NCAA Basketball Odds To Win Championship
It’s been nearly two years since college basketball fans last bet on an NCAA Basketball Tournament game. With the March Madness hiatus in 2020, the Virginia Cavaliers remain our defending national champions, but a quick glimpse at NCAA Basketball Odds to Win the National Championship at online sportsbooks show it’s an uphill battle for Virginia sports bettors to cash UVA futures tickets in 2021. To no one’s surprise, Gonzaga (+300) sits atop NCAA Tournament futures odds, followed closely by the Baylor Bears (+450). From there, it’s a major drop-off to teams like the Michigan Wolverines (+600) and the Fighting Illini (+1000). We’ll touch on more college basketball teams and their current futures outlook ahead of the NCAA Tournament, but first here’s how to bet on NCAA Basketball Odds to Win the National Championship.
How to Bet on NCAA Basketball Odds to Win National Championship
Next to the Super Bowl, there’s no event more popular in sports betting than the NCAA Tournament. College Basketball Odds to win the National Championship are posted year-round, so if you have a hunch that a Cinderalla team can make it to the big dance, then you might find +EV (positive expected value) opportunities by betting on National Championship futures odds before the season tips off.
Of course, to partake in the madness you need to sign up at online sportsbooks like BetMGM, PointsBet, FanDuel, DraftKings, and FOX Bet as well as find out the sports betting logistics in your state. Laws and regulations vary across jurisdictions, some forbidding betting on in-state colleges — lame, we know. You can find out all of those details with our state pages for sports betting in Michigan, Colorado, Tennessee, New Jersey, New York, Indiana,West Virginia, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and more!
Now that you know where and how to bet on NCAA Basketball Odds to Win National Championship, let’s take a closer look at what it means to bet on college basketball futures and how to read odds.
What Are College Basketball Futures
In gambling parlance, a futures bet is any wager on an event that will be determined in the future. College basketball futures bets include NCAA basketball odds to win National Championship, conference championships, and individual player accolades like the John R. Wooden Award.
NCAA Basketball Futures Odds Explained
Often, futures odds are listed with a plus sign (+) in front of a three to five digit number. Here are a few examples, using current odds to win the NCAA Tournament.
Iowa State +25000
The odds above are simply shorthand for “Gonzaga is 3-to-1 and Iowa State is 250-to-1 to win the NCAA basketball national championship.”
On these bets, a $10 on Gonzaga will win bettors $30 in profit, while a $10 on Iowa State will win $2500. Simple enough.
In some cases, when a team is especially dominant or later in the NCAA Tournament when there are fewer teams remaining, the favorite will be listed with a minus-sign (-) in front. This makes them what sports bettors call the “odds-on favorite.” By wagering on the odds-on favorite, bettors will have to risk more money than they will win. Like the previous examples, these too payout like moneylines. So, if a team has -120 odds to win the national championship, bettors must risk $12 to win $10.
You can also use our Odds Calculator to see the payout of a futures bet before placing it.
2021 NCAA Basketball Odds To Win National Championship History
There has yet to be a major shakeup at the top of the NCAA basketball odds to win the national championship. When the futures market first opened for the 2020-21 college basketball season, Gonzaga and Baylor were the top two favorites, which is where both teams remain after clinching the top two overall seeds in Indianapolis. Though no teams have managed to jump ahead of them in the betting market, both teams’ odds have shortened significantly.
Duke & Kentucky Missing From The Madness
It’s the first time since 1995 that the Duke Blue Devils and head coach Mike Krzyzewski won’t be participating in college basketball’s main event. The Kentucky Wildcats and John Calipari also end an eight-year tournament streak after finishing the regular season a dismal 9-16.
Hall-of-Famer Tom Izzo also almost missed out, but Sparty ultimately received an invitation to play in one of four play-in games Thursday evening. Separated by merely a one-point spread, both teams will their work cut out for them if they want to play in the first round of 64. It’s worth noting that Michigan State has a resume of top-tier wins, including victories against Michigan, Illinois, and Ohio State. On the other hand, the Bruins barely sneaked into the Big Dance after ending the season with four consecutive losses. However, UCLA does have a dangerously efficient offense (no. 24). If they hit their stride, they could be a dangerous team to face beyond the play-in game.
As for the Kansas Jayhawks (20-8), Bill Self’s squad stretched from +1600 to +5000 at BetMGM earlier this season — as we mentioned at the time, it was a good opportunity to buy low on Bill Self’s squad. Despite their sub-par start (at least by the standards set at Allen Field House), Kansas bounced back by winning eight of their final 10 games. The Jayhawks’ odds to win the national championship have since shortened to roughly +3000.
Kansas has top-25 wins against Creighton, Texas Tech, West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State. It’s also worth mentioning that their 102-90 loss to Gonzaga in the season opener doesn’t look as bad in retrospect.
Stock Risers: Alabama, Iowa, Houston, and Texas
Opening as roughly +9000 longshots, the Alabama Crimson Tide have used the three-ball to become household names this college basketball season en route to an SEC Championship. Just as they’ve gained the respect of their peers and fans alike, bettors and oddsmakers have also given them nods of approval, and now Alabama is as short as +2000 to win the national championship at Betmgm. Their best price can be found at FanDeul sportsbook, where they carry a +2300 tag. Alabama’s aggressive, high-variance offensive style makes them legit candidates to make a run to the Final Four.
Meanwhile, the Iowa Hawkeyes (Open +4000, Current +1800) clawed their way to the top of betting menus behind the stellar play of their forward, Luka Garza. Last year, the big man fell short of winning the John R. Wood Award, the award given to the best college basketball player in the nation, as voters gave the honor to Dayton’s Obi Toppin. With Toppin playing in Madison Square Garden, Garza is considered a lock to win the award this time around. It’s safe to say online sportsbooks in Iowa took their fair share of Iowa and Garza-related bets.
Down in the Lone Star State, it’s not just Baylor and Texas Tech (+2500) making noise. The Houston Cougars (+2000) and Texas Longhorns (+2800) have both come on strong as Final Four contenders, too. Both teams travel to Indiana after winning their conference tourneys, so they’re playing some of their best basketball of the year. The success in Austin couldn’t have come at a better time for head coach Shaka Smart. Smart entered the season on the hot seat, and the 2020 tournament cancellation might have actually saved him his job. Donors undoubtedly want to see the Longhorns advance beyond the first two rounds of the tournament, but Smart has job security going forward which should aid him on the recruiting trail as he continues to bring in blue-chip recruits and NBA prospects like freshman Greg Brown.