College Madness Betting

2018 NCAAB Men’s Championship Odds: Duke, MSU Still Riding High

The more things change, the more they stay the same. There are no unbeaten teams left in Division I after a wild weekend of college hoops, but even with all this chaos, the same two teams are sitting at +400 on the 2018 March Madness odds: the Duke Blue Devils (13-1 SU, 8-4 ATS), and the Michigan State Spartans (14-1 SU, 10-5 ATS). They also start 2018 as the top teams in the AP rankings, with Sparty at No. 1 and Duke at No. 2.

Pretty much everything has gone right for Michigan State since they lost to Duke in the second game of the 2017-18 season. The Spartans haven’t played a very tough schedule, but they’ve beaten their opponents soundly at both ends of the court and covered the spread more often than not. The Blue Devils have been profitable, too, but they’ve relied heavily on what might be the best offense in college. Duke’s defense didn’t put up much resistance in their 89-84 loss to Boston College (+16 at home). The Over is 11-1 for the Devils this year; it’s entertaining basketball, but Duke will have to improve their defense to maintain this level of play.

 

Villanova Still Flying High

The Villanova Wildcats (13-1 SU, 10-4 ATS) are the third favorites at +600 on the NCAA basketball odds, and they might still be the best team in Division I right now despite suffering their first defeat, 101-93 to Butler (+6 at home) on Saturday. The ‘Cats are a lot like Duke as far as their offense/defense split is concerned, although not nearly as lopsided – just enough to keep the Over profitable at 10-4.

Also falling from the ranks of the undefeated: the Arizona State Sun Devils (12-1 SU, 10-2-1 ATS), who dropped an 84-78 decision to the Arizona Wildcats as 5.5-point road dogs. Arizona State did well to move from +30000 to +1000 on the college basketball betting lines, but the Sun Devils slipped back to +1400 after losing to Arizona, and they’ll keep falling if they don’t fix their defensive issues soon. The Wildcats (11-3 SU, 5-7-2 ATS), on the other hand, are back in the March Madness mix at +1000, and they’re 5-0 SU and 2-2-1 ATS since sophomore guard Rawle Alkins made his season debut.

The other unbeaten team going into Week 8 of the 2017-18 campaign was the TCU Horned Frogs (12-1 SU, 6-6 ATS), but you can scratch them off the list after Saturday’s 90-89 loss to the Oklahoma Sooners (+2 away). Not much was expected from Texas Christian this year at +7500, and their March Madness odds actually sank to +10000 heading into the holidays; the Frogs have a tough Big 12 schedule in front of them after taking it somewhat easy during non-conference play. The Sooners (11-1 SU, 5-6 ATS), meanwhile, are available at +1800, and their up-tempo offense has the Over at 10-1 this year.

 

Are the Red Raiders for Real?

Oklahoma isn’t the best team in the Big 12, though. That honor goes to the Kansas Jayhawks (11-2 SU, 8-4 ATS), who remain one of the leading March Madness contenders at +1200 on the NCAAB odds board. But the Jayhawks are getting stiff competition from an unexpected source: the Texas Tech Red Raiders (12-1 SU, 6-3 ATS). During the offseason, Texas Tech was an afterthought at +50000 odds to win the NCAA championship, and they’re not even on the board at press time – but that could change after the Raiders visit Kansas on Tuesday, tipping off at 9 PM ET on ESPN.

The Kentucky Wildcats (11-2 SU, 6-7 ATS) are tied with Kansas at +1200 on the March Madness odds list, but this clearly isn’t one of John Calipari’s better teams – too many one-and-done players, even for college hoops. Neutral-court losses to Kansas at UCLA have already tempered expectations somewhat in Lexington; the Wildcats started the season at +800 to cut down the nets. However, Kentucky continues to be overvalued in a weak SEC where they’ve been outplayed by the Texas A&M Aggies (11-2 SU, 5-5 ATS), a bargain by comparison at +2800.

Now that conference play is in full swing, we’ll soon find out a lot more about the relative strengths and weaknesses of all these Division I contenders. Bovada Sportsbook will have fresh College Basketball lines all the way through to March Madness – will it still be Duke and Michigan State when all is said and done? Cast your vote in the futures section of our sportsbook.

 

*Odds as of January 2, 2018