College basketball futures tend to be even more unpredictable than futures in most other sports. You have a huge field of potential teams to start with. With just five starters and thirteen players in total on each team, there is potential there for one or two excellent players to overcome a team that has better talent overall. College basketball teams are also notoriously streaky with regards to shooting, so if a team gets hot or cold at the right time their fortunes can change on a dime. This is nowhere more apparent than the NCAA Tournament, where top teams often fall in the early rounds to smaller schools.
The table below lists the top teams according to the odds at 5Dimes sportsbook. We recommend 5Dimes for basketball betting because they offer reduced juice, giving you an edge you aren’t likely to find anywhere else.
Villanova is the 2017-18 NCAA Tournament Champion in what was truly a dominating season. The Wildcats lost just four games in the regular season (32-4) and made their bracket look easy, winning by an average of almost 19 point per game, including a 17-point win over Michigan in the championship.
Despite that dominance, Duke is the overwhelming favorite to win this year’s NCAA Tournament. Villanova currently sits at +5500, which may have some value considering how well this team seems to reload and win season after season. The Wildcats definitely lost some talent, but it would be surprising if they weren’t serious contenders for the title again.
You will find many familiar names near the top of the list including perennial powerhouses like Kansas, North Carolina, Michigan, and Virginia. The team I did not expect to find near the top of the odds is Nevada. The Wolf Pack went 29-8 last season (15-3 in conference play) and ended up losing in the Sweet Sixteen to Loyola-Chicago. This team has a lot of talent returning, including three all-conference starters, however, with the number of quality teams required to beat to win the tournament, it’s a tall order for them to advance more than a round or two in this year’s tournament. They are currently undefeated, but I still question how far they can go in the NCAA Tournament given the format and what you have to assume will be a significant bump in competition.
Projected Final Four: Duke, Gonzaga, Kansas, Michigan/Virginia [tie]
|Team||2018-19 Record||Conference||Scoring Margin||Odds||Change||NCAA Tournament|
|Michigan State||10-2||Big Ten||+18.5||+3000||-500||2.11%|
|Texas Tech||10-1||Big 12||+22.9||+5500||+500||1.17%|
|Iowa State||10-2||Big 12||+18.7||+10000||+215000||0.65%|
|Kansas State||9-2||Big 12||+10.4||+10000||None||0.65%|
|St. John’s||12-0||Big East||+14.3||+10000||None||0.65%|
|New Mexico State||10-3||WAC||+10.2||+20000||+80000||0.33%|
|Murray State||8-2||Ohio Valley||+11.6||+30000||New||0.22%|
|Saint Mary’s-California||8-6||West Coast||+10.1||+30000||-5000||0.22%|
|South Dakota State||10-5||The Summit||+12.0||+30000||+470000||0.22%|
|Georgetown University||9-3||Big East||+4.6||+50000||-20000||0.13%|
|San Francisco||12-1||West Coast||+18.8||+50000||+450000||0.13%|
|Seton Hall||9-3||Big East||+6.2||+50000||-37500||0.13%|
|UC Irvine||11-3||Big West||+4.5||+50000||New||0.13%|
|Georgia State||8-4||Sun Belt||+0.1||+100000||+100000||0.07%|
Included in the table below are the regular season records for each team last year, their conference, Power Index (average margin of victory last season), current odds, change in the odds since last week’s update, and the normalized implied probability to win the NCAA Tournament based on the current market odds.
We’ve included the probability for each team to win the tournament based on the odds and the field listed (NCAA Tournament column). It is sometimes easier to grasp what the odds are trying to say when thinking in terms of percentage probability versus how much a $100 bet would payout (e.g. +500 means a $100 bet would pay out $500). The change column shows how much the odds have improved or decreased for that team since our last update. If a team is “New” this means they were not listed as of our previous update. Our Power Index is the approximate number of points a team would be favored by on a neutral court against an average college basketball team.
Be sure to check out the daily college basketball odds each night of the season to see if there is any value with these teams or others.