Basketball

March Madness Winner Odds: Latest College Basketball Odds To Win National Championship

Last Updated on 07/22/2024
Fact checked by: Allan Howe

For us at Ballislife, few things bring us more joy than betting on college basketball championship odds because this also means the NCAA Tournament has arrived.

With this being such a hot betting topic, we’ve created a guide on how to best bet on this. To learn more about betting on who will win this 64-team tournament, continue reading below.

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Compare NCAA Basketball Championship Finals lines

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NCAA Basketball Odds to Win Championship Explained

Like every other sport, there are NCAAB championship odds available before and on the day of the actual game. However, what makes the championship game in college basketball so different is the road to getting there.

The NCAA Tournament consists of—at first—68 teams, with that getting whittled down to 64, then 32, 16, eight, four, and then the championship game. Thus, the odds of winning the NCAA basketball championship in 2023 or any other year get drastically different and much closer as the single-elimination rounds progress.

The NCAA Tournament contains four regions, each containing only No. 1 through No. 16 seeds. Generally speaking, the lower the seed, the worse that team’s NCAAB championship odds are.

How does Betting On the NCAA Basketball Odds to Win the Championship Work?

As mentioned, when it comes to college basketball championship odds, you’ll have a mix of futures betting and, of course, the day of the championship game to bet as well.

When writing this, we’re about to start the Round of 64 in the 2023 NCAA Tournament. Since this is the beginning of the tournament, the betting odds for the NCAA championship typically correlated to the higher-seeded teams as they’re perceived to be the better squads.

If you look at the top five betting odds for the NCAA basketball championship, you have the following teams:

  • Houston: No. 1 seed
  • Alabama: No. 1 seed
  • Kansas: No. 1 seed
  • Purdue: No. 1 seed
  • UCLA: No. 2 seed

So, when the tournament begins, the higher-seeded teams will have higher odds. However, the odds will change as this tournament progresses and teams emerge and perhaps knock a higher-seeded team off.

Either way, you’re betting like a moneyline wager in that you’re simply betting on who you think will win the tournament.

How do College Basketball Championship Odds Work?

Until the game day, you won’t be able to bet between just two teams. Before this happens, you’ll have to bet from the field of active teams in the tournament. As the tournament progresses, the odds between teams will narrow. Like futures betting, the earlier you bet, the more value you’ll have on the odds.

How To Read College Basketball Championship Odds

Reading the betting odds for the NCAA basketball championship is straightforward as there are two ways to look at it—through “-” and “+” odds.

At this time, none of the teams have “-” odds because the tournament still has 64 teams. As mentioned, however, that’ll change as the field of teams narrows.

Remember, this only applies until the day of the game, when you’ll be able to wager on it like any other game.

When looking at “-” and “+” odds, let’s look at each through the lens of $100.

  • If a team has “-” odds, the number associated is what you’ll need to wager to win $100. For example, if a team is -220, you’ll need to wager $220 to win $100.
  • If a team has “+” odds, the number associated is what you’ll win if you bet $100. For example, the Houston Cougars are +500. If you bet $100 on them and they win, you’ll get $500.

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NCAA Basketball Odds to Win Championship Predictions

As a reminder, we’re writing this page as the 2023 NCAA Tournament is underway. When you read this, some of the teams we predict could already be eliminated.

That said, let’s make some picks.

  • Alabama Crimson Tide: The Crimson Tide are led by Brandon Miller, who will almost certainly be a top-three pick in the upcoming NBA Draft. His presence is felt throughout the team as they rank seventh in the country in points per game with 82.5. A big contributor is how often they shoot three-point shots—47.8% of the time. They’re a team with great tempo, averaging almost 73 possessions per game. They rank outside the top 100 in defense, but I’m not counting them out with Miller on their side.
  • Kansas Jayhawks: The defending champions and Bill Self’s squad look to repeat in 2023, and they have a great shot at it. The Jayhawks lead all teams with 17 Quad 1 wins and are undefeated against Quads 2-4 teams. According to the KenPom rankings, Kansas ranks No. 9 in the nation. Additionally, they rank 29th and seventh in adjusted offense and defense, respectively, according to KenPom. Those metrics illustrate the number of points scored and surrendered per 100 possessions. The Jayhawks also have two players, Jalen Wilson, and Gradey Dick, that are probably going to be first-round NBA draft picks.
  • Gonzaga Bulldogs: As a No. 3 seed, we love the Bulldogs. They’re the best offensive team in the nation, scoring 124 points per 100 possessions and averaging 87.5 points per game. They rank highly in almost every offensive category, including 11th in the country in three-point percentage (38.73%). In the KenPom rankings, they sit just adobe Kansas at No. 8. Their defense could be an issue (they allow 99.7 points per 100 possessions). Still, it’ll take a top defensive team to slow down this Drew Timme-led offense.

Best Bet: There’s a lot of value in Gonzaga. Our current prediction is them facing off against Alabama in the NCAA championship game. Gonzaga’s odds to win the NCAA basketball championship in 2023 are +1500.

College Basketball Odds to Win National Championship Betting Strategies

Hedge Your Bets

With 64 teams in the tournament, there’ll be plenty of time to hedge your bets if necessary. For example, if you head into the tournament and feel confident about Albama winning with +750 odds and bet $100, you can stick with them throughout the tournament. However, let’s say they lose in the Elite Eight to Arizona and the Final Four consists of Arizona, Gonzaga, Duke, and Houston. From these remaining teams, you think Gonzaga will win the tournament and they’re +200 to do so. If you bet $283.33 on Gonzaga and they pull it off, you’ll have wagered $383.33 but will have won $466.67. 

Monitor Injury Reports Closely

We cannot overstate this enough—you need to monitor injury reports. The Houston Cougars were the No. 1 ranked team in college basketball. They were without their star guard Marcus Sasser and lost to Memphis in the AAC tournament. With him, it’s likely a different outcome. If a key player is set to miss a game or an extended period of time, respond accordingly. 

KenPom Rankings Matter

In addition to standard statistics, the KenPom rankings are a set of advanced statistics meant to measure the strength of teams. Developed by Ken Pomeroy, these stats will provide you with a way of judging teams outside of looking at seeds in the tournament. 

Seeds Ultimately Matter

While the KenPom rankings are helpful, especially in the early rounds, let’s face it, the seedings ultimately matter. Since 1985, No. 1 seeds win the championship most often (47.7% of the time). The percentage of winners then goes in order of the seeds until you reach the No. 5 and No. 6 seed—there have been two No. 6 seed winners to just one No. 5 seed winner. The top two seeds win the tournament 65.9% of the time. 

The Region Doesn’t Matter

Since 1985, there’s really no way to determine who will win the tournament based on region. While the East region leads with 12 championships, the West and South each have 10, and the Midwest has nine. Unlike seedings, there’s no advantage to betting on a team from a specific region to win. 

Getting Started On College Basketball Odds to Win National Championship Betting

  • Please read our online sportsbook reviews to determine which site is best for you.
  • Visit the desktop site or download the mobile app.
  • Create an account.
  • Make your first deposit.
  • Head to the College Basketball betting page.
  • Find the futures section and NCAA Championship odds.
  • Pick the team you think will win, add it to your betslip, and confirm your wager.

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Conclusion on College Basketball Championship Odds Betting

Betting on who you think will win the NCAA Championship offers you the most selections to wager on in sports betting. The tournament is unlike anything else you’ll find, including professional sports. It allows plenty of teams you may not be familiar with to rise to the top.

In reading this page, we hope you’ll walk away with a better understanding of how to bet on the college basketball champion and how to read the odds and NCAAB betting strategies you can use to help you make some money.

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