Oddsmakers have installed the Gonzaga Bulldogs as the favorite to win the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, according to TheLines, which tracks odds in the U.S. regulated sports betting market.
Gonzaga, which has reached the championship game twice in the last four tournaments, is favored to win the Washington school’s first national championship, according to a consensus of the nation’s largest legal online sportsbooks — including DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, BetRivers, Caesars, and PointsBet. Gonzaga, the No. 1 overall seed for the tourney, is listed at +350, which means bettors would win $350 for each $100 wagered on the Bulldogs.
A quartet of college basketball bluebloods are next on the favorites list. The Arizona Wildcats have the second-best odds at +650. The Kentucky Wildcats are next at +750, followed by the Duke Blue Devils and Kansas Jayhawks, both listed at +1100. The Baylor Bears, which won last year’s title by beating Gonzaga, are listed at +1200.
Duke, which has won five national championships under head coach Mike Krzyzewski, will get considerable media attention the longer it stays alive in the tournament. This will be the last tournament for Krzyzewski, who is retiring after the season. He is the winningest coach in men’s basketball history and only legendary UCLA coach John Wooden has more NCAA championships.
“The NCAA Tournament is one of the most captivating events in sports, and the single-most bet-on sporting event in the U.S.,” said Brett Collson, lead analyst for TheLines. “But the buzz about March Madness also comes from the nature of the tournament and brackets. From million-dollar contests to office pools, the number of people with interest in the games escalates year after year.”
There has never been a verifiable perfect bracket logged in the history of March Madness and the odds of doing so are astronomical. According to the NCAA, the odds of picking a perfect bracket with knowledge of the game are more than 120 billion to 1, and the odds of a perfect bracket by flipping a coin for each game are 9.2 quintillion to one.
So while Bally’s offers $100 million for a perfect bracket, one has better odds of becoming president of the United States, being killed by a shark or winning an Oscar, according to PlayUSA.com.
Consensus odds for the top-15 favorites to win this year’s men’s college basketball national championship, as of Sunday, March 13:
- Gonzaga Bulldogs, +350
- Arizona Wildcats, +650
- Kentucky Wildcats, +750
- Kansas Jayhawks, +1100
- Duke Blue Devils, +1100
- Baylor Bears, +1200
- Purdue Boilermakers, +1500
- Auburn Tigers, +1500
- Texas Tech Red Raiders, +2200
- Villanova Wildcats, +2200
- UCLA Bruins, +2500
- Tennessee Volunteers, +2200
- Houston Cougars, +3000
- Iowa Hawkeyes, +3500
- Illinois Fighting Illini, +4000
To access updated March Madness odds, and for more analysis, visit www.thelines.com/odds/march-madness/
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