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Jaylin Stewart #3 of the Connecticut Huskies reacts as we look at the latest 2024 March Madness odds ahead of the NCAA Tournament.
Jaylin Stewart #3 of the Connecticut Huskies reacts after a play during the second half in the game against the DePaul Blue Demons at Wintrust Arena on February 14, 2024 in Chicago, Illinois. Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images via AFP.

The defending champion Connecticut Huskies are the consensus title favorites by the latest college basketball odds from our best March Madness betting sites.

It's been nearly two decades since we've seen a college basketball team repeat as the national champion. That streak could end this year with UConn dealing as the consensus title favorite a month before the start of March Madness.

The Huskies dominated the 2023 NCAA Tournament, and they're the clear front-runners across our best sports betting sites to cut down the nets again in April. That comes even after UConn's loss to Creighton on Tuesday, which was the latest road upset that we've seen in a truly chaotic season of college basketball.

The reigning champions are priced just ahead of Purdue and Houston, both of which suffered upset road losses this month to slip further in the title market. And it seems unlikely that we've seen the last big upset this season.

Here's a look at the latest 2024 March Madness odds, along with our college basketball picks among the favorites, contenders, and long shots.

March Madness odds 2024

(Odds updated Feb. 21)

Connecticut+500  +500+475+450+500
Purdue+700 +800 🔥+650 +700 +650 
Houston+900 +800+900 🔥+900 +900
Arizona+1200 +1100+1000+900 ❄️+1200 
Tennessee+1300+1400   +1300+1500   +1200 ❄️
North Carolina+1800+2000 🔥+1800 +1800 +1600 ❄️
Auburn+1800+2100 🔥+1800+2000 +1800
Kansas+2000+2500 🔥+2000 +2200 +2200 
Iowa State+2000 +2000 +2000+2200 +2500 🔥
Alabama+2000 +2000 +1800 +1600 ❄️+2000 

March Madness favorite 2024

Connecticut (+500 via bet365)

It was only a matter of time before Dan Hurley's group reclaimed the top spot on the title oddsboard after winning it all in 2023. And this team is built to do it again.

The top-ranked Huskies lost on Tuesday night to Big East rival Creighton, but they had won a nation-best 14 consecutive games prior to that loss and have still dropped just three games all season. That's a feat in itself in this bizarre season full of shocking road upsets.

Saturday's blowout win over then-No. 4 Marquette marked UConn's fifth win of the season over a ranked team, and this year's group boasts even better offensive metrics than the one that dominated last year's tournament. It's tough to lay a short price on any team in this chaotic season, but the Huskies have earned it.

March Madness odds 2024: Contender

Houston (+900 via BetMGM)

UConn might be the No. 1 ranked team with the shortest title odds, but the advanced metrics still have Houston as the best team in the country.

It's easy to buy that given what we've seen over the years from Kelvin Sampson's team, which reached the Final Four in 2021 and has since made the Elite Eight and Sweet 16 in the last two seasons. This year's group owns the nation's best defense with elite interior scoring and rebounding numbers, to boot.

This team doesn't have the surefire NBA talent of last year's bunch, but senior Jamal Shead has been arguably the best guard in the country, even if Purdue's Zach Edey is the obvious favorite by the latest Wooden Award odds. We aren't likely to see a much better price before the tournament, so don't hesitate to grab it now.

March Madness odds 2024: Long Shot

North Carolina (+2000 via FanDuel)

This may not seem like much of a long shot in a season full of chaos and shocking upsets. But this is the best price we've seen in weeks on UNC, which has the talent and experience to make noise in the tournament.

After years of sloppy play on both ends, the Tar Heels rank 14th in adjusted defensive efficiency and own their lowest turnover rate (14.4%) in the KenPom era (since 1997). They are also one of just five teams with top-20 marks in offensive and defensive efficiency, which is often a harbinger of tournament success.

Leading scorers R.J. Davis (21.3 PPG) and Armando Bacot (14.6) played on that 2022 team that reached the NCAA final, while transfer Harrison Ingram has been a relevation in his first year in Chapel Hill. We've already seen UNC score wins over Tennessee and Duke, and I wouldn't be surprised if Hubert Davis leads this team to another deep tournament run.

Editor's note: With North Carolina sports betting set to launch on March 11, check out our best North Carolina betting apps and the best North Carolina sportsbook promos! 21+ and present in NC. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER

March Madness odds movement

The title oddsboard was fairly static earlier in the year, but Connecticut has since emerged as the clear betting favorite across our best March Madness betting sites after winning it all in 2023.

That move pushed Purdue and Houston into the second tier of contenders, while Arizona and Tennessee continue to hang in the top five across our best sports betting apps. Those two have seemingly pulled away from blue bloods UNC and Kansas with in-state rivals Auburn and Alabama jockeying for a spot in the top 10.

The biggest surprise mover in recent weeks is Iowa State, which was flirting with 100/1 odds earlier this season but has since settled into the 20/1 range after moving into the top six of the latest AP poll. We could see another dark horse (or two) emerge in the coming weeks as March Madness draws ever closer.

Recent March Madness winners

YearTeamPreseason odds
2016-2017North Carolina+1900
2015-2016Villanova +2500
2013-2014Connecticut +6500

March Madness betting analysis

It still feels a bit early to lay short odds on some of the top teams ahead of March Madness, especially with so many shocking upsets littered across college basketball.

Instead, now is the ideal time to take shots on surprise contenders like Iowa State and Auburn, both of which were unranked entering the season and are still offered at better than 20/1. You can even target a true long shot like South Carolina (100/1) or Ohio State (500/1), two teams that could see their odds slashed with a strong run in their respective conference tournament.

It's also a great time to target one or two mid-tier contenders that could see their odds shrink with a strong showing in the final few weeks before Selection Sunday. We like North Carolina in that mold, but there are so many teams that could look like a relative bargain in a few weeks given the parity across college basketball.

March Madness betting odds pages

March Madness FAQs

Who is the March Madness favorite?

The Connecticut Huskies (+500) are the consensus favorites to win the 2024 NCAA Tournament after claiming the national championship during last year's March Madness.

Who won March Madness last year?

UConn defeated the San Diego State Aztecs, 76-59, to win the 2023 NCAA Tournament.

When does March Madness 2024 start?

Selection Sunday will take place on Sunday, March 17, four days before the tournament tips off with the First Four on Tuesday, March 19. The first round with a full 64-team bracket begins on Thursday, March 21.

When will March Madness be decided?

The 2024 national championship game will take place on Monday, April 8.

Where will March Madness be played?

The 2024 Final Four and national championship game will be held inside State Farm Stadium in Phoenix, AZ.

Here are our best March Madness betting sites:

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* Bonuses not applicable in Ontario.

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