College basketball betting is about six weeks into the 2020-21 season, as eyes are starting to shift towards March Madness and the odds to win the NCAA Tournament.
With the COVID-19 pandemic canceling the national tournament last March, fans of betting the bracket are following returning standouts, hotshot freshmen and the elite coaches who know how to navigate March Madness.
A number of programs are starting to emerge as the favorites, with five teams under +1,000 odds to win 2021 March Madness, but one annual powerhouse is pulling away from the pack.
Here are the latest odds for the top schools to win the NCAA championship.
Who is the Favorite to Win 2021 March Madness?
The Gonzaga Bulldogs, who finished 31-2 and No. 2 in the AP Poll last season, are off to a 10-0 start this year and are both the AP No. 1 and the clear betting favorites at +350. With five players averaging double figures, led by Corey Kispert and Drew Timme, the Bulldogs are second in the nation with 94.3 points per game and shoot 54.8 percent from the floor. Gonzaga has also already notched wins against Kansas, West Virginia, Iowa and Virginia— winning three of those games by double-digits.
Second on the odds board is the preseason betting favorite, the Villanova Wildcats (+700). Jay Wright's squad is 8-1 this year and sits third in the AP polls, with signature wins coming on the road against Texas and Marquette.
Odds to Win 2021 March Madness
|Team||Odds to win March Madness 2021 (as of Jan 8)|
|Creighton Blue Jays||+900|
|Illinois Fighting Illini||+1,100|
|Florida State Seminoles||+1,500|
|Michigan State Spartans||+1,800|
|West Virginia Mountaineers||+2,000|
|Duke Blue Devils||+2,500|
|San Diego State Aztecs||+2,500|
|Texas Tech Red Raiders||+2,500|
|Minnesota Golden Gophers||+3,000|
|North Carolina Tar Heels||+3,000|
|Virginia Tech Hokies||+3,000|
|Arizona State Sun Devils||+3,500|
|Marquette Golden Eagles||+4,000|
|Ohio State Buckeyes||+5,000|
Odds courtesy of DraftKings
Past March Madness Winners
|Season||National Champion||Odds Prior to Round 1 of March Madness|
|2016-17||North Carolina Tar Heels||+535|
|2014-15||Duke Blue Devils||+1,000|
|2009-10||Duke Blue Devils||+650|
|2008-09||North Carolina Tar Heels||+400|
|2004-05||North Carolina Tar Heels||+350|
|2000-01||Duke Blue Devils||+250|
Understanding March Madness Futures Odds
Sportsbooks will post odds for the NCAA men's basketball championship as early as the summer before the season starts. These odds are constantly adjusted throughout the offseason as players get hurt, suspended or are traded. Once the season begins in November, title odds will change as often as daily as teams win and lose games and as players get hurt or suspended. Sportsbooks will also adjust the March Madness futures odds based on handle and liability to certain teams.
March Madness futures odds will usually look like this:
- Kansas Jayhawks +1,000
This means that on a $100 bet, you'll stand to win $1,000 if the Jayhawks win the NCAA men's basketball title. If it's close to the end of the regular season or even during the tournament and college basketball has a very dominant team, you might see that a team is has a minus sign (-) ahead of its odds.
- Duke Blue Devils -120
This means that you would need to bet $120 to win $100 on a Duke championship.
Above we have posted the American odds for March Madness futures. However, these are easy to convert to decimal odds or fractional odds with our odds converter tool.
How to Bet College Basketball Futures
Predicting the winner of the NCAA men's college basketball tournament is one of the hardest things to do in sports betting. The lose-and-go-home format and the fact that a school needs to win six straight games against quality opponents means that the favorites don't always take home the title.
Another factor that comes into play is that the tournament bracket isn't set until Selection Sunday. As the college basketball season winds down, you can be pretty sure that the big favorites will slide into the bracket as top seeds. But for teams in the middle of the pack, nothing is certain.
As always when betting futures odds, be sure to look into injuries and suspensions. You might find some current value in a team that is expecting to get a key player back before March Madness begins.
Where Can I Bet on March Madness 2021 Odds?
Most online books and casinos offer betting on NCAA March Madness futures odds, but there can be a wide difference in the props offered and odds given. Check out what prop odds are offered with the best sportsbooks available where you live.