This year more than ever, the door is wide open for anyone to win the National Championship. Just when you think we have a front runner, they are picked off by an underdog. After last night, there are no more undefeated teams in the NCAA. Going into the night both Baylor and USC was left as the last two standing. Both lost in their respective games.
We are past the New Year and into the full swing of the conference season. Before we know it, we will be heading into conference championship tournaments and will be ready for Selection Sunday. Let’s take a look at the current odds to win the title this season so you can continue planning your bets against the NCAA Basketball National Championship Odds.
Updated NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship Odds
Favorite To Win
The current favorite to win the national title goes to the Gonzaga Bulldogs. You can bet on Gonzaga has +600 odds to win the national championship this year. Gonzaga was the favorite to start the season and still holds the best odds to win. Gonzaga is coming off a runner-up finish to Baylor last season.
After last season, the Bulldogs lost star point guard Jalen Suggs but were fortunate to keep Drew Timme. In the offseason, Coach Mark Few added Chet Holmgren the number one player in the Class of 2021. That has been a big-time addition as Holmgren has averaged 13.4 points per game and 8.4 rebounds.
Drew Timme leads the Bulldogs with 16.8 points per game. Timme will be in contention for player of the year at the end of the season. In total, the Bulldogs have four players that are averaging double-digit points.
Gonzaga has played a tough non-conference schedule this season which will prepare them for March. The Bulldogs will more than likely win their conference again and retain a #1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament. The biggest win of the season was a Final Four rematch from a season ago against UCLA. The Zags won the rematch 83-63.
Smart Bet To Win
The smart bet to win is the current #1 team in the nation, the defending national champions, the Baylor Bears. Until last night, Baylor was undefeated and they are one of the most consistent teams in the NCAA. So far this season, the Bears have big wins over Michigan State, Villanova, and Iowa State.
Even with the loss last night to Texas Tech, Baylor is still the smart pick. The last time there was a back-to-back NCAA Champion was in 2006 and 2007 when Florida won both of those championships. Baylor will have a tough conference slate to end the season with two battles against Kansas and one more with Texas Tech again.
Baylor currently has +1100 odds to win the National Championship.
Longshot To Win
Let’s be honest, any team this season has a long shot to win. That is the beauty of the NCAA tournament that any of the 64 teams have the same shot of winning the National Championship. When being realistic, there are a few teams that come to mind on who has a long shot, but the team we will go with is a team that checks all the boxes. The Illinois Fighting Illini are the longshot to win the title.
Illinois had a lot of questions to be answered after losing Ayo Dosunmu to the NBA. Illinois after a struggle to start the season has answered the call. Illinois moved to 12-3 last night and 5-0 in the Big Ten Conference. Illinois is led by junior big man, Kofi Cockburn. Cockburn is the front runner for the National Player of the Year award, as he is averaging 22 points per game and 12.5 rebounds per game.
Illinois has the youth factor with freshman Luke Goode, Brandon Podziemski, and RJ Melendez all seeing the floor at one point or another. They have experience with players like Trent Frazier, Da’Monte Williams, and Jacob Grandison. They also have star players in Alfonso Plummer, Cockburn, and Frazier. They have role players as well with Coleman Hawkins and Omar Payne.
Illinois is off to the best start in conference play since the 2004-05 team and has won 10 of their last 11 games. Illinois has the 17th toughest schedule this season. The Illini are doing all of this without Andre Curbelo, the sophomore guard that caught the attention of many last season in Illinois run to the Big Ten Championship and a number one overall seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Illinois has +2500 odds to win the National Championship this year.