Duke, North Carolina favorites to win 2017 NCAA Basketball Championship


The NCAA Tournament is upon us, and for the next three days, Big On Sports will break down every matchup and potential bracket buster. Despite 2016’s Syracuse squad that came off of the No. 10 line to play in the tourney’s final week, the chalk generally holds up in the Final Four and will reward bettors.

(Odds courtesy of Bookmaker.eu as of March 13, 2017)

Odds To Win the NCAA Tournament

  • Duke +600
  • North Carolina +600
  • Kansas +800
  • Kentucky +850
  • Villanova +850
  • Arizona +950
  • Gonzaga +1000
  • UCLA +1200
  • Louisville +1400
  • Oregon +2500
  • Florida +3000
  • Florida State +3000
  • Purdue +3000
  • SMU +3000
  • West Virginia +3500
  • Virginia +4000
  • Baylor +5000
  • Butler +5500
  • Iowa State +6000
  • Michigan +6500
  • Minnesota +7500
  • Notre Dame +8000
  • Wichita State +8500
  • Wisconsin +9000
  • Cincinnati +10000
  • Maryland +10000
  • Michigan State +10000
  • Oklahoma State +10000
  • Rhode Island +10000
  • Saint Mary’s +12000
  • Northwestern +20000
  • South Carolina +20000
  • Virginia Tech +20000
  • Middle Tennessee +25000
  • Arkansas +30000
  • Creighton +30000
  • Dayton +30000
  • Marquette +30000
  • Miami +30000
  • Providence +30000
  • Seton Hall +30000
  • VCU +30000
  • Vanderbilt +30000
  • Wake Forest +30000
  • Xavier +40000
  • Nevada +50000
  • USC +50000
  • Princeton +85000
  • East Tennessee State +200000
  • Florida Gulf Coast +200000
  • Bucknell +500000
  • Iona +500000
  • Jacksonville State +500000
  • Kent State +500000
  • Mount St. Mary’s +500000
  • North Carolina Central +500000
  • New Mexico State +500000
  • New Orleans +500000
  • Northern Kentucky +500000
  • South Dakota State +500000
  • Texas Southern +500000
  • Troy +500000
  • UC Davis +500000
  • UNC Wilmington +500000
  • Vermont +500000
  • Winthrop +500000

Number 2 Seed Duke a Favorite 

The most interesting part of opening March Madness odds is that there’s a No. 2 seed listed as a co-favorite to win it all. The Duke Blue Devils sit atop the charts right now after their great run to the ACC title.

Duke has four shooters they can put on the floor at any given time, and so long as Grayson Allen doesn’t get a technical for tripping opponents, elbowing anyone, firing the ball into the ground, or shouting obscenities, they might have the most lethal combination of players out there.

Tar Heels Are the Co-Favorite

That said, the Blue Devils were the No. 5 seed in the ACC for a reason. The ACC picked up nine bids to the dance this year, and the No. 1 seed of the bunch, the North Carolina Tar Heels, are unsurprisingly the co-favorites to win the tourney.

Coach Roy Williams has done this before with Kansas and UNC, so we know he’s capable. There’s just the question of whether Justin Jackson and the Heels are really as talented this year as they were a campaign ago.

Losing seven games this season when they were recently No. 1 seed only adds to that line of questioning. We challenge you to go ahead and find four teams in the nation better than this one.

Kansas Has an Easy Road Ahead

The Jayhawks don’t play fantastic defense, they get stuck in close games far too often, and their play in the low post is sometimes non-existent, but they’re still the No. 1 seed with the easiest looking path to the Final Four.

They’re in a bracket with the weakest No. 2 seed (Louisville Cardinals), the Oregon Ducks (who just lost Chris Boucher to a season-ending knee injury), and a No. 6 seed in the Creighton Bluejays, who haven’t had their best player for the whole second half of the year. Opportunity is knocking for sure.

Villanova Will Be a Tough Contender

Duke’s biggest problem is that it plays in the East Region, and that’s where the No. 1 overall seed in this tournament, the Villanova Wildcats, reside. The Cats won it all last year with that dramatic finale, thanks to Kris Jenkins, and the whole band is back together  for another go at it.

It’s been a decade since a team has gone back-to-back, and just getting into the Final Four again would be an accomplishment.

The West is Going to be a Toss Up

You’d like to think that the Gonzaga Bulldogs and Arizona Wildcats would be the only legit contenders. The Florida State Seminoles, however, have some real future NBA talent on the floor, and even a Saint Mary’s Gaels outfit (ranking No. 2 in the nation in scoring defense) could pose a problem for Arizona before the Elite Eight.

Gonzaga either has to deal with the West Virginia Mountaineers who force the most turnovers in the nation by a country mile, or the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, the only team to play in consecutive Elite 8’s.

For the best, latest NCAA basketball betting odds, be sure to visit our NCAA Basketball Live Lines page.