March Madness lived up to its moniker last season, with a No. 16 seed winning, Ivy League representative Princeton making it to the Sweet 16 as a No. 15 seed, and not a single No. 1 seed reaching the Elite Eight for the first time ever.
However, when the dust settled, it was the UConn Huskies — the early season March Madness odds favorite to win that fell apart midseason and then pulled it together when it mattered most — who completed their journey to win their fifth National Championship in school history.
It wasn't the final we were expecting, with the No. 4 Huskies toppling fifth-seeded San Diego State, but our path to the title game still delivered plenty to talk about throughout March and April.
Check out their odds — plus who some of the other favorites are — with a look at 2024 March Madness odds below.
March Madness 2024 odds
| Houston Cougars
|North Carolina Tar Heels
|Alabama Crimson Tide
|Iowa State Cyclones
| Auburn Tigers
|Duke Blue Devils
|Marquette Golden Eagles
Odds as of February 22, 2024.
March Madness 2024 favorites
After coasting to a comfortable 76-59 victory in the National Championship against San Diego State, the UConn Huskies are tied atop the board in the latest March Madness odds.
UConn saw both Adama Sanogo and Jordan Hawkins depart for the NBA during the offseason, but Dan Hurley has freshmen Donovan Clingan and Alex Karaban back, while Andre Jackson Jr. returns as a senior.
The No. 1 Huskies are currently 24-3 and only two teams have managed to eclipse 80+ points against the Big East juggernauts.
Last season, the Purdue Boilermakers went 29-6 (15-5) and captured the Big Ten Conference Tournament title. However, the No. 2 Boilermakers were on the wrong side of history come March when they were upset by Farleigh Dickinson in the first round of the tournament.
Led by 7-foot-4 senior Zach Purdey (23.2 points per game, 11.9 rebounds per game), the No. 3 Boilermakers (23-3) have been extremely battle-tested, having defeated six Top 25 teams.
Under head coach Kelvin Sampson, the No. 2 Houston Cougars are looking to avenge last year's premature elimination in the Sweet Sixteen.
Despite consecutive losses to Iowa State and TCU in January, the 23-3 Cougars are buoyed offensively by point guard L.J. Cryer (15.0 ppg) and boast the best defensive rating in the nation (87.7).
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March Madness 2024 odds over time
Here's a look at how the opening March Madness odds plot out longitudinally. Stay tuned as we update this graph throughout the season!
Where can I bet on March Madness?
March Madness is one of the busiest times of the year for online sportsbooks and is very popular with bettors. Every betting site will offer March Madness odds, but the best sites are safe and secure, offer a wide range of banking options, and give you a ton of markets for each game. Check out the best March Madness betting sites in your region.
What is March Madness?
March Madness refers to the annual NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament, which takes place in March and April. It is one of the most popular sporting events in the United States and involves 68 college basketball teams from across the country competing in a single-elimination tournament to determine the national champion.
The tournament begins with Selection Sunday, which takes place on the second Sunday in March, where the teams are announced and the tournament brackets are revealed. The first round, also known as the First Four, takes place on the Tuesday and Wednesday after Selection Sunday. The main tournament, consisting of 64 teams, then begins on the Thursday and Friday of the first full week of March.
The teams are divided into four regions, each containing 16 teams, and are seeded based on their regular-season records and performance in their respective conference tournaments. The teams then compete in a series of games, with the winners advancing to the next round and the losers being eliminated.
The tournament culminates with the Final Four, which takes place on the first weekend of April, where the remaining four teams compete in two semifinal games, with the winners advancing to the championship game to determine the national champion. Check out our Final Four odds page to see which teams are most likely to advance to the NCAA Tournament's semifinal round.
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:
- San Diego State +550
This means that on a $100 bet, you'll stand to win $550 if the Aztecs 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 has a minus sign (-) ahead of its odds.
- UConn Huskies -120
This means that you would need to bet $120 to win $100 on a UConn 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
Learning how to successfully bet on March Madness is one of the hardest things to do in sports betting. The lose-and-go-home format of the NCAA Finals 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 find March Madness spreads?
Check out our college basketball scores and matchups page daily to see the latest college basketball lines. In addition to March Madness spreads, total, and moneyline info, you'll also find game previews, betting trends, line movement history, and ATS and O/U consensus data for every March Madness game. We don't sleep until the nets are cut down.
Past March Madness champions
|No tournament (COVID-19)
|San Diego State
March Madness trends
• Of the 20 teams that have entered the tournament with undefeated records, only seven have gone on to win the national championship.
• Only 13 teams successfully defended their national championship the following season.
• UCLA has the most NCAA titles of all time (11), although the Bruins have not won the tournament since 1995.
• A No. 1 seeded team has won the national championship 59.1% of the time since regional seeding was introduced in 1979.
March Madness Title Odds FAQs
The UConn Huskies are the current favorites at +500.
The UConn Huskies won March Madness in 2023, defeating San Diego State 76-59 in the National Championship.
The term "March Madness" was originally used to describe the excitement and frenzy surrounding the Illinois High School Association's annual basketball tournament in the 1930s. However, the term became more widely associated with the NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament in the 1980s. The term "March Madness" is believed to have been coined by Brent Musburger, a CBS sportscaster, during the network's coverage of the tournament in 1982. Musburger used the term to describe the unpredictability and excitement of the tournament, as well as the intense emotions and high stakes involved in each game. The term quickly caught on with fans and has been used ever since to describe the annual tournament. Today, March Madness has become a cultural phenomenon and a highly anticipated event for basketball fans across the United States.