We are getting into mid-February here, which means that conference tournaments are right around the corner and we are approaching one of the best times of the year – March Madness!
My friends and I love to travel out to Las Vegas for the opening weekend of the tournament. Sure, it is quite a sausage party that weekend but there is a lot of fun to be had. The field of 64 (68 at the beginning of the week) is narrowed down to 16 teams over the course of four days.
With so many games going on (16 on each of Thursday and Friday, 8 on each of Saturday and Sunday), there is a lot of sports betting action going on. We love to stake out some seats at a sportsbook and watch all the games as they unfold, cheering on our bets.
NCAA Tourney Odds 2019
So with the tournament coming up, who are the early favorites to bring home the title? While the field isn’t yet set, there is a lot of early action to be had if you want to get the best odds before tourney time. Let’s run down on some of the favorites at this point of the season.
With arguably the most talented freshman class to ever pass through the college ranks (even eclipsing the Fab 5 at Michigan in the early ’90s led by Chris Webber, Duke and their manchild Zion Williamson currently have the best odds to win the tournament at +170 according to oddsshark.com.
Their play throughout the year clearly demonstrates that they are the best team in the country. But, as we all know, the best team doesn’t always win the tournament. In a one and done format, anyone can get hot at the right time and knock off a favorite.
While Duke is the favorite, in terms of odds, the Volunteers currently sit at #1 in the country with their 23-1 record (as of the time of this writing). Not traditionally thought of as a basketball school (unless you’re talking about their women’s program), is this the year that the Vols break through and make some noise in the tournament and justify their ranking? They currently sit at +750 odds.
We all know the heartbreak that fell upon the Cavaliers last year, becoming the first #1 seed in history to bow out to a #16 seed in the first round. Despite last year’s early tourney exit, they have bounced back and put together a solid season this year. It seems like they are out to prove last year’s exit was a fluke, going 21-2 straight up this season and 17-6 against the spread during the 2018-19 campaign. Their current odds sit just behind the Volunteers at +800.
Rounding out the rest of the favorites for the men’s college basketball crown are the Kentucky Wildcats (+800), Gonzaga Bulldogs (+900), Michigan Wolverines (+850), Michigan State Spartans (+1100) Kansas Jayhawks (+1800), Nevada Wolfpack (+2200), and North Carolina Tar Heels (+2500). If you’re feeling another run coming from last year’s champion, the Villanova Wildcats, you can get action on them at +4000.