Everyone’s NCAAB National Championship Odds are Rising and Falling in a Crazy Year
By: Brent Booher
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To call the 2019-20 college basketball season chaotic would be a disservice to chaos.
Being a ranked team in the college basketball universe has been an extremely challenging feat with unranked opponents knocking off their ranked brethren on a nightly basis this year.
In recent weeks the Top 5 has finally seen some semblance of continuity, as Baylor, Gonzaga and Kansas have each enjoy
ed long win streaks to keep them atop the polls, but March looms and no team in the country looks remotely unbeatable.
With that said, we’re going to try to assess the college basketball futures market to see who looks to be the most likely team to cut the nets down in Atlanta on April 6.
Third Best NCAAB National Championship Odds: Duke Blue Devils (+1100)
In the faint distance you can hear an excited Dick Vitale scream out “DUKIE!” as oddsmakers do not seem to be overly concerned that this iteration of the Duke Blue Devils does not have the star-power that Coach K has enjoyed most of the previous decade.
With that said though, maybe that’s not the worst thing for a Duke team that always has heavy expectations from the betting public to be the team that hoists the National Championship at the end of the year.
For Duke to run off 6 wins in the NCAA Tournament though, they will need sensational play from their freshman center Vernon Carey Jr. and sophomore guard Tre Jones.
Duke backers would prefer the Blue Devils start to get hot in February though, as they’re currently in third-place in a surprisingly weak ACC and are currently projected as a 2-seed by Joe Lunardi. However, they’re very close to possibly slipping to a 3-seed and that opens the door for another short stint in the tournament for Vitale’s beloved boys from Durham.
Second Best NCAAB National Championship Odds: Baylor Bears and Kansas Jayhawks (+1000)
Oddsmakers have a hard time deciding which Big XII power to list as the second best favorite to win it all so they have Baylor and Kansas co-listed as +1000 favorites to win the National Championship.
The Baylor Bears have won 18-straight games coming into this week’s action and look to be in position to stake claim to the No. 1 overall seed in March.
There are a lot of things to get excited about with the Baylor Bears, particularly with their defensive play. As last years National Champion Virginia team proved, defense wins championships in college basketball too, and Baylor boasts the 4th best overall defense in the country per KenPom.
However, those pesky Kansas Jayhawks stand in their way. Baylor has already defeated their conference foe 67-55 in a rare Kansas home loss, but at least one more matchup between the two schools awaits on the schedule with a possible rubber match coming in the Big XII tournament.
If Kansas is able to sweep those two matchups, you could be looking at the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament when March comes around.
Top NCAAB National Championship Odds: Gonzaga Bulldogs (+800)
Despite pollsters putting Baylor above Gonzaga in the rankings a few weeks ago, oddsmakers do not feel the same way at the moment as they have listed Gonzaga as the odds-on favorite to win their first ever National Championship.
Mark Few’s Bulldogs are once again, one of the most complete teams in the country, but the same questions will be asked about the boys from Spokane that get asked every March – are they as good as advertised or are they a product of a weak conference?
Any chances that Gonzaga will have to win the National Championship will likely rely on Killian Tillie’s health in March. The smooth shooting Tillie has already missed seven games this season and his health was a big reason Gonzaga’s quest for a National Title came to an abrupt halt a year ago.
If Tillie is able to get a clean bill of health, the trio of Filip Petrusev, Corey Kispert and Tillie will be as formidable as any in the country.
The Rest of the Field’s National Championship Odds
- Louisville (NCAAB National Championship Odds: +2000)
Don’t look now, but the Louisville Cardinals are surging towards a #1 seed in March. After a mini-stumble that saw the Cardinals losing back-to-back games against Kentucky and Florida State, Chris Mack’s Cardinals have recovered with 8-straight wins and currently sit at #5 in the AP Poll. This is a team that has everything you could love with a possible National Championship run and at 20-to-1, you’re getting remarkable value on a team that may just be the #1 overall seed with the field of 68 is announced in March.
- Villanova (NCAAB National Championship Odds: +2200)
Jay Wright knows two things: How to dress and how to coach basketball. Villanova isn’t getting the attention they normally receive, at least not yet. Wright’s group is filled to the brim with young talent and they are starting to gel in a very tough Big East conference. In a season where winning the NCAA Tournament is possible for many teams, Villanova is a sleeper to take very seriously come March.
- San Diego State (NCAAB National Championship Odds: +3000)
It’s not very often that you can take a 23-0 team at 30-to-1 to win the National Championship but that’s exactly what the San Diego State Aztecs offer you on the futures market this week. Now, in all likelihood, the Aztecs will not be a National Championship winning team – but you’re betting on value here from a team that’s very likely to be entering the tournament with maybe one loss at the most. That would very likely lead to San Diego State finding themselves with a Top 8 seed and maybe even a No. 1 seed if they’re able to run the table in a very weak Mountain West Conference.
- Marquette (+6000 to win National Championship)
This is basically a dart throw at a team with the best scorer in the country, Markus Howard. In a season where the race to win the National Championship is more open than a wide receiver in LSU’s offense, you just never know what could happen if Markus Howard goes on a Kemba Walker like tear in March.
All college basketball futures odds courtesy DraftKings Sportsbook as of 2/3/2020