The Cavaliers and the Wildcats hold the edge at the sportsbooks on Duke and Michigan State on the odds to win the NCAA Tournament with March Madness underway.
The Virginia Cavaliers finished the regular season as the unanimous No. 1 team in the AP Top 25 with a record of 31-2 straight up and 20-9-1 against the spread. After separating from the pack as the best team in college basketball during the regular season, the Cavaliers will now try to do the same in the NCAA Tournament.
Virginia is a co-favorite on the odds to win the NCAA Tournament going off at +550 at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The Cavaliers stymied opposing teams all year long with their elite defense, finishing with the lowest points per game against in the nation allowing only 53.4. The team has enjoyed plenty of regular season success under Head Coach Tony Bennett but has yet to emerge past the Elite Eight in five March Madness appearances under him.
While Virginia is favored for its defense, the Villanova Wildcats are going off at +550 due to their elite offense. Villanova went 30-4 SU and 21-12-1 this season, as Jalen Brunson’s 19.4 points per game led an offense that averaged 87.1 points per game, good for best in the nation. The Wildcats won the NCAA Tournament in 2016.
Another pair of recent winners will try to climb back to the top this season in the 2015 national champion Duke Blue Devils (+750 to win the NCAA Tournament) and the North Carolina Tar Heels (+1800). Duke went 26-7 SU and 20-12 ATS during the regular season and enters the tournament on a 7-2 SU and ATS run. The Blue Devils’ last loss came as 4-point favorites to the Tar Heels in the ACC Tournament.
The Big Ten could make a splash this March with two serious contenders in the Michigan State Spartans (+850) and the Purdue Boilermakers (+1200). Michigan State finished the year with a 29-4 SU record while Purdue wasn’t far behind at 28-7 SU. Bettors also shouldn’t sleep on the Michigan Wolverines (+1600), who beat both Michigan State and Purdue in the Big Ten Tournament and are 9-0 SU and 8-1 ATS over their last nine games per the OddsShark College Basketball Database.
Rounding out the list of likely contenders are Kansas (+1400), Cincinnati (+1500), Arizona (+1500), Xavier (+1600), Gonzaga (+2000), West Virginia (+2000) and 2012 champion Kentucky (+2000).
2018 NCAA Tournament Odds
Michigan State +850
North Carolina +1800
See the complete list at OddsShark
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