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Adama Sanogo of the UConn Huskies shoots the ball over Tamin Lipsey of the Iowa State Cyclones during the first half of the Phil Knight Invitational Tournament Men’s Championship at Moda Center on November 27, 2022 in Portland, Oregon.
Adama Sanogo of the UConn Huskies shoots the ball over Tamin Lipsey of the Iowa State Cyclones during the first half of the Phil Knight Invitational Tournament Men’s Championship at Moda Center on November 27, 2022 in Portland, Oregon. Photo by Soobum Im/Getty Images via AFP.

After a chaotic first two rounds that saw numerous favorites get eliminated, 16 teams remain in the NCAA Tournament. Here are the best March Madness national championship picks based on the top NCAAB odds.

After two rounds of play, we have seen two No. 1 seeds, two No. 2 seeds, one No. 3 seed, and two No. 4 seeds sent packing. With the defending national champion Kansas Jayhawks among the teams upset in the first weekend, we will have a new champion this season.

The two No. 1 seeds remaining, the Houston Cougars and the Alabama Crimson Tide, have the shortest odds at every major sportsbook to win the national championship. But with how this tournament has gone so far, is anyone really confident in taking them over more valuable plays?

Here are our best March Madness picks (odds via FanDuel Sportsbook and DraftKings Sportsbook; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

National Championship picks

UConn (+850 via FanDuel) ⭐⭐⭐

If the Huskies didn’t have a No. 4 seed next to their name, their odds would be even shorter than they are. This is a team that was underseeded on Selection Sunday, and the Huskies have played every bit like one of the best teams in the nation. They have won their first two tournament games by a combined 39 points and have done so against pretty solid competition.

They scored 39 points in the second half against the Saint Mary’s Gaels, and though the Gaels were without Alex Ducas during that time frame, it does not take away from just how efficient the Huskies looked.

The top seed in their region is gone, so rather than playing the Jayhawks, they will be taking on the Arkansas Razorbacks. The Razorbacks are a solid team with a great coach, but the Huskies match up well with them. They should get through that game to take on the winner of the UCLA Bruins vs. Gonzaga Bulldogs matchup. 

Though both of those teams are better-seeded than the Huskies, and that game would be played in Vegas, the Huskies would likely be favored in that contest. This is a great team both inside and out, getting hot at the right time. They’ve won eight of nine with their only loss a two-point defeat at the hands of the Marquette Golden Eagles. If you’re looking for a favorite, this is one of the best to pick.

Texas (+1000 via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐

The Longhorns match up really well with the remaining teams in the Midwest region, which is why they have such a good chance of advancing to the Final Four. This team is loaded with talent and size, and they have the ability to beat you inside or with their guards.

They are also very good defensively. They’re allowing 67.2 points per game, and they are 10th in the nation in adjusted defensive efficiency, according to KenPom. They held the Penn State Nittany Lions to just 41.7% from the field and 28.6% from beyond the arc.

What was most impressive about that win over the Nittany Lions was that the Longhorns played from ahead most of the game, then blew the lead when Penn State got hot. But the Longhorns withstood the blow, took the Nittany Lions’ best shot, and pulled away at the end for the win. And the Longhorns won despite shooting 1-for-13 from deep.

This group has won six consecutive games, and they have enough depth that if a player is off, they have another who can step up. They’re battle-tested, and they’re in a region where they are the best team remaining.

Kansas State (+3500 via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐

Our last pick was between the Wildcats and the San Diego State Aztecs, but if forced to choose, we’re going with the Wildcats. They’re the highest-remaining seed in the chaotic East Region, and yet, they have the second-worst odds to win the national title out of the four teams in there. If you’re looking for a long shot, this is the way to go. 

There is a huge discrepancy in the Wildcats’ odds across the major sportsbooks. PointsBet has them at +2200, but there are only three teams with worse odds to win the title than K-State on DraftKings. Those programs are the Florida Atlantic Owls, Miami Hurricanes, and Princeton Tigers. The Hurricanes have the best team of those three, but their path to a championship is impossible. The Wildcats’ path is not.

The Wildcats are actually underdogs to the Michigan State Spartans, and it seems entirely based on experience, name brand, and coaching pedigree. The Wildcats’ Markquis Nowell has very quietly been one of the best players in the tournament. He had 27 points against the Kentucky Wildcats, while also recording 23 assists over the last two weekends.

The biggest disadvantage for the Wildcats is their size. Yet they had no trouble against a much bigger Kentucky team. Both Nae’Qwan Tomlin and Keyontae Johnson can hold their own down low, and Johnson can stretch the floor. This is a well-rounded team in the easiest region remaining. This price is a steal.

March Madness Sweet 16 picks

Sweet 16 best bets and expert picks

Sweet 16 picks: Friday

Elite 8 picks: Saturday

  • (9) Florida Atlantic vs. (3) Kansas State (6:09 p.m. ET) - East region
  • (4) UConn vs. (3) Gonzaga (8:49 p.m. ET) - West region

More March Madness picks

Here are our best March Madness betting sites:

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* Bonuses not applicable in Ontario.

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