With the 2017-18 college hoops regular season thisclose to being over and both, conference championship play and the NCAA Tournament right around the corner, there may not be a better time to take a closer look at the top NCAA basketball championship odds and picks.
NCAA Basketball Championship Odds & Picks
With Selection Sunday on March 11th and tournament action tipping off two days later, there is no time to waste.
The Las Vegas Odds-Makers Favorite Picks To Win
Why Pick Michigan State +550 To Win The 2018 NCAA Championship
Okay, outside of the off-court drama involving head coach Tom Izzo’s alleged failure to discipline some past players, Michigan State (28-3) is big, fast, athletic and hungry! Forwards Miles Bridges (6-8), Jaren Jackson Jr. (6-11) and Nick Ward (6-8) are just three of Michigan State’s lengthy, stars that I’m talking about. The Spartans have five players averaging double figures in scoring for a team that ranks 31st in scoring (82.1 ppg) and an even more impressive 19th in points allowed (64.6 ppg). Make no mistake about it, dispatching Michigan State in the NCAA Tournament is going to be very difficult – if not impossible.
Why Pick Villanova +600 To Win The 2018 NCAA Championship
The Wildcats (25-4) might be struggling right now, having lost three of their last six games, but I’m thinking that it’s a good thing that Villanova is going through some difficulties before the start of the NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats rank first in the nation in scoring (87.5 ppg), but a modest 150th in points allowed (71.2 ppg). Still, Nova has an insane six, double-digit scorers and a head coach that is undoubtedly one of the best in the business today. Point guard Jalen Brunson (19.3 ppg) can shoot it from distance or drive it to the rack with his crafty left-handed layups and swingman Mikal Bridges has the look of a future NBA performer. Five-star recruit Omari Spellman (6-11) is just scratching the surface of his potential, but Villanova is going to be very difficult for any team to dispatch.
Why Pick Duke +650 To Win The 2018 NCAA Championship
The Blue Devils (24-6) are one of the top favorites to win it all this season and they’ve got a boatload of elite talent starting with freshman superstar Marvin Bagley III, the leading scorer and rebounder in the ACC this season (20.7 ppg. 11.1 rpg). Duke ranks a stellar sixth in scoring (85.5 ppg) while limiting the opposition to just 69.6 points per game defensively (109th). Freshmen, Wendell Carter Jr. (14.3 ppg) and Trevon Duval (10.5 ppg) are going to be one-and-done lottery picks along with Bagley III, the possible top pick in this summer’s NBA Draft. What worries me is the fact that the Blue Devils are so young and aren’t always on the same page. Still, their talent level alone and elite coaching from the legendary of Mike Krzyzewski could be enough to get them into the Final Four at the very least.
The Smart Picks To Win The 2018 NCAA Championship
Why Pick Virginia +700 To Win The 2018 NCAA Championship
Michigan State, Villanova, and Duke may be favored to win it all over Virginia (26-2) this season, but really, when you think about it, no team in the country has been better than the top-ranked Cavaliers. Virginia averages just 67.5 points per game to rank an uninspiring 309th nationally and you’d think that would make them unattractive against teams that can put points on the board in a hurry like all three of the aforementioned teams. However, when you watch Virginia play defense, you quickly realize why they can beat any team in the nation. The Cavaliers not only rank first in the nation in points allowed (52.1 ppg), but they play some defense that I haven’t seen in ages! Just think about it. Virginia limited North Carolina to a mind-boggling 49 points in January and held both, Wisconsin and Pittsburgh to 37 points! That’s right….37 points. The Cavaliers have beaten Duke while limiting the Blue Devils to just 63 points and oh yeah, the also held Clemson to 36 points. When you can hold a dozen teams to less than 50 points like Virginia has this season, you can literally beat anyone!
Why Pick Purdue +1200 To Win The 2018 NCAA Championship
While everyone is focusing on Michigan State in the Big Ten, I really like Purdue (26-5) as a ‘smart’ pick to win it all this season. The Boilermakers have a potent offense that averages 81.7 points per game to rank 37th nationally and an even better defense that limits the opposition to just 64.9 points per game defensively to rank a stellar 22nd nationally. Purdue is also one of the best three-point shooting teams in the country as they drain a blistering 42.1 percent from beyond the arc to rank third nationally while also making ranking 16th in field goal shooting percentage (49.6%). Purdue has a quartet of double-digit scorers and a flat-out star in guard Carsen Edwards (18.2 ppg) and they could be the last team standing come March Madness whether you believe it or not!
Why Pick Kansas +1600 To Win The 2018 NCAA Championship
The Jayhawks (24-6) have a pair of stars in senior guard Devonte’ Graham and 7’0” sophomore center Udoka Azubuike and they can score the ball with any team in the country as they average a fantastic 82.0 points per game (32nd) and shoot a stellar 49.7 percent from the field (15th). Kansas is also solid at the other end of the floor as they limit the opposition to 70.8 points per contest (137th). Kansas is playing their best basketball of the season at the perfect time and they’ve got five double-digit scorers, but still, something about the Jayhawks screams ‘be cautious’ to me!
The Longshot Picks To Win The 2018 NCAA Championship
Why Pick West Virginia +2800 To Win The 2018 NCAA Championship
Sure, the Mountaineers (22-8) have eight losses on the year, but Bob Huggins’ squad also puts up 80.5 points per game (48th) while limiting the opposition to 68.3 points per contest defensively (79th) on 41.5 percent shooting from the field (45th). West Virginia has an impressive five double-digit scorers and a sixth player just off the mark at 9.5 points per game, so they’re as deep as any team in the country. The Mountaineers also have one of the best two-way players in the country in star guard Jevon Carter and they’re one of just two teams to beat top-ranked Virginia, so clearly they can beat anyone on any given day.
Cincinnati +3300 To Win The 2018 NCAA Championship
The Bearcats (25-4) aren’t the biggest bunch of scorers around as they average a modest 76.0 points per game (109th), but like top-ranked Virginia, when you play defense the way Cincinnati does, you don’t need a ton of points to win games. The Bearcats rank second in the nation in points allowed (57.5 ppg) and an identical second in defensive field goal percentage (37.2%). Cincinnati beat No. 3 Xavier by 13 points in December and have held six teams to less than 50 points, including central Florida whom they held to a mind-boggling 40 points in early February. Make no mistake about it. In a one-game setting, Cincy can beat anyone!
Seton Hall +10000 To Win The 2018 NCAA Championship
It would appear that Seton Hall (20-9) is closer to mediocre than anything, but I believe they’re a dangerous longshot just waiting to upset someone. The Pirates beat the same St. John’s team that took down, then No. 5 Duke and top-ranked Villanova, twice this season while also taking out Creighton and a very good Providence team twice. Seton Hall ranks an encouraging 58th nationally in scoring (79.6 ppg) and shoots it well from the field (47.1%, 62nd), not to mention they’ve beaten the likes of a very good Louisville team and a nationally-ranked Texas Tech team this season. Seton Hall has four double-digit scorers and a star in senior forward Desi Rodriguez (18.1 ppg).
The Rest of the Field
- North Carolina +2000
- Wichita State +2000
- Xavier +2000
- Gonzaga +2500
- Arizona +2500
- Kentucky +4000
- Michigan +4000
- Auburn +4500
- Texas Tech +5000
- Rhode Island +6600
- Ohio State +6600
- Oklahoma +8000
- Missouri +8000
- Tennessee +8000
- Florida +8000
- Florida State +10000
- Louisville +10000
- Texas A&M +10000
- Saint Mary’s +10000
- Miami Florida +15000
- Houston +15000
- Butler +15000
- Clemson +15000
- Nevada +17500
- NC State +20000
- Texas +20000
- UCLA +20000
- USC +20000
- Arkansas +20000
- Arizona State +25000
- Creighton +25000
- TCU +25000
- Temple +30000
- Oregon +30000
- Penn State +30000
- Alabama +30000
- Kansas State +30000
- Virginia Tech +30000
- Middle Tennessee +40000