Two weeks ago we reviewed the odds offered by online sportsbook Bovada for the 2017 NCAA Tournament, and with March Madness right around the corner it’s time to take a second look.
The tournament tips off on Tuesday, March 14, but two days before that Selection Sunday will officially set the 68-team field. In the meantime, most teams have but a handful of dates left on the schedule.
That leaves top contenders and potential number one seeds like Kansas (26-3), Gonzaga (29-1), and Villanova (27-3) time for fine tuning, while bubble teams such as Syracuse (17-13) and Seton Hall (18-10) get a few more chances to impress the selection committee.
The top-ranked team in the nation is the Jayhawks, but Bovada lists Kansas (+800) as its fourth-most likely team to win the tournament – despite their six-game winning streak.
Conversely, the best of the bunch on Bovada is North Carolina (25-5; +500), and while the Tar Heels’ record isn’t the gaudiest, it includes three wins over Associated Press top-25 ranked squads in as many weeks. The bookmakers have taken notice, moving North Carolina from +1200 to their current position atop the betting table.
Momentum may just be on head coach Roy Williams’ side, and with two tournament titles already under his belt, that’s a bad sign for the field.
The previous top odds at Bovada were held by Gonzaga at +700, but the Bulldogs’ only loss of the year to BYU put a stop to their runaway regular season. Gonzaga (+750) now sits in third overall in terms of odds.
Among the other heavyweights offering odds of 10-1 or better are UCLA (26-3; +700) and Duke (22-7; +900).
For the Blue Devils, sitting as the 17th-ranked team in the nation according to the AP after entering the year as the preseason number one must be a tough pill to swallow. But even as head coach Mike Krzyzewski has been forced to use 10 different starting lineups, Duke has hung around to at least put itself in the national title discussion.
If you prefer longshots to leaders, Syracuse (17-13; +4000) offers a curious case from a betting perspective. After enjoying a surprise run to the Final Four last year, head coach Jim Boeheim turned over most of the Orange’s roster. That inexperience is evidenced by a lackluster regular season record, but Syracuse still has the ACC tournament to turn things around.
Last time we checked in the Orange were listed at +6600, but despite dropping two of three since then, they’ve climbed in Bovada’s estimation.
You can review the current odds posted for all 49 NCAA Tournament contenders via the table below:
2017 NCAA Tournament Winner Odds
|Team||NCAA Tournament Odds on 2/27|
|St. Mary’s CA||+10000|
|North Carolina State||+50000|