Well the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is halfway over, and it has pretty much been chalk so far. While last year we saw a huge upset of Virginia as the first #1 seed to lose to a #16 in the first round, and the Cinderella run of Loyola-Chicago all the way to the Final Four as an #11 seed, this year most of the results have held true to the seedings.
There have been a couple scares for top seeds along the way, however. Virginia was in danger of repeating their feat of last year in the first round but righted the ship in the second half to survive and advance. Top overall seed Duke also got a scare from #9 seed UCF in the round of 32, with the Knights a tip-in away from pulling off the upset.
What Are the NCAA Tournament Odds Now?
Now that the first two rounds are in the rearview mirror and we have our Sweet 16 set, who are the top choices to put your money on to win the tournament at this point? With a narrowed field and a couple more performances in which to judge the teams, obviously, the odds have been changed from where they were prior to the tournament.
Here are the updated payouts for picking the tournament winner, according to betonline.ag.
Where Are the Opportunities?
I think Duke is a great pick here. While they obviously did not win going away in the round of 32, you are actually getting better odds betting them now at +300 than they were prior to the tournament at +225.
The tendency to play to the level of their competition has me a bit leery of putting any money on the Virginia Cavaliers, and the loss to St. Mary’s in the conference tournament has me wary of betting on Gonzaga. I think North Carolina is a great value pick here at +600. We’ve seen them beat the favorite, Duke, twice earlier this year (though Zion Williamson was absent) and take them to the final whistle in the ACC tournament championship.
My dark horse in here has got to be Auburn. They looked quite impressive in the SEC tournament and have performed well in the NCAA tournament so far. They can get streaky and hot, and for +2500 odds, I think it’s worth a small wager for a multiplier of your money like that should they catch fire.
I’m excited to see what shakes out over the next two weekends! Who do you think will be crowned champ?
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