Two teams stand out as the frontrunners with the first week of the 2018 NCAA Tournament in the books. No.1 Villanova and No.2 Duke have the best betting odds to win college basketball’s national championship.
The exact odds vary depending upon the sportsbook, but the Wildcats and Blue Devils are the two clear favorites. They’ve been as impressive as anyone during March Madness, cruising to the Sweet 16. During a tournament that’s featured historic upsets, Villanova and Duke have lived up to expectations, winning their games by 20-plus points.
More than half of the teams seeded No.4 or better didn’t survive the first weekend. No.1 Virginia wasn’t simply the first top seed to fall victim to a No.16 seed, but they were considered to be the best team in the entire field. Six of the top 11 betting favorites in the original field of 68, including No.3 Michigan State, No.4 Arizona and No.2 North Carolina, will all be watching the Final Four from home.
It was the losses by Virginia, Arizona, No.2 Cincinnati and No.3 Tennessee that have No.5 Kentucky favored to win the South region. The Wildcats are one of a handful of teams with better than 10/1 championship odds because only No.11 Loyola-Chicago, No.9 Kansas State and No.7 Nevada stand in their way of making the Final Four. Kentucky defeated No.12 Davidson and No.13 Buffalo in the first two rounds.
No.4 Gonzaga is the favorite in the West. They could be headed for a meeting with No.3 Michigan in the Elite Eight.
No.1 Kansas isn’t favored to win the Midwest. Duke has significantly better odds than the Jayhawks to win the region and celebrate a national title. Kansas faces an upcoming Elite Eight matchup with No.5 Clemson, who has won their two tourney games by a combined 42 points. Duke is an 11-point favorite in the Sweet 16 against No.11 Syracuse, whom the Blue Devils defeated 60-44 at the end of February.
West Virginia/Purdue +1600
Texas Tech +2200
Texas A&M/Clemson/Nevada +2500
Kansas State +2800
Florida State +4000
— OddsShark (@OddsShark) March 19, 2018
Men’s NCAA basketball tournament winner updated
West Virginia 15/1
Texas Tech 25/1
Texas A&M 25/1
Florida St 40/1
Kansas St 50/1
Loyola Chicago 50/1
— Jeff Sherman (@golfodds) March 19, 2018
Final Four Predictions