In a Crazy Season Who Has the Best NCAAB National Championship Odds
College football fans think they have it tough trying to figure out who the champion is among 128 teams. But they don’t know what tough is—right, college basketball fans? No crowning a real champ in college basketball is a more significant challenge.
Yes, the field down to 68 teams at one point for college basketball, but then it’s a winner take all format. Win, and you are still in; lose, and you’re out. There is no room for error. No second chances are available. There certainly isn’t a shot at redemption.
It is almost like a champion isn’t crowned in the end; the team that got hot at the right time is. That makes total sense when you consider how the rankings have been in flux this season—especially the top spot.
Michigan State didn’t last long, conceding the top spot to Kentucky after the first week. Fortune didn’t smile on the Wildcats either as Week Three saw a new No. 1, the Duke Blue Devils. The Blue Devils held the spot until Week Five when Louisville took over—until Week Seven when Kansas did.
But in Week Eight, we saw another change as Gonzaga moved into the No. 1 slot and have remained ever since. With the Bulldogs holding onto the spot the longest, they have earned the right to be the national championship favorite (for now).
However, if they stumble, there will be several teams ready to climb over them as they fall.
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NCAAB National Championship Odds: It’s Anyone’s Game Right Now
According to the oddsmakers at DraftKings, there are four teams at the top of the pecking order: Gonzaga (+900), Duke (+1000), Kansas (+1000), and Louisville (+1000).
The preseason No. 1, Michigan State, has slipped down to the second tier at +1500. They were joined there this week by Baylor (+1500), who is now the No. 2 team in the country. Even though they are 2-4 in conference play, Ohio State has +1500 odds. Bringing up the rear of the second tier is Oregon (+1600).
Then you have your third-tier teams that could make a run at the national title if a few things go their way come tournament time. After losing to Baylor, the Butler Bulldogs have won six in a row (+2000). Maryland still has solid odds (+2000) after falling from No. 12 to No. 17 in the country.
While Kentucky has had some rocky moments this season, they are certainly a team that could go on a run come March, and win it all (+2200). Villanova is trending in the right direction as well (+2200). Auburn rounds out the third tier at +2500 despite being the No. 4 team in the country and one of two undefeated teams left in the top 25.
Even though their odds are longer, it would be foolish to forget about San Diego State (+3300), Dayton (+3000), Florida State (+4000), or Virginia (+2800).
So—who should you bet on? Honestly, it’s open season right about now. Maybe the only team that should be eliminated is Michigan State– but only if you believe in trends. No preseason No. 1 has won the national title since North Carolina did back in the 2008-09 season.
Otherwise, several teams have an excellent shot at going all the way this year. Any of the four teams in the first tier would be a good choice. But there is good reason to be concerned about all four.
Gonzaga has held the No. 1 spot longer than anyone, but they don’t exactly play too many heavyweights. So, who could knock them down a peg (no one)?
Duke is as star-studded and talented as ever. With Coach K at the helm, they will always be ready to play. But then why did they lose to Stephen F. Austin of all teams? Are they ripe for an early upset?
As for Kansas, two of their three losses were by a point, and the other was just an eight-point defeat. All three losses were to ranked teams. So, are they good but not good enough?
A similar argument could be made for Louisville. Good arguments could be made for several other teams.
Memphis (+3000) still looks strong despite losing James Wiseman. Wichita State shouldn’t be ignored (+6000), and neither should West Virginia (+4000).
The list of good teams and potential champions could go on and on. There are simply too many good teams this year and not enough great ones—which means you might as well take your chances on a long shot. Some of them are looking just as good as the frontrunners.