March Madness 2019: Updated Bracket, Championship Odds Ahead of Sweet 16

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistMarch 25, 2019

Duke forward Zion Williamson (1) dribbles the ball against Central Florida during the first half of a second-round game in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament Sunday, March 24, 2019, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)
Sean Rayford/Associated Press

Even though the Duke Blue Devils survived a scare from UCF Sunday, they are still the favorite to win the 2019 NCAA men's basketball tournament. 

Mike Krzyzewski's team isn't as overwhelming of a championship favorite as it was at the start of the Big Dance, but it still has the best odds of any of the 16 teams left in the competition. 

Fellow No. 1 seeds Virginia, Gonzaga and North Carolina follow Duke on the odds chart in that order, while the other 12 programs venturing into the Sweet 16 have significantly larger championship odds. 

However, if the tournament continues to go chalk, the four No. 1 seeds are your best betting options. 


2019 NCAA Tournament Bracket


Championship Odds

Duke (+220; Bet $100 to win $220) 

Virginia (+420) 

Gonzaga (+550) 

North Carolina (+550) 

Michigan State (+850) 

Kentucky (+1150) 

Michigan (+1300) 

Tennessee (+1500) 

Purdue (+1800) 

Texas Tech (+2000) 

Auburn (+2500) 

Florida State (+2500) 

Houston (+2800) 

Virginia Tech (+3300) 

LSU (+3500) 

Oregon (+8000) 

Odds via OddsChecker


All that matters for Duke is it is still alive in the NCAA tournament. 

Zion Williamson and Co. received one of the toughest tests of the first two rounds against UCF, but the Blue Devils' ability to pull out the one-point win will only help them going into the second weekend of the competition. 

At +220, Duke is still worth a significant bet because of the return you'll get on the wager, but that doesn't mean other options should be off the table. 

An argument can be made for you to put trust in each of the other No. 1 seeds, as they all produced impressive second-round performances. 

Gonzaga might have been the most impressive team of the opening weekend, as it was the only No. 1 seed that didn't face difficulties for a half against a No. 16 seed, and it stormed past No. 9 Baylor on its way to the Sweet 16.

Jeff Swinger/Associated Press

If Mark Few's Bulldogs get to the Final Four, it's worth remembering they were the first team to beat Duke at full strength this season on a neutral court at the Maui Invitational. 

But in order to get to the Final Four, the Bulldogs have to go through two of the most experienced teams left in the bracket in No. 4 Florida State and No. 2 Michigan. 

Because the Seminoles and Wolverines carry a wealth of tournament experience into the Sweet 16, they are both worth small wagers with their long odds. 

Florida State returned a majority of the players who beat Gonzaga in the Sweet 16 a year ago, while the same can be said about the Michigan team that reached the national championship.

Elise Amendola/Associated Press

All four of the No. 3 seeds could be worth a betting look, but Houston, Texas Tech, Purdue and LSU all face tough matchups with No. 2 seeds.

Fifth-seeded Auburn is one of the few teams in the nation capable of keeping up with North Carolina's pace, and it has experience playing Kentucky from the SEC regular season, which makes the Tigers a dark horse title contender. 

Then there's Oregon, who is the lone double-digit seed left in the competition. The Ducks have looked stronger than a typical No. 12 seed and could put a scare into any team in the South Region. 

And if you believe the Ducks can make a title push, they are worth a small wager with the longest championship odds of the Sweet 16 teams. 


Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.