As conference play heats up, we take a look a some of the teams that can cut down the nets in college basketball this season. Read on as we track the March Madness futures for the 2022-23 college basketball season to help with your NCAAB picks.
Hopefully you didn't bet too many preseason futures. Now past the midway point in the season, it's clear there are no elite teams this year. The Houston Cougars, ranked No. 1 overall and the betting favorites, have the best claim at such a title. But even their loss to the Alabama Crimson Tide shows nobody is truly invincible.
Using Ken Pomeroy's historical rankings, we can quantify that the sports' top 38 teams are all below historical averages this time of year. Teams ranked No. 7 through No. 21 have the worst efficiency margin in 12 years. Check out this deep dive from Will Warren for more on this historical outlier.
The good news is the lack of elite teams could set up the craziest NCAA Tournament yet. Expect several upsets and plenty of surprise deep runs if the season continues like this. It might be tough to buy stock in the favorites, but that just means you can get some juicy prices for your portfolio before March.
Here are our best odds 2023 March Madness odds, along with some potential picks to win it all.
March Madness Odds 2023
|Houston||+650 🔥||+550||+600||+500 ❄️||+600|
|Kansas||+1000||+800 ❄️||+1000||+1200 🔥||+900|
|Tennessee||+1500||+1600 🔥||+1400||+1500||+1200 ❄️|
|Purdue||+1500 🔥||+1000 ❄️||+1000 ❄️||+1500 🔥||+1200|
|Texas||+1800 ❄️||+2400||+2200||+2500 🔥||+2000|
|Gonzaga||+2000||+2400 🔥||+1600 ❄️||+1800||+2000|
|UConn||+2000||+2000||+1800 ❄️||+1800 ❄️||+2000|
|Virginia||+2500 🔥||+2400||+2200 ❄️||+2500 🔥||+2200 ❄️|
|Arizona||+2500 🔥||+2400||+1400||+1000 ❄️||+1500|
|North Carolina||+3500||+4500 🔥||+2500||+2000 ❄️||+3500|
March Madness Best Bets
- Gonzaga (+2400 via FanDuel) - Jan. 18, 2023
- Baylor (+3500 via FanDuel) - Jan. 18, 2023
- North Carolina (+4500 via FanDuel) - Jan. 18, 2023
March Madness Odds 2023: Favorites
Houston (+650 via DraftKings)
The Cougars’ odds range from +550 to +650 across recommended sportsbooks. The best move with Houston is to keep an eye out for a potential slip-up in AAC play, though that's easier said than done as head coach Kelvin Sampson's squad lost just one game all year.
According to KenPom, Houston has a 73% win probability or better in its remaining games through March 5 and is projected to finish the year 29-2. The Cougars rank No. 1 via every analytical website in college hoops, and certainly have an inside track to be the No. 1 overall seed in the tourney. This might actually be the best price anyone gets on Houston.
Kansas (+1200 via Caesars)
The Kansas roster is versatile, well-coached, and playing different than every other team with its small-ball lineup. Forward Jalen Wilson is a force, leading the Jayhawks in scoring and rebounding, and he's the only true challenger to Zach Edey in the National Player of the Year race.
The problem is, KU plays in college basketball's toughest conference. While that should earn the Big 12 champion a No. 1 seed, it also means Kansas might drop down the betting board following future losses in league play. Wait for a better price on the defending champs.
Alabama (+1200 via Caesars)
As the only team to defeat Houston this year, the Crimson Tide should be taken seriously as a national title contender. Alabama has yet to lose since SEC play began and rattled off a nice winning streak since falling to Gonzaga.
The Crimson Tide play fast and rely on the 3-ball, making them prone to dud performances at times. That's not typically the type of team bettors want to invest in to win six games during the NCAA Tournament, but maybe that could work out this season.
March Madness Odds 2023: Contenders
UCLA (+1200 via DraftKings)
There might not be a better duo in the country than guards Jaime Jaquez and Tyger Campbell, which is why UCLA feels good about its chances of cutting down the nets. The Bruins haven't lost since dropping both games of their midseason tournament in Vegas.
UCLA should be a No. 2 seed at worst this year, which is likely why the market agreed on this +1200 price.
Tennessee (+1600 via FanDuel)
Tennessee got off on the wrong foot with a loss to Colorado in November, and only stubbed its toe twice since then. The Volunteers lead the sport in adjusted defensive efficiency, and since defenses win championships, they're certainly worth a look in the futures market.
Head coach Rick Barnes hasn't had the best track record in the NCAA Tournament, so I'm not willing to invest in this team just yet with a price of +1600 to win it all.
Purdue (+1500 via DraftKings)
The Boilermakers have center Zach Edey, the best player in the sport, who's already listed at -330 to win NPOY. Purdue only lost once this season, though it's certainly been tested in Big Ten play thus far.
Betting on a post-centric team (or honestly a Big Ten squad) in March isn't really my cup of tea, though, so I'll pass on the +1500 at DraftKings.
March Madness Odds 2023: Long Shots
Gonzaga (+2400 via FanDuel)
Gonzaga did lose to Purdue (as well as Texas and Baylor), and are led by big man forward Drew Timme, but I like the idea of betting on the Bulldogs this year. They might not be a No. 1 seed, but they should still be high. And I'm curious to see if they fare better in the tourney without such lofty expectations as college basketball's top team.
WCC play hasn't been as much of a cakewalk as it was in recent years, but maybe that's a good thing for a Gonzaga team that still hasn't lost since Dec. 2.
Baylor (+3500 via FanDuel)
I bought preseason stock on Baylor, but you can get a better price now and this team is quietly playing well recently. The Bears won three in a row, and future NBA lottery pick guard Keyonte George really hit his stride at this stage of his freshman campaign.
Baylor has arguably the sport's best backcourt, and ranks No. 1 in adjusted offensive efficiency. This team can get hot at the right time, so take advantage of FanDuel's 35/1 offering.
North Carolina (+4500 via FanDuel)
Speaking of teams that get hot in the postseason, North Carolina didn't live up to its preseason No. 1 ranking and lost four consecutive games at one point in late November. Since then, UNC only dropped two contests and might have found its footing against ACC competition.
The Tar Heels made it all the way to the national championship game as a No. 8 seed last year. With this being a season where we should embrace the chaos, I'm comfortable buying in on that type of upside from a team led by forward Armando Bacot.
Recent March Madness Winners
March Madness FAQs
Who won March Madness last year?
The Kansas Jayhawks defeated the North Carolina Tar Heels 72-69 to win the 2022 NCAA Tournament.
When does March Madness 2023 start?
Selection Sunday is set to occur on Sunday, March 12, 2023, four days before the tournament kicks off on March 16. The first round will be played on March 16 and 17.
When will March Madness be decided?
The 2023 Final Four will be held on Saturday, April 1, 2023. The National Championship Game takes place the following Monday on April 3, 2023.
Where will March Madness be played?
The 2023 Final Four and National Championship Game will be held in Houston, TX, at NRG Stadium.
Here are our best March Madness betting sites:
- FanDuel: Bet $5, Get $150 in Bonus Bets | Read our FanDuel Review
- Caesars: Earn Up to a $1,250 Bet Credit | Read our Caesars Review
- DraftKings: Bet $5, Get $200 in Bonus Bets | Read our DraftKings Review
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