With a suspenseful Selection Sunday in the books, the 2018 NCAA Tournament bracket has been set.
And while you’ve been busy putting the finishing touches on your office pool picks, the linemakers at online sportsbook Bovada have been hard at work setting odds for all 68 teams in the field.
With the best overall record in the regular season, Virginia (31-2) is the #1 overall seed representing the South Region, but the Cavaliers come in second at (+650) when it comes to odds on a tourney title.
That’s because fellow #1 seed Villanova (30-4; +600) has an especially easy path through the East Region, which is occupied by a slew of also rans. After competing against a (+100000) play-in team (#16 Long Island-Brooklyn or #16 Radford) in the first round, the Wildcats will face either #8 Virginia Tech (21-11; +20000) or #9 Alabama (19-15; +25000) in the second round.
From there, potential Sweet Sixteen matchups for Villanova include #4 Wichita State (25-7; +4000) or #5 West Virginia (24-10; +2500).
As for top-seeded Virginia, opening against #16 University of Maryland Baltimore College (+100000) shouldn’t pose a problem. But if the chalk prevails in the early rounds, a potential Sweet Sixteen date with either #4 Arizona (27-7; +1200) or #5 Kentucky (24-10; +1600) awaits.
In this case, both of these Wildcats squads rank among the only 13 teams offering 16 to 1 or better to take the title. Throw in #2 Cincinnati (30-4; +1200) and #3 Tennessee (25-8; +4000) to round out the regional bracket, and Virginia clearly faces the toughest road of any top-seed in the tourney.
Next up, #1 Xavier (28-5; +1500) leads the way in the West Region, which is set up to produce a spectacular Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight – if the stars align.
Assuming the Musketeers can get past a (+100000) play-in team (N.C. Central or Texas Southern) to open the tournament, then defeat either #8 Missouri (20-12; +5500) or #9 Florida State (20-11; +35000) – they’ll most likely face #4 Gonzaga (30-4’ +1500) or # 5 Ohio State (24-8; +8000) in the Sweet Sixteen.
And with a win there, Xavier could face either #2 North Carolina (25-10; +1400) or #3 Michigan (28-7; +1400) in the Elite Eight – both of which rank among the top-10 bets on Bovada.
Finally, the Midwest Region is topped by #1 Kansas (27-7; +1200), but the Jayhawks will have to bring their best to reach the Final Four.
The Midwest also includes elite talent like #2 Duke (+800) and # 3 Michigan (+1400), so several pivotal games will dominate the region’s later rounds.
For a full look at odds on all 68 teams in the field for this year’s tourney bracket, as currently listed on Bovada, see below:
2018 NCAA Tournament Odds on Bovada
|Team||NCAA Championship Odds on 3/12|
|San Diego State||+20000|
|New Mexico State||+50000|
|Stephen F. Austin||+50000|
|MD Baltimore County||+100000|
|Cal State Fullerton||+100000|
|College of Charleston||+100000|
|South Dakota State||+100000|