Bet Now For The Best Price On NCAA March Madness Contenders

Written By Martin Derbyshire on March 6, 2019 - Last Updated on June 8, 2022

There is no better time to bet on the team you think will win the NCAA tournament than right now.

The NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball regular season is winding down. We won’t find out who’s actually in the tournament until various season-ending conference tournaments wrap up and the NCAA makes its at-large selections on Sunday, Mar. 17.

Plus, the first round of March Madness doesn’t tip off until March 21.

However, college basketball futures markets are currently open at legal sportsbooks in seven US states and the odds on the true contenders to win this year’s National Championship are as good as they are ever going to get.

NCAA basketball futures markets

NCAA basketball futures markets traditionally offer moneyline odds on the top teams to win the National Championship before the season starts. However, most legal US sportsbooks will also take futures bets on any team still in contention throughout the regular season and into the NCAA tournament, all the way up to the start of the Final Four.

For the most part, as the season and the tournament move ahead, a team’s chances of winning it all will either increase or decrease. For teams considered to have a real shot at winning the title, the odds drop. As a team’s legitimate chances of capturing the NCAA crown decrease, the odds skyrocket.

Therefore, the earlier you can get a bet down on the eventual champion, the more you stand to win. Except, of course, in the case of a true Cinderella story, the likes of which March Madness has never seen.

The top teams in the country

In fact, right now there’s some real value to be found betting on some of the top teams in the country.

The AP Top 25 Poll – Week 18 college basketball poll released Monday, Mar. 4 had the Gonzaga Bulldogs ranked No. 1.

However, as of yesterday, most legal US sportsbooks still had the Duke Blue Devils as favorites to win the NCAA tournament.

In fact, the AP Top 25 Poll had Duke ranked No. 4, but most legal US sportsbooks are still making Duke a favorite to win over the higher-ranked Bulldogs, Virginia Cavaliers (No. 2) and North Carolina Tar Heels (No.3).

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March Madness odds

Here’s a look at the odds for the top-ranked teams at the top six NJ online and mobile sportsbooks:

College Basketball National ChampionsFanDuel SportsbookBetStars NJSugarHouse CaesarsPointsBetDraftKings Sportsbook
Duke+230 +250 +225 +250 +220+250
Gonzaga+750 +750 +750 +700 +600 +750
Virginia+950 +900 +750 +800 +800 +950
North Carolina+1400 +1300 +1400 +1500 +1400 +1300

You can see there’s room for movement for all three teams ranked above Duke in the AP poll.

Two of those teams, Virginia and North Carolina, play in the Atlantic Coast Conference with Duke. As you can imagine, the odds on all three teams to win the NCAA tournament will change dramatically depending on the outcome of the ACC tournament, set for March 12–16 in North Carolina.

Imagine North Carolina beats both Duke and Virginia en route to winning the ACC tournament title. Should that happen, you won’t find the Tar Heels anywhere near +1400 to win the National Championship again.

Browse through the NCAA futures markets at any legal US sportsbook. You should find the odds on your pick, favorite team or Alma Mater is higher than ever.

If you’re planning on placing a bet, that means now is the time to do it. The odds on a team with a legitimate chance are only going to go down as they emerge as true contenders.

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Martin Derbyshire

Martin Derbyshire has more than ten years of experience reporting on the poker, online gambling, and land-based casino industries for a variety of publications including Bluff Magazine, PokerNews, and PokerListings. He has traveled extensively, attending tournaments and interviewing major players in the gambling world.

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