Odds updated March 14th, 2016
We’re already in February, which means that March Madness is right around the corner! The biggest betting sporting event of the year, Super Bowl 50, takes place this Sunday. But the second biggest sporting event of the year, the NCAA College Basketball Tournament, isn’t that far away.
Who Are The Odds On Favorites To Win The 2016 NCAA Basketball Tournament
- Maryland 30/1 – One of the old adages is that to win the National Championship on the hard court you have to have an excellent back court. Maryland might have the top back court in all of college hoops with Melo Trimble and Rasheed Sulaimon. Both can dish, Trimble averages 5 assists per game while Sulaimon averages 4 assists per game, and both can score. Not only does Maryland have a top back court but the starting front court of Diamond Stone, Rob Carter and Jake Layman, make the Terps my team to beat, right now at least, in the NCAA Tournament.
- Michigan State 5/1 – There was a point where many college hoops handicappers started to doubt the brilliance of Coach Tom Izzo. Sparty had lost 3 in a row: 59 to 76 to Iowa, 76 to 77 to Wisconsin and 71 to 72 to Nebraska. But, then, Izzo turned his team around. As of Feb. 5, Sparty has won 3 in a row, including beating Maryland 74 to 65. Sparty’s 3 straight covers in the 3 straight wins is a sign that Izzo will have his guys peaking at the right time.
- Oklahoma 20/1 – Buddy Heild has been down right Danny Manning-esque this season. Manning led Kansas to the 1988 NCAA Championship almost all by himself. That’s what makes Oklahoma scary. Even though Heild is playing like Manning did in 1988, 25.8 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game, Oklahoma is much deeper than Kansas’s 1988 squad. Forward Ryan Spangler averages 11 points and 10 boards per game. Heild’s back court teammate, Isaiah Cousins, averages 13.3 points, 4.6 boards and 4.8 assists per game. The Sooners are good.
- North Carolina 5/1 – I’d make North Carolina 3 and Oklahoma 4 if Marcus Paige was doing what Buddy Heild is doing. The difference between the 2 squads really comes down to that. Paige was a consensus All-American going into the season. He’s doing just enough for North Carolina to keep winning. In order for North Carolina to win the National Championship, Paige is going to have to take control. He’ll definitely have to start scoring more than 12 points per game. Paige has the ability. So, the Tar Heels might be a good bet at 13 to 2.
- Virginia 12/1 – Virginia’s defense is starting to become the lock down unit that hoops handicappers are accustomed to. The Cavaliers didn’t allow Louisville to break the 50 point mark in a 63 to 47 road win as a +5.5 point dog on Jan. 30. Virginia followed up that awesome victory with a 61 to 47 beat down of Boston College on Feb. 3. The Cavaliers shoot 49% from the field and 40.2% from three. They also have a legitimate star in guard Malcolm Brogdon who averages 17.8 points per game.
- Wichita State 80/1 – When looking for a dog, I try to find a team that has had some success in past NCAA Tournaments, has a core group of players that are returning, and are on a roll not just straight up but also against the spread. It also helps if that team has a star player that can bail it out when needed. Wichita State has all of the requirements to shock the world in this year’s NCAA Tournament. The star player is point-guard Fred VanVleet who averages 13.3 points, 3.4 boards and 5.6 assists per game. He can light it up when needed or dish to his team mates if that’s more effective. The Shockers have gone 11 and 1 against the spread since Dec. 22. Wichita State made it to the Final Four in 2013. They went to the Sweet 16 last season. The starting five has a ton of experience. Wichita State is for real.
More March Madness Betting Odds
- No. 16 seed Farleigh Dickinson (+6) vs. No. 16 seed Florida Gulf Coast
- No. 11 seed Vanderbilt (+3) vs. No. 11 seed Wichita State
- No. 16 seed Southern (-3) vs. No. 16 seed Holy Cross
- No. 11 seed Tulsa (+1.5) vs. No. 11 seed Michigan
- No. 1 seed Kansas (-24.5) vs. No. 16 seed Austin Peay
- No. 8 seed Colorado (-3.5) vs. No. 9 seed Connecticut
- No. 5 seed Maryland (-8.5) vs. No. 12 seed South Dakota State
- No. 4 seed California (-6.5) vs. No. 13 seed Hawaii
- No. 3 seed Miami (-13) vs. No. 14 seed Buffalo
- No. 7 seed Iowa (-7) vs. No. 10 seed Temple
- No. 2 seed Villanova (-15) vs. No. 15 seed UNC Asheville
- No. 8 seed Saint Joseph’s (+2) vs. No. 9 seed Cincinnati
- No. 5 seed Baylor (-5) vs. No. 12 seed Yale
- No. 4 seed Duke (-9.5) vs. No. 13 seed UNC-Wilmington
- No. 6 seed Texas (-5) vs. No. 11 seed Northern Iowa
- No. 3 seed Texas A&M (-12.5) vs. No. 14 seed Green Bay
- No. 7 seed Oregon State (+3.5) vs. No. 10 seed VCU
- No. 2 seed Oklahoma (-13) vs. No. 15 seed Cal-State Bakersfield
- No. 8 seed USC (+1.5) vs. No. 9 seed Providence
- No. 5 seed Indiana (-11) vs. No. 12 seed Tennessee-Chattanooga
- No. 4 seed Kentucky (-13.5) vs. No. 13 seed Stony Brook
- No. 3 seed West Virginia (-6) vs. No. 14 seed Stephen F. Austin
- No. 7 seed Wisconsin (-1.5) vs. No. 10 seed Pittsburgh
- No. 2 seed Xavier (-13.5) vs. No. 15 seed Weber State
- No. 1 seed Virginia (-23.5) vs. No. 16 seed Hampton
- No. 8 seed Texas Tech (+3) vs. No. 9 seed Butler
- No. 5 seed Purdue (-7.5) vs. No. 12 seed Arkansas-Little Rock
- No. 4 seed Iowa State (-7) vs. No. 13 seed Iona
- No. 6 seed Seton Hall (PICK) vs. No. 11 seed Gonzaga
- No. 3 seed Utah (-8) vs. No. 14 seed Fresno State
- No. 7 seed Dayton (-1.5) vs. No. 10 seed Syracuse
- No. 2 seed Michigan State (-16.5) vs. No. 15 seed Middle Tennessee
NCAA Basketball Tournament Odds
|South Dakota State||2,000-1|
|Florida Gulf Coast||9,999-1|