2019 March Madness Betting Favorites, Dark Horses & Smart Picks.

2019 March Madness Betting Favorites, Dark Horses & Smart Picks

Whether you plan on backing a couple of the top favorites to win the 2019 March Madness tournament or a team that may be more dark horse title contender, the expert college basketball betting analysis that you’re about to get is going to help you identify the handful of teams that I believe are looking like some of the best ‘smart’ picks on the board toconquer this season’s national championship trophy.

With that thought in mind, let me get down to the business at hand of identifying the handful of teams that I believe will have the best chances of winning it all this year.

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2019 March Madness Betting Favorites, Dark Horses & Smart Picks

Underrated Faves!

North Carolina

  • 2019 College Basketball Championship+600

Duke might be the prohibitive favorite to win the 2019 national championship while Gonzaga is the No. 2 pick on the board, but for me, I’m thinking North Carolina (27-6) might be a better pick than either team as a top favorite to win it all.

The best thing I like about the Heels is that they lead the nation in rebounding and will get extra scoring chances because of that fact while simultaneously limiting their opponents’ shot attempts. Then, there’s the fact that Carolina has beaten Duke twice this season – and Gonzaga. Yeah….at a value-packed +600, North Carolina is definitely a legitimate title contender.

Michigan State

  • 2019 College Basketball Championship: +1500

I’ll admit that I’ve largely ignored Michigan State (28-6) this season, but no more! The Spartans have won five straight en route to the Big Ten conference championship title, not to mention, Tom Izzo’s ballclub is pretty elite at both ends of the floor in averaging 78.8 points per game (43rd) while limiting the opposition to 65.5 points per contest defensively (38th).

Michigan State also has a trio of likely NBA performers in guards, Cassius Winston (18.9 ppg) and Joshua Langford (15.0 ppg) and forward Nick Ward (14.0 ppg). Michigan State seemingly gets tougher each and every year as they get closer to March Madness and now they have the look of a team that won’t be dispatched easily – if at all.

Texas Tech

  • 2019 College Basketball Championship: +2000

As the ninth-best favorite on the board, I think Texas Tech (26-6) is offering some outstanding value as a Top 10 favorite. The Red Raiders might have suffered a surprising 79-74 loss to West Virginia in their Big 12 conference tourney opener to snap a nine-game winning streak, but I’m thinking that will give Texas Tech the extra motivation they’ll need in order to make a deep tourney run.

The Red Raiders blew Kansas out of the water by 29 points on Feb. 23 and they also beat other title hopefuls like K-State and Iowa State this season while playing well against Duke in late December before falling. Texas Tech ranks a stupendous fourth nationally in points allowed (59.3 ppg) and that kind of defensive excellence means they’ll have a shot to make a deep run at the very least.

Dark Horse Contenders


  • 2019 College Basketball Championship: +3000

Sure, playing in the AAC, Houston certainly doesn’t get the same national media attention that some other top title hopefuls get. However, I think the 31-win Cougars could really surprise this March Madness seeing as how they rank a stellar eighth nationally in points allowed (61.2 ppg) and lead the nation in field goal defense (36.7%).

I know Houston only has two double-digit scorers, but the Cougars are very deep, with a whopping 10 players all averaging double digits in minutes played and I believe they’re a great dark horse pick.


  • 2019 College Basketball Championship+5000

It might sound weird with the defending champs being a dark horse, but it’s true, sixth-seeded Villanova (25-9) is just that after losing a quartet of stars from last year’s title-winning team to the NBA Draft.

Still though, Nova has one of the very best coaches in all of college basketball in Jay Wright, they’ve got some championship experience still on the roster, starting with Phil Booth (18.6 ppg) and forward Eric Paschall (16.5 ppg) and the Wildcats are playing well at the right time, having won three straight to claim the Big East tourney title and five of six overall.

Villanova is one of the dark horses for the 2019 March Madness tournament.

If you didn’t know before, now you do…Villanova has gone 13-3 ATS in their last 16 NCAA Tournament games and 19-7 ATS in their last 26 neutral site games.

My Smart Pick


  • 2019 College Basketball Championship100/1

I know the Wolf Pack (29-4) have suffered three of their four regular-season losses inside their last eight games after going 24-1 over their first 25 games this season, but I remain unperturbed in my belief that the Wolf Pack are still a very legitimate – and value-packed – national championship contender that could beat anyone.

Nevada ranks 25th in scoring (80.7 ppg) and an equally impressive 55th in points allowed (66.7 ppg), not to mention they’ve got a widely-respected head coach in Eric Musselman and a trio of almost sure-fire future NBA performers in twins, Caleb (19.2 ppg) and Cody Martin (11.7 ppg) and fellow forward Jordan Caroline (17.3 ppg).

This is basically the same team that made a deep tourney run a year ago and I believe the Wolf Pack could very well improve on that run while challenging to win it all!

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