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Archived: College Basketball Championship Odds

March 3, 2023

Have you locked in your NCAA March Madness futures bet yet? If not, what are you waiting for exactly? You might want to get on it before your favorite team’s odds start losing some of their value.

The Houston Cougars are the current favorites to win the NCAA Tournament at +650 odds after opening the season at +2000. If the Cougars pull it off and win a title, it will be Houston’s first national championship in school history. They came close about 40 years ago when they lost in the final in both 1983 and 1984..

2022-23 College Basketball Championship Odds

Odds To Win 2023 NCAAB Championship
Team Odds Opening Odds
Houston +650 +2000
Kansas +850 +1150
Alabama +900 +4000
Purdue +1000 +6600
UCLA +1200 +1600
Arizona +1600 +1600
Baylor +1800 +1500
Texas +1800 +5000
UConn +2000 +6600
Gonzaga +2500 +900
Tennessee +2500 +2500
Indiana +2500 +3500
Virginia +3000 +4000


College Basketball Odds Favorites

Houston Cougars (+650)

The Houston Cougars have gone 27-2 overall on the season. They just keep winning. So how have the Cougars done it? Depth offense and some excellent defensive work. The Cougars boast the No. 1 defense in the nation, allowing only 55.9 points per game.

Houston does an incredible job in denying teams quality shooting real estate and disrupting shooters with what they do give them. Houston’s opponents have averaged an abysmal 35.9 percent from the field on the year. No side in the entire nation is better.

But look, it goes beyond that. Here are all the defensive metrics where Houston either leads or is in the top three (all on a per-game basis):

  1. Field goals – 18.6 (1st)
  2. Field-goal percentage – 35.8% (1st)
  3. Two-pointers allowed – 12.2 (2nd)
  4. Two-point percentage – 0.426% (2nd)
  5. Three-point percentage – 0.275% (3rd)

Not bad, eh? And we all know that defense wins championships. Enough said.

Kansas (+850)

Kansas has gone from +1200 and fifth on the oddsboard to +850 and second overall now. Dropping just one game in their last nine is the key to their jump in the odds table. Among their victories during that stretch, the Jayhawks took out four ranked teams: Kansas State, Texas, Baylor and TCU.

The duo of Jalen Wilson and Gradey Dick has been key for the Jayhawks, averaging a combined 34.5 points, 13.4 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game on the season. 

With that one-two punch, Kansas might just win its second championship in two years.

Purdue (+1000)

Having the best player in the game at this level helps a lot. Zach Edey has been simply unstoppable this season. The seven-foot-four center is averaging 22.3 points and 12.9 rebounds and is the runaway favorite for the Player of the Year (POY).

But having the best player isn’t enough on its own to win the March Madness tournament. Since 2000, only three POY winners have also won the national title: Shane Battier (Duke, 2001), Anthony Davis (Kentucky, 2012) and Jalen Brunson (Villanova, 2018).

After two prolonged winning streaks over the course of the year, the Boilermakers have alternated wins and losses, including a 68-54 setback to Maryland.

I was already skeptical of Purdue relying on a single player to push them forward, specifically when it comes to the tournament. To see them display these issues at the tail end of the regular season is enough for me to want to fade them in March.

Last 10 NCAA Basketball Champions

Last 10 NCAAB Champions
Year Team Preseason Odds
2022 Kansas +1400 (7)
2021 Baylor +800 (1)
2019 Virginia +1350 (6)
2018 Villanova +2700 (7)
2017 North Carolina +1900 (8)
2016 Villanova +2500 (10)
2015 Duke +900 (4)
2014 Connecticut +6500 (14)
2013 Louisville +700 (2)
2012 Kentucky +550 (2)
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