UConn is now the odds on favorite to win the NCAA Tournament
The 2023 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament has been wild ride, both in terms of crazy upsets and buzzer beaters and in the future betting odds for the National Champion. Losses by both Houston and Alabama in the Sweet 16 started the weekend of March Madness and upsets of Texas, Gonzaga and Kansas State in the Elite 8 made 2023 a year to remember.
No Number Ones
In just the second time in nearly 40 years there is no #1 seed heading into the Final Four. In fact, there are no #2 or number 3 seeds either! This year's tourney started with a #1 seed going down in the first round, when Purdue lost to #16 Farleigh-Dickenson, in just the second time a #1 seed fell in the opening round. The only other time this happened since the expansion to 64 teams was in 2018 when UMBC (University of Maryland – Baltimore County) shocked the college basketball betting world by upsetting the #1 Virginia Cavaliers. Kansas didn't make it out of the Round of 32 when they couldn't score a bucket in the final 3:45 of their game vs. Arkansas, leaving just two #1s remaining going into the Sweet 16.
Odds to Win the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship<
With the Final Four set, we can take a look back at the odds to win the National Championship and see how the betting lines dropped as the teams progressed. At start of March Madness, Houston was favorite to win it all at 5-1 at most of the top online sportsbooks. Alabama was at 8-1, with the two number ones that exited in the first weekend at 12-1. Heading into the Sweet 16, Alabama has slid into the role of favorite at +275, with Houston listed at +325 at industry leading sportsbooks. Neither team made it to the weekend.
With no top seed left heading into the Elite 8, the future odds board had changed dramatically, with the Texas Longhorns listed as the #2 favorite at BookMaker and UConn at the top of the heap at about 3-1 odds. Higher seeded teams stayed at the top of the future odds board with just eight teams remaining. But, the bottom of the board consisted of the three of the four teams remaining.
Current National Championship Odds
Leading online sportsbooks have posted their updated March Madness odds. UConn is a heavy favorite at -125. San Diego State is second on the board, followed by Miami and Florida Atlantic.
| 2023 Men's NCAA Basketball Championship Odds
courtesy of BetOnline.ag
|San Diego State Aztecs||+300|
|Florida Atlantic Owls||+600|
"Worst Case" Scenario for Sportsbooks
Adam Burns, sportsbook manager at industry giant BetOnline, reported prior to the start of the NCAA Tournament, that the UConn Huskies were their largest liability in terms of futures odds. The sportsbook is in-line to incur a six figure loss if the Huskies hoist the trophy next Monday.
"UConn's odds got as high as 90/1 at the end of November, and people were betting them at those massive odds," Burns told OSGA. He added that, "This season was about as wide open as it gets so we had sharp bettors looking for value with those mid-range teams." Needless to say, BetOnline is rooting for yet another upset.
Players could have gotten 100-1 on SDSU prior to the tournament and Miami at 66-1 in early March. of course, FAU was the longest shot of the Final Four. The Owls were listed at 300/1 in early January and were 125/1 going into the tourney.
Best of luck with the Final Four odds and all of your March Madness bets.