The 2018-19 college basketball season doesn't begin for three more weeks, but oddsmakers have locked in on two powerhouse programs as favorites to win the national championship.
Per OddsShark, the Duke Blue Devils (+450; bet $100 to win $450) and Kentucky Wildcats (+500) are the betting favorites to cut down the nets at the end of the NCAA tournament:
It should come as no surprise that Duke and Kentucky are the preseason favorites.
Both teams loaded up in recruiting, with Duke ranking first and Kentucky second in 247Sports' rankings. They each added four 5-star prospects, twice as many as any other team in the country.
The Blue Devils' incoming class, which includes R.J. Barrett, Cam Reddish and Zion Williamson, is being hailed as one of head coach Mike Krzyzewski's best ever.
The Wildcats are bringing in high-ceiling talents in E.J. Montgomery, Ashton Hagans, Keldon Johnson, Immanuel Quickley and graduate transfer Reid Travis. They also have returning stars in P.J. Washington, Quade Green and Nick Richards to give head coach John Calipari a deep group to build around.
Defending champion Villanova has solid odds at +1200, but this season will be a test for Jay Wright. The Wildcats lost seven players from last year's team, including Jalen Brunson, Donte DiVincenzo, Omari Spellman and Mikal Bridges to the NBA.
Kansas (+750), meanwhile, is bringing back Udoka Azubuike, Lagerald Vick and Silvio De Sousa and added Quentin Grimes and Devon Dotson in recruiting.