NCAA Basketball National Championship Odds: Houston, Arizona, UCLA Top Picks

NCAA Basketball National Championship Odds: Houston, Arizona, UCLA Top Picks

As we head into week seven, here are the updated College Basketball National Championship Odds and picks for March Madness and teams you should be looking at to cut down the nets and put some cash in your bank accounts. 

Updated NCAA Basketball Tournament Title Odds & Picks for March Madness

Favorite: Houston Cougars +750

While it may seem logical for the favorite to fall from the top stop following a loss, that is not the case with the Cougars; there is certainly no shame in losing to an Alabama team that ranked within the top 10 in the country. 

The Cougars redeemed themselves immediately by taking down the Virginia Cavaliers, another top-ten squad, in Charlottesville over the weekend. Kelvin Sampson’s club was able to remain effective against the legendary pack line defense to the tune of 1.17 points per possession on offense. They also impressed on the defensive side by holding the 11th most efficient offense in the nation to 1.03 points per possession and just 6-22 from behind the three-point line. 

Houston is not exactly a sexy team, but they play tremendous defense and have shown that they can score when they need to. Marcus Sasser is one of the best two-way players in the nation and has a talented cast around him. The concern with this team is that the supporting cast is somewhat inconsistent. It is difficult to trust a team that you don’t know who the secondary scorer is on a regular basis. 

Smart Pick: Arizona Wildcats +1400

There are some things to be concerned about with this Arizona team, but they are far outweighed by the positives. The Wildcats are a big team that hits the glass, as well as being one of the best passing teams in the nation. Tommy Lloyd may lack marquee names when it comes to casual fans, but this team boasts five players that can carry the team offensively. 

Forward Azuolas Tubelis is a superstar player that no one seems to talk about, while Oumar Ballo receives almost zero recognition despite averaging 18 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. 

Kerr Kriisa (37%) and Courtney Ramey (48%) are both deadly from beyond the arc, while Kriisa can also set his teammates up for success, leading the Pac-12 in assists per game and ranking sixth in the nation at 6.7 per contest. 

The Wildcats currently ranks as the best team in the nation in adjusted offensive efficiency and proved this past weekend that they can handle playing tough defensive teams in close games as they defeated Tennessee. The road to the championship will likely lead to a matchup with at least one of Houston, Virginia or Tennessee, so the ability to overcome those defensive schemes becomes paramount. 

Darkhorse: UCLA Bruins +2000

While this selection is fairly weak in terms of “darkhorse” candidates, +2000 is a nice payout for a team that may be a number one or two seed come tournament time. If you have been paying attention lately, you know that there is no player in the country playing better than Bruins scoring wing Jaime Jaquez. The two time all Pac-12 selection is averaging 19.5 points per game over his last six contests while shooting an almost ridiculous 62% from the field despite not having hit a three-point shot during the span. 

The UCLA Bruins boast tremendous guard play with Jaquez, Jaylen Clark, Amari Bailey, and Tyger Campbell. Super-senior David Singleton is also one of the most consistent shooters from deep, at 45% for his career and over 50% this season. 

The Bruins are a little thin in the frontcourt, but guard play is one of the biggest factors and similarities among NCAA Tournament champions over the years. This Bruins club is worth a speculative wager for some possible big money. 


 

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