Below are the most recent odds to win the 2018 NCAA Tournament. The most recent numbers will be under the “Now” column. Teams will be ordered based on who has the best chance of cutting down the nets.
We will be back to look at the odds at several points throughout the season, so be sure to check back often. Our college basketball lines pages let’s you compare the live numbers from several top books.
Betting Odds & Favorites to Win the 2018 NCAA Basketball Tournament
|San Diego State||+20000||+15000||+10000|
|Stephen F. Austin||+50000|
|New Mexico State||+50000|
|South Dakota State||+100000|
|MD Baltimore County||+100000|
Just like that we are down to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. The first two rounds provided plenty of excitement and some huge upsets. None bigger than No. 16 seed UMBC taking down No.1 overall seed Virginia. The first time a No. 16 has ever beat a No. 1. The shocking part is that it wasn’t even close, as Virginia lost by 20.
That wasn’t the only No. 1 seed to be sent home early. No. 1 seed Xavier was upended by No. 9 Florida State in the Round of 32. The madness didn’t stop there, as No. 2 seeds Cincinnati and North Carolina were both eliminated, as was No. 3 seeds Michigan State and Tennessee. We also No. 4 seeds Arizona and and Wichita State fail to make it to the weekend.
The two Cinderella stories that are still alive in the big dance are No. 11 seed Loyola-Chicago out of the South and No. 11 seed Syracuse out of the Midwest. While the Orange have a Sweet 16 matchup with Duke up next and a likely showdown with No. 1 Kansas in the Elite 8, if they make it, the Ramblers path to the Final 4 is much easier. Loyola-Chicago will take on No. 7 seed Nevada on Thursday and if they win would get the winner of No. 5 Kentucky and No. 9 Kansas State.
When the field was set, Villanova was the odds on favorite to win it all at +600. Followed closely by Virginia at +650 and then Duke at +800. After the first two rounds, the Blue Devils are now the new favorites at +325 with the Wildcats not too far back at +450.
Those are the two heavy favorites to win it all, but keep in mind only one of them can make the Championship Game, as they would ultimately face each other in the Final Four. There’s two teams tied for the third best odds and that’s Gonzaga and Kentucky at +700. You then have Michigan at +800 and Kansas at +850. No other team is listed at better than 10 to 1.
Past Champions & Their Chances of Winning the Final Four
The table below lists the championship team for each season. The preseason column shows each team’s preseason chances to win the tournament.
Since the 2007 tournament, the Connecticut Huskies have the two biggest upsets in terms of overcoming their preseason odds. Both of those title games were interesting because of the seeds.
At 70 to 1 prior to the 2013-2014 season, UConn pulled off one of the most unlikely championships at any level. They entered the tournament as a 7 seed and went on to win as the second-lowest winning seed in NCAA history (#8 Villanova – 1985). It was the highest total seeds to make the championship game when the Huskies as a 7 seed took down the 8 seed Kentucky.
2011 was also interesting because they beat another 8-seed. This time it was the Butler Bulldogs. So, two massive upsets for UConn, but then again they had the easiest title games in recent memory too. If you think you can pick a massive underdog like this, just remember to look at our tournament winners by seed. You’ll see the probability of a team worse than 3-see of winning it all is very low.
Handicapping Who Has the Best Chance to Win
So how do you go about picking which team will conquer March Madness and cut down the nets? There is a lot that goes into handicapping postseason games. Throw motivation out the window. Nobody is taking these games lightly.
Does a team get to place close to home? They are worth a look. Is there a team that is over-rated? That’s not saying they can’t win it all, but it will typically drive all value out of their line. Kentucky is 2015 was a good example. They came into the tournament undefeated and everyone expected them to run the table. The number got down to less than even money and of course, they were beat.
Instead, look at a few sleepers that have a chance. Don’t ignore how each seed has performed. Trust coaches with a history of success over unknowns. Lastly, remember that no team seeded worse than 8th has made the championship game.
Don’t want such a long shot but really like a team? Check out their odds to win their conference tournament. Not nearly as much competition or level of difficulty required.