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College Basketball Betting Odds

Some college basketball fans are wondering if last year’s March Madness tournament was a watershed moment from a betting standpoint.

The four number-one seeds heading into the tournament were Alabama, Houston, Purdue, and Kansas.

Combined, those four teams won a total of five games before they were all eliminated.

Instead, we had a Final Four that consisted of (9) Florida Atlantic, (5) San Diego St., (5) Miami, (4) UConn.

The 2023-’24 season tips off with Duke, Kansas, and Purdue all tied as the betting favorite to win the National Championship at +1100 odds.

Bettors are faced with the tough decision of leaning towards some of the chalky favorites or dropping down the odds board and trying to target a couple of teams oddsmakers may have overlooked.

Sportsbooks are definitely reacting to last year’s Final Four teams.

Florida Atlantic was +250000 in the preseason to win the National Championship last year.

This year, oddsmakers have FAU at +4000 just before the season tips off.

College Basketball Futures Betting

Futures betting is all about finding value in teams before the rest of the betting market catches up.

When we are making our college basketball futures bets, our goal is to find teams who are going to outperform their current odds.

At the beginning of the 2022-’23 season, Florida Atlantic was +250000 to win the National Championship.

Anyone with an FAU futures ticket at those odds was probably VERY excited when they made it to the Final Four.

This year, oddsmakers believe three teams have separated themselves from the pack.

2023-’24 Betting Favorites

Duke +1100 To Win National Championship

Last year, their first without Coach K leading the group, Duke finished with a 27-9 record.

The Blue Devils finished their pre-tournament season by winning their last nine games and their third ACC conference championship in the last six years.

In the March Madness tournament,(5) Duke beat (12) Oral Roberts in the first round before dropping a 65-52 decision to the 4th-seeded Tennessee Volunteers.

From a betting perspective, Duke was just 16-20 ATS (44%), despite winning 27 games.

From a totals (O/U) perspective, the numbers were even more interesting. Duke went over their total in only 37% of their games.

Bettors definitely had an advantage last year by blinding Duke unders and against the Dukies to cover the spread.

At +900 to win the Wooden Award, Kyle Filipowski is expected to be in the Best Player in the Country conversation this year.

Purdue +1100 To Win National Championship

At the beginning of last year, there was little chatter about the Purdue Boilermakers and their quest for a National Championship. All Purdue did was win their first 13 games and 22 of their first 23 games to start the year.

After that, a lot of people started talking about the Boilermakers.

Purdue finished with a 29-6 overall record (82.9%) and earned a one-seed heading into the tournament. Once the tournament tipped off, once again, everyone was talking about Purdue – but this time for all the wrong reasons.

For the second time in March Madness history, college basketball fans witnessed a (16)-seed beat a (1)-seed when Farleigh Dickinson upset Purdue, 63-58.

The Boilermakers shot a disappointing 19.2% from three-point range, which was just bad enough to end their season in historic fashion.

Purdue fans must be excited that Zach Edey is returning from another year. The 7-footer from Canada is the odds favorite to win the Wooden Award this year. (Edey +155 To Win Wooden)

Kansas +1100 To win National Championship

The Kansas Jayhawks started last season by winning 16 of their first 17 games, and basketball fans were buzzing about Kansas heading into the new year.

The Jayhawks suffered a three-game losing streak in January, dropping consecutive games to Kansas St., TCU, and Baylor.

All three of those teams were ranked inside the Top 20 at the time, but it was still a little bit of a yellow-light moment for Kansas and CBB bettors. From January 17th until March 11th, the Jayhawks were just 16-10.

Kansas was still awarded a number-one seed in the tournament, and after their 96-68 opening-round win against Howard, many believed that ranking was appropriate.

However, in the round of 32, Kansas dropped a 72-71 game against (8) Arkansas, and what many assumed would be a long run in March was over after just two games.

Kansas finished with a 28-8 record for the season (78%) but were just 17-19 against the spread. (47%)

NCAAB Conference Outright Betting

Another enjoyable form of futures betting is picking teams to win their regular-season conference tournament.

As CBB bettors, sometimes our knowledge and expertise are about teams who aren’t necessarily thinking of the National Championship.

With 350+ D-I teams and only one National Champion, many teams set their sights on winning a conference title rather than the Madness tourney.

Odds To Win Missouri Valley Conference

TeamsOdds2022’23 RecordConf. Record
Northern Iowa+55014-189-11
Indiana State+65023-1313-7

For those who may not know this already:

  • Bradley University is located in Illinois.
  • Drake University is located in Des Moines, Iowa.
  • Belmont University is located in Tennessee – just over 900 miles from Belmont Park Race Track, where the third leg of the Triple Crown is run every year.

Together, those three schools are a part of the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC), and the odds suggest that nobody from the MVC is an actual threat to win this year’s National Title.

The good news for fans of the Belmont Bruins or Bradley Braves is that they can be passionate about their schools and place long-term futures bets on either of them to win the MVC Championship.

NCAAB Sides And Totals Betting

Futures betting in college basketball is a very entertaining way to watch a team or season play out.

Whether you are betting on a team to win a National Championship, Conference Title, or some other futures wager, there are lots of options with college basketball to get your futures bets in.

However, the most popular wagers for CBB remain point spreads, moneylines and totals. (O/U)

As college basketball bettors, we must be aware of the David vs Goliath scenarios that often occur and boldly take our share of underdogs to cover the point spreads.

With over 350+ D-I teams competing this year, there will be a lot of games with large point spreads or matchups where ranked teams are taking on unranked teams.

Historically, college bettors have trouble taking underdogs in these situations.

When the stats dictate that one team has definitely played better than the other, it’s hard for us to imagine scenarios where the ‘dogs can even cover the spread.

But they do!

And they do it with quite regularity, as our stats below will point out.

When making your NCAAB sides and totals betting decisions, track your wagers over time and make sure you are giving yourself a mix of both favorites and underdogs against the spread.

Betting CBB Favorites & Underdogs

Last year’s Final Four wasn’t just an example of underdogs covering the spread.

Between those four remaining teams, there were lots of opportunities for bettors to cash in on some enticing moneyline odds.

With that in mind, it’s important that when we review our CBB betting history, we make sure we don’t get locked in on betting just favorites to cover the spread.

2022-’23 Top NCAAB Teams

Team2022-23 RecordRecord ATSATS %
Totals238-53 (81.7%)147-136-851.9%

The eight teams in our table above were seeded either (1) or (2) in last year’s March Madness tournament.

Obviously, the top eight teams in the country will rack up a lot of regular-season wins along the way to the big dance. In fact, our eight teams combined to win 238 games last year, an average of 30 wins per team.

But the story changes dramatically when we compare their winning percentage to their percentage Against The Spread. (ATS)

  • Straight up, the top eight teams in the country won at an 81.7% rate.
  • ATS – those same teams covered just 51.9% of their games.
  • Only 5 of the 8 teams would have been profitable if you had blindly bet them to cover the spread each game.

Betting on college basketball is more than just identifying which of the 350 teams will be great each year.

If we had bet point spread closing lines last year, even by identifying the very best teams in the country, we still would have finished with just over a 50% record ATS.

2023 NCAA Final Four Recap

History was made in last year’s March Madness tournament long before we reached the Final Four.

When 16th-seeded Farleigh Dickinson upset number-one-seeded Purdue, that should have been the canary in the mine, letting us know plenty of upsets were on the way.

For the second time in March Madness history, basketball fans witnessed a #16 beating a #1, but the upsets were not done there.

By the time the Elite Eight rolled around, all the number-one seeds had already been eliminated, and somehow UConn, who started the year at 80/1, were now a legitimate betting favorite.

2022-’23 Final Four Teams

TeamRecordPrevious Final FoursPreseason Odds
(9) Florida Atlantic35-40+250000
(5) Miami29-80+8000
(5) San Diego St32-70+6600
(4) Connecticut31-86+8000

When we study the table above and see the preseason odds available on the teams who made the Final Four last year, we understand why futures betting in college basketball can be so enjoyable – at least for those who can spot value further down the odds board.

We would all be happy to have a 66/1 or 80/1 ticket on a team that has reached the national semi-finals.

However, if anyone was bold enough to predict the long run by 250/1 FAU in last year’s big dance, I hope you were able to hedge that bet and make a nice profit!

March Madness Tournament Facts

  • The first-ever NCAA tournament was held in 1939, with eight teams participating. Oregon beat Ohio St. in the finals of that inaugural tournament.
  • The tournament expanded in 1951 (16 teams), 1975 (32 teams), and 1985 (64 teams).
  • It took until 2018 for a 16-seed to finally knock off a 1-seed when the UMBC Retrievers beat Virginia 74-54.
  • UCLA has the most tournament championships, with 11 all-time. The Bruins won seven consecutive titles from 1967-1973.
  • Mike Krzyzewski (Duke) has the most tournament wins by a coach all-time, with 97. Christian Laettner (also Duke) has scored the most points in tournament history, with 407.

March Madness Champions

When it comes to coaching success during the March Madness tournament, the conversation typically begins and ends with Coach Wooden (UCLA) and Coach K (Duke).

Combined, the two coaches have 15 tournament titles, four runner-up finishes and almost 150 tournament wins.

But getting to the top of the mountain is one thing. Staying on top is another.

Duke last won a national title in 2015. For UCLA, it was 20 years before that. (1995)

March Madness Champs – Last 10 Years

2023UConnSan Diego St
2022KansasNorth Carolina
2020** Not Held– –
2019VirginiaTexas Tech
2017North CarolinaGonzaga
2016VillanovaNorth Carolina

Over the last ten years, there have been nine March Madness tournament champions declared. UConn and Villanova have both won multiple titles over the previous nine tournaments played.

The Tar Heels from North Carolina are the only team to have made three finals appearances during the last decade, but they managed just that one win during those three championship games.

Always Shop Around

For many of us, spending time in the data science lab, crunching numbers, and trying to find an edge against the sportsbooks can be as much fun as watching our bets play out.

However, it is important to remember that our greatest advantage against the sportsbooks is our ability to shop around for the Best Odds available.

2023-’24 NCAAB Championship Odds


The above table is a fantastic example of why shopping around truly matters. Kentucky, UConn, and Tennessee are all expected to be very good teams this year.

Many bettors can argue why one or more of those teams might be a good long-term futures bet to win a National Title.

However, looking at the discrepancies between odds offered at just three sportsbooks, we can immediately understand why line shopping is so valuable.

Using Tennessee as our example, both FanDuel and BetRivers have them priced very aggressively, at +600 or lower.

However, DraftKings still has the Volunteers at +1000, which provides a significantly greater return compared to the other two books listed.

If you aren’t shopping around for the Best Odds available, you just aren’t giving yourself the best chance to win long-term.