NCAA Tournament 2019: Analyzing Championship Odds for Remaining Teams

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistMarch 26, 2019

Duke's RJ Barrett shoots the game-winning basket against Central Florida during the second half of a second round men's college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament in Columbia, S.C. Sunday, March 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)
Richard Shiro/Associated Press

If you put money on one of the top seeds to win the 2019 NCAA men's basketball tournament before the competition began, your bet is in good shape. 

Since the tournament has been dominated by top seeds, it might be worth doubling down on your pre-tournament wagers ahead of the Sweet 16. 

Duke is still the championship favorite, but its odds are still favorable enough to consider a second bet to reinforce your belief in the Blue Devils. 

There's also the option to put money down on teams that looked strong in the first two rounds and convinced you that they are worthy of a run to the national championship. 


NCAA Tournament Championship Odds

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At +300 (bet $100 to win $300), Duke is still worth putting money on because you'll get decent winnings if it controls the rest of the tournament. 

The Blue Devils have the best player left in Zion Williamson, and an argument could be made that R.J. Barrett and Cam Reddish are both in the top 10 of stars remaining in the tournament. 

After surviving a second-round scare from UCF, the Blue Devils might be motivated to not let another team come close to upsetting them in the next four rounds. 

If that's the case and Duke storms through the rest of its opponents, it will easily win the championship.

Sean Rayford/Associated Press

However, if you have some concerns about Duke's ability to shoot from outside and that another coach will come with a game plan to slow down the Blue Devils, there are other solid programs to bet on.

Gonzaga won its two games by a combined 50 points and it heads into the Sweet 16 looking for revenge against a Florida State team that knocked it out of the tournament a year ago. 

North Carolina and Virginia also made a case for themselves to be considered as the second favorite behind Duke with commanding second-round performances. 

While Gonzaga is worth a look at +400, it has to get through Duke just to get to the title game, while North Carolina and Virginia wouldn't see the Blue Devils until the final. 

If you value experience, Michigan at +1200 is worth a look because it is the only team with a chance of repeating its Final Four berth from 2018. 

DES MOINES, IOWA - MARCH 23: Ignas Brazdeikis #13 of the Michigan Wolverines celebrates with his teammates against the Florida Gators during the second half in the second round game of the 2019 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Wells Fargo Arena on Marc
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Kentucky is always an intriguing title contender when it gets to this time of year, but the Wildcats' fate may be tied to the health of P.J. Washington, who missed the first two games of the competition with a foot injury. 

On his show on the UK Sports Network Monday, Kentucky head coach John Calipari said he doesn't know if Washington is going to play this weekend. 

Since Washington's status is still up in the air, Tennessee is the SEC program you should back, as the Volunteers possess plenty of on-court experience and have two dominant players in Grant Williams and Admiral Schofield who could pose a threat to Virginia in the Elite Eight. 

As for the long shots, a lot has to go right for the collection of No. 3 seeds to win two games to get to the Final Four, which is why LSU has the longest odds. 

In order to just get to the Final Four, LSU has to go through Michigan State and Duke in the East Region. 

It's not out of the realm of possibility for 12th-seeded Oregon to make a run to the Final Four, but the Ducks have to potentially overcome Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina to get to the final, which is why their odds are high as well. 

Given how many favorites have won so far, it's worth betting on one of the No. 1 seeds and possibly a No. 2 seed to win the championship. 

If a handful of upsets appear in the Sweet 16, then we'll have to re-evaluate that strategy, but for now, the best advice is to hammer money on to the favored teams. 


Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

Statistics obtained from ESPN.com.