One week after the 2019 NCAA Men’s College Basketball National Championship tournament tipped off, the Sweet 16 survivors have been set. The Sweet 16 odds slate begins Thursday with the first of back-to-back Thursday and Friday quadruple-headers.
And in the wake of a historic Round of 32 which saw all 16 betting favorites emerge victorious, tourney brackets nationwide are top-heavy with elite talent.
Sweet 16 Odds: The Chalk Reigns Supreme
College basketball fans who appreciate the art of the upset have been disappointed during the most recent edition of March Madness.
All 12 of the tournament’s Top-3 regional seeds secured a pair of wins to play their way into the Sweet 16, with #1 overall seed Duke leading the way. After opening the 68-team tournament as huge (+225) favorites, online sportsbook Bovada now has the Blue Devils as (+300) favorites to cut the nets down for the fourth time since the 2000 season.
Those odds have narrowed quite a bit over the last week, thanks in large part to Duke’s near disaster against the #9-seed University of Central Florida Knights last round. In their Round of 32 matchup versus the Knights, consensus NBA number one overall draft pick Zion Williamson and his teammates came within two excruciatingly close baskets from finding themselves ousted from the tournament.
Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski and Co. dodged every UCF bullet though, setting the Blue Devils up for a Friday date with #4 Virginia Tech on the Sweet 16 odds. But with the Hokies forced to reckon with Zion and his fellow Duke phenom R.J. Barrett, the Hokies are third-worst among the remaining squads at (+4000) to win the 2019 National Championship.
Fittingly enough for a tournament defined by elite schools showing their stuff, the Bovada betting board features #1 regional seeds Virginia (+400), Gonzaga (+475), and North Carolina (+600) clustered closely with Duke.
Virginia gets the oddsmakers’ benefit of the doubt by virtue of playing the tournament’s lowest remaining seed, as the Cavaliers play #12 Oregon. The Ducks notched an 18-point upset over #5 Wisconsin in the opening round, before following up with a 19-point win over fellow tournament underdog #13 UC Irvine. Both wins were entirely convincing, but with a double-digit seed and a light Pac-12 regular season schedule factoring into play, Oregon ranks lowest on the tourney title totem pole with (+7000) odds.
Sweet 16 Odds: Balance Becomes the Norm
Because so many of the tournament’s top teams have secured spots in the Sweet 16, betting lines remain closer than usual.
Of the 16 teams still vying for National Championship honors, 10 of them are listed at (+2000) or better. That list includes the regionally top-seeded foursome listed above, along with #2 seeds Michigan State (+1200), Kentucky (+1400), Tennessee (+1500), and Michigan (+1800).
Rounding out the upper echelon of the Sweet 16 are #3 seeds Purdue (+1500) and Texas Tech (+2000). Houston is next as a #3 seed priced at (+2200), followed by #5 Auburn (+2800), #4 Florida State (+3500), #4 Virginia Tech (+4000), and #3 LSU (+5000).
To see where the 16 teams left remaining in the 2019 NCAA Tournament fare in terms of odds to win it all, check the table below:
|Team (Regional Seed)||Championship Odds|
|North Carolina (#1)||+600|
|Michigan State (#2)||+1200|
|Texas Tech (#3)||+2000|
|Florida State (#4)||+3500|
|Virginia Tech (#4)||+4000|