Big Moves in Latest NCCA Basketball Odds
The favorites to win the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship have changed from a month ago with several top teams falling and some surprises moving up.
Predicting which college basketball team will cut down the nets in March isn’t an easy task. The magic of the tournament is that anything can happen.
The teams that we think have the best chance at the beginning of the season, often times aren’t even playing past the first few weekends in March. So, when placing a futures bet on the national champion, it’s all about trying to figure out which team is going to position itself to have the most success. That process is extremely fluid and we’ve already seen examples of it in the first month and a half of the season.
Odds to win NCAA Championship
|Duke Blue Devils||+2100|
|Alabama Crimson Tide||+2200|
|North Carolina Tar Heels||+2500|
|Illinois Fighting Illini||+3000|
Odds courtesy of BetRivers
Teams that were at the top of the odds board to start the year suddenly aren’t there anymore. The same goes for teams toward the bottom of the board that are now climbing the ranks. These numbers are going to continue to move, but for now, let’s take a look at a few of the most drastic changes when it comes to championship odds.
Gonzaga Falls from Favorite
The Gonzaga Bulldogs opened the season as the odds-on favorite to win the national championship at +900. The Zags lost Chet Holmgren and Andrew Nembhard from last year’s team to the NBA but still had Drew Timme on the roster to rely on. With a lot of hype around this team going into the season, oddsmakers believed that the Zags might be capable of capturing their first national title. Those hopes didn’t last long though.
Just a month and a half into the season, Gonzaga has dropped to +1800. How’d they get there? They’ve lost three games already to the Texas Longhorns, Purdue Boilermakers, and Baylor Bears. Now, those are all ranked opponents, but the Longhorns beat them by 19 and the Boilermakers beat them by 18. Gonzaga also has a few very narrow wins over Xavier Musketeers, Michigan State Spartans, and Kent State Golden Flashes.
Coach Mark Few’s squad hasn’t looked like the same dominant team we’ve seen in years past and unless they go on a big tear, I don’t see their championship odds rising back to the top.
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North Carolina Piling Up Losses
The North Carolina Tar Heels are another team that has fallen quite a bit in the standings. As the runner-up in last year’s national championship game, UNC came into the season tied for second on the odds board at +1100. Expectations were high for 2022-23 and Caleb Love, Armando Bacot, and R.J. Davis all returning.
Unfortunately for Tar Heels fans, Coach Hubert Davis’ squad hasn’t lived up to those expectations. UNC sits at 7-4 on the season with a stretch of four-straight losses to Iowa State Cyclones, Alabama Crimson Tide, Indiana Hoosiers, and Virginia Tech Hokies.
Davis has talked a lot about his team’s struggles stemming from a lack of identity. Unable to find that identity early this season, the Tar Heel’s championship odds are now +2500. It’ll be interesting to see if they move back up the board once they figure out who they are as a unit.
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Texas’ One Loss Moves them Up
Unlike Gonzaga and UNC, Texas’ odds have moved in the opposite direction. After opening the season at +3300 and with 15 teams ahead of them in the standings, the Longhorns now find themselves with the third-shortest odds at +1300. They’ve cruised to an 8-1 record with their only loss coming in overtime to a ranked Illinois Fighting Illini team at Madison Square Garden. Other than that, they’ve beaten nearly every opponent by double-digits.
With so much high-level talent on that roster, the only thing that I could see slowing them down is the off-court issues surrounding their head coach Chris Beard. Beard has himself in the midst of some serious allegations and pending the University’s decision to reinstate him, we could see the Longhorns’ odds move yet again, but this time, not in a positive way.
UConn Makes Huge Odds Board Leap
The UConn Huskies currently sits second on the odds board with Texas at +1000. This is a drastic jump from where they opened the season at +5000.
The Huskies weren’t even ranked in the Top 25 to start the year but now find themselves as the third-ranked team in the country. Expectations weren’t very high for UConn because they lost so much talent from last year’s team to graduation. RJ Cole, Tyrese Martin, Isaiah Whaley, and Tyler Polley accounted for the majority of the team’s scoring and all four players moved on.
The Huskies re-loaded via the transfer portal and have been unstoppable through the first month of the season. They’re not only a perfect 11-0, but every win has come by double digits. This is a team whose odds I don’t expect to fall much, if at all, this season. If anything, they’re only going to get shorter.
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