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||+15000||+10000|
I thought now was a good time to check in on the odds to win the 2018 NCAA Tournament. Conference play is well under way and before you know it March Madness will be upon us.
When we last checked in back in late December, there were 3 teams that oddsmakers had head and shoulders above the rest of the field. That hasn’t changed. As of the middle of January, Duke and Villanova are tied with the best odds at +600, with Michigan State right on their heels at +700. No other team has odds better than 10 to 1.
There is however, two teams that the books seem to be a little higher on than the rest when we get to that second tier of contenders. That would be Arizona, who comes in at +1200 and Wichita State at +1400. This quite a difference from our last checkpoint, where we had 5 different teams sitting somewhere between 10 to 1 and 20 to 1.
The next tier of teams is pretty congested with a lot of well known contenders. Kansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Purdue and Virginia are all sitting at +2000, with Gonzaga, Cincinnati, Florida and Texas Tech close behind at +2500. I’m also including the next group of teams at +3300 in this tier, which includes North Carolina, Xavier, Seton Hall, Michigan and St. Mary’s. There’s a lot of really good teams in this tier. In fact, I don’t think it would be a huge surprise if any one of these teams ended up cutting down the nets this year.
You then have Florida State at +4000, Texas A&M, Louisville, Miami and Notre Dame at +5000. Followed by Arizona State, Auburn, Ohio State and Tennessee at +6600. It’s pretty amazing how the Sun Devils odds have adjusted throughout the season. Arizona State didn’t even have odds when they first came out last April. They eventually opened at 300 to 1 in late August. After their epic start to the season that had them ranked inside the Top 10, they were at +1200 to win it all and now are back to being a pretty decent long-shot. It just goes to show you how quickly things can change.
I’m going to continue updating the title odds roughly every two weeks, so be sure to check back often.
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.