With two rounds completed, the 2017 NCAA Division 1 men’s basketball tournament bracket is beginning to take shape.
And while the early rounds weren’t ripe for momentous upsets like previous editions, this year’s tournament was still turned topsy-turvy to set the Sweet Sixteen.
The second round saw the first number one seed to fall, as Villanova was ousted by 8-seeded Wisconsin. And a pair of 2-seeds in Louisville and Duke were downed early by 7-seeds in Michigan and South Carolina, respectively.
The latter upset was particularly brutal for basketball fans, bracket-holders, and sports bettors alike. Before the tournament tipped off, the Blue Devils held the best odds (+600) to win it all of any squad among the 68 title contenders, per online sportsbook Bovada.
On the other side of the coin, the only double-digit seed to take two games and earn their Sweet Sixteen ticket was 11-seeded Xavier. The Musketeers defeated 6-seed Maryland in the opening round, before blowing a 3-seed Florida State team out by 25 points.
With the bracket reshuffled and the Sweet Sixteen matchups officially set, Bovada has revised their odds to complete college sports’ most significant streak and win the national championship.
Having outscored the opposition by a combined 58 points through two games, top-seeded Kansas hold Bovada’s top spot, offering (+475) odds. The Jayhawks face 4-seed Purdue (+2000) next, which explains the Boilermakers’ relatively low placement on the title totem pole.
Another top-seed to cruise thus far is North Carolina (+500), but their path through the Midwest region isn’t nearly as clear. The feared 4-seeds from Butler (+4000) are up next, and while Bovada doesn’t particularly like the Bulldogs’ chances, the program is well-versed in March Madness momentum, having reached consecutive title games in 2010 and 2011.
A pair of skilled squads from the West region are next up, as top-seeded Gonzaga (+650) and 2-seed Arizona (+650) offer the same odds. The Wildcats’ road to the Elite Eight appears to be smoother, facing aforementioned Xavier (+7500) and the tournament’s lone remaining Cinderella story. The Bulldogs, meanwhile, face 4-seed West Virginia (+1800) and experienced head coach Bob Huggins.
If you’re a bettor who got in on Bovada’s early lines, a trio of dark horse contenders now holds serious value. Fourth-seeded Florida (+1200) has seen its pre-tournament odds (+3300) move sharply in the right direction, as have 3-seed Baylor and 7-seed Michigan (+1600), after beginning at (+2800) and (+2500), respectively.
Following the team’s rousing upset of Duke, 7-seed South Carolina can be backed at (+5000). But beating the vaunted Blue Devils cut those odds down from (+15000), and with the less pedigreed Bears of Baylor up next, the Gamecocks’ longshot chances don’t seem impossible any longer.
For the latest odds on all of the Sweet Sixteen survivors, as currently shown on Bovada, see the table below:
2017 NCAA Tournament Odds
|Team||NCAA Tournament Odds on 3/20|