It has already been a crazy year on the hardwood, and the updated NCAA basketball futures odds reflect the parity we've been seeing on a daily basis. Don't miss this update!
It'll be here before you know it. No, I'm not talking about the silly Super Bowl where there's no real mystery. Just wait until the Carolina money pushes the spread to 5½, then grab Denver and don't be surprised if Peyton Manning rides off into retirement with an upset victory.
What's fast approaching is March Madness, baby. The Big Dance. First Four. Final Four. Well, you get the picture. We're just 47 days from Selection Sunday, and if you're wondering how long 47 days is, it was about that many sunrises and sunsets ago that college football leagues were holding their conference championships.
Jayhawks, Tar Heels Top Current Futures Odds
In a season with five teams already laying claim to No. 1 in one poll or the other and seemingly one upset after another, the best way to fill out your brackets this year might be flipping a coin. If you're planning to wager real coin on the outcome, the NCAA basketball futures odds say put your money on either Kansas or North Carolina, those teams currently fetching a 6/1 return.
Considering how volatile the Big 12 has been, perhaps the Tar Heels are the safer bet of the two. Roy Williams' team was at the top of both polls following the first week of action, and have moved back to No. 1 on the latest coaches list. Off to a perfect 7-0 start in ACC play, UNC has two big road games at Louisville (18/1 to win NCAA) and Notre Dame (80/1) coming up, and need to get Marcus Paige out of his funk, the senior averaging 16.8 PPG his first 10 games of the season and totaling just 15 the last four.
Duke (8/1) has fallen on tough times, though nobody's feeling sorry for the Blue Devils. Nobody should really count them out, either, and we'll have to see if and when Amile Jefferson can return to action to help the thin rotation Mike Krzyzewski has been forced into. Lurking in the ACC shadows are the surprising Miami Hurricanes at 30/1 and the Virginia Cavaliers at 15/1 to cut down the nets in Houston.
While the Heels appear to be the very best of the ACC, that title changes almost nightly in the Big 12. The Jayhawks are indeed deep and talented, but have struggled away from Lawrence in conference play. Both of Oklahoma's losses have been on the Big 12 highway as well, but the Sooners (10/1) still have home dates against both Kansas and Baylor coming up. And one team no one wants to play in March is Iowa State (30/1).
Big Ten, Big East Each Have Solid Contenders
Some of the best value might reside in the Big Ten and Big East conferences. There are seven teams from the former we could see in this year's dance, led by Michigan State at 10/1 on the college basketball futures odds.
Iowa has quietly risen to No. 3/4 in the polls, and still paying off at 15/1 to win the championship. The Hawkeyes are on a 9-game win streak heading into Thursday's clash at Maryland (12/1). Purdue (18/1) is in the mix while Indiana (40/1) and Michigan (60/1) continue to make noise.
Over in the Big East, Villanova and Xavier are both priced at 12/1, the Wildcats coming off an upset loss at home to Providence (25/1) in a game they were favored by 12½. 'Nova has disappointed me too many times in the past, and I like the Musketeers better, those two getting together in Cincinnati about a month from now.
Can Texas A&M Win 1st SEC Title?
What?! An article about college basketball championship odds and we're only now coming to Kentucky? That's partly because the Wildcats aren't even leading the SEC right now, those honors belonging to Texas A&M. John Calipari's crew is still considered a strong threat, however, with 12/1 college basketball futures odds and will meet the Aggies in College Station on February 20. Texas A&M is a long shot at 35/1, but presently No. 5 in both polls and with a big test vs. Iowa State this weekend.
The conference that nobody seems to want is the Pac-12. Oregon and Washington lead the league right now, but the top two teams for NCAA basketball picks are Arizona and California, the Wildcats and Golden Bears each 30/1 to win the 2016 title.