heavy favorite in the NCAA Tournament which begins this week
- Three of four teams under 10/1 come from the ACC
- Several betting bargains exist if you can look past number one seeds
The bracket is out and the madness is here. Who will cut down the nets in Minneapolis and win the college basketball national title? While the tournament begins with 68 teams, betting odds suggest only about eight or 10 have a legitimate chance to win it all.
A couple of weeks ago we looked at the odds and found sound value. Had you been following our thought process from the start of the campaign you might be sitting pretty with Gonzaga and Michigan State at juicy prices. We’ve included the numbers below
The pre-tournament future odds are here thanks to the folks at BetOnline. We’ve included the numbers below along with our analysis on some of the top teams.
2019 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship Odds
|Team||Odds to Win 2019 March Madness|
|New Mexico State||+25000|
|North Carolina Central||+100000|
|North Dakota State||+100000|
|Prairie View A&M||+100000|
*Odds taken on 03/18/19
During the ACC Tournament Zion Williams showed he was healthy and led Duke to the title. The most popular player in college hoops has been a part of a squad with three projected lottery picks all season. When healthy, Coach K’s group has looked the part. Remember, they did lose to Gonzaga, but that was in November. The eye test tells you that the Blue Devils will be tough, but if you look at the ACC Semifinal against North Carolina, they are no lock.
They are the longest price among number one seeds in large part because Kentucky looms in the Elite 8. However, the Tar Heels may have the easiest draw up until that point, while UK faces at least one significant challenge. The Tar Heels, who won it all two years ago, are experienced and deep. They beat Gonzaga early in the season, and got by Duke twice when Zion was banged up.
Sure, the Wolverines lost to Michigan State three times this year, but MSU is not on their side of the bracket. Gonzaga, as good as they have been for over a decade, has reached one Final Four, and that is who Big Blue likely would need to beat to get to Minneapolis. Michigan coach John Beilein has won at every stop along the way, his teams get better as the season moves along, and he has been to the final game twice in the last six years.
If you are seeking a price, Virginia Tech is the play. The Hokies went 12-6 in the rugged ACC doing so for most of the campaign without star guard Justin Robinson. He will be back for the NCAA Tournament, and when Robinson was healthy Virginia Tech was ranked in the top 10. They have wins this year over six different teams that made the dance, including Duke. At 33/1, it is worth a consideration.