College Basketball

NCAA Tournament odds, futures: UCLA, UConn open as early betting favorites to win 2024 March Madness

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NCAA Basketball: Arizona State at UCLA
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After opening the 2022-23 season unranked in the AP Top 25 and a 60-1 longshot to win the national championship, UConn on Monday cut down the nets inside NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas, to claim the throne of college basketball as a worthy champion. And don’t look now — but Vegas likes its odds of going back to back.

Opening futures from Caesars Sportsbook for the 2024 NCAA Tournament peg UConn as the co-favorite in futures markets to win the championship at 12-1 odds, tied for the shortest on the board with UCLA. UConn could return five of its top six scorers from its title team depending on decisions from Donovan Clingan, Jordan Hawkins, Tristen Newton and Adama Sanogo. No team in the sport has gone back-to-back since Florida in 2006 and 2007.

There’s plenty of competition nipping at UConn’s heels that would make repeating a tall task, and that seems to be reflected in the futures market with seven other teams opening with 25-1 or shorter odds. Just behind UCLA and UConn is Kansas at 15-1. That is followed by Duke at 16-1, Kentucky at 18-1, Arizona at 20-1 and Houston and Purdue at 22-1. Alabama is the only team with 25-1 odds.Β 

From those groups, Kentucky for my money represents the best value of the blue bloods. There’s clearly some fatigue for Wildcats backers — UK hasn’t made the second weekend since 2019 — but coach John Calipari is enrolling four top-10 recruits for next year and they could be active power players in the transfer market to fill holes if necessary.

Gonzaga at 40-1 odds also pops off the page for value. This program has advanced to the Elite Eight in two of the last three seasons, and while it could lose big man Drew Timme and star scorer Julian Strawther, there’s talent in the Zags pipeline for coach Mark Few to crank out another contender.Β 

While we’re talking values, Florida Atlantic at 100-1 is an interesting opening number. FAU three weeks ago had zero NCAA Tournament wins, but it advanced to its first Final Four while finishing with a program-best 35 wins. Coach Dusty May could return almost every meaningful piece of the roster for next season and will likely enter as a top-two team in its first season under the American Athletic Conference umbrella. If you’re taking longshot stabs, you could do worse than a team that validated itself as one of the best in the country and has momentum rolling into the offseason.

You can find the full opening futures odds below from Caesars Sportsbook:

2024 NCAA Tournament championship odds

  • UConn: 12-1
  • UCLA: 12-1
  • Kansas: 15-1
  • Duke: 16-1
  • Kentucky: 18-1
  • Arizona: 20-1
  • Houston: 22-1
  • Purdue: 22-1
  • Alabama: 25-1
  • Marquette: 30-1
  • Miami: 30-1
  • Creighton: 30-1
  • Tennessee: 40-1
  • Texas: 40-1
  • Baylor: 40-1
  • St. John’s: 40-1
  • Gonzaga: 40-1
  • Arkansas: 40-1
  • Illinois: 50-1
  • Xavier: 50-1
  • North Carolina: 50-1
  • Michigan State: 50-1
  • Kansas State: 50-1
  • TCU: 50-1
  • West Virginia: 60-1
  • Iowa State: 60-1
  • Virginia: 60-1
  • Oregon: 60-1
  • Indiana: 60-1
  • Auburn: 60-1
  • Maryland: 70-1
  • Saint Mary’s: 80-1
  • Texas A&M: 80-1
  • Memphis: 100-1
  • USC: 100-1
  • Northwestern: 100-1
  • San Diego State: 100-1
  • Florida Atlantic: 100-1
  • Villanova: 100-1
  • Rutgers: 100-1
  • Clemson: 125-1
  • Missouri: 125-1
  • Florida: 125-1
  • Arizona State: 150-1
  • Saint Louis: 150-1
  • Michigan: 150-1
  • Texas Tech: 150-1
  • Ohio State: 150-1
  • Wichita State: 150-1
  • Iowa: 150-1
  • NC State: 150-1
  • Virginia Tech: 150-1
  • Cincinnati: 200-1
  • Georgetown: 200-1
  • Penn State: 200-1
  • Florida State: 200-1
  • Boise State: 200-1
  • Oklahoma: 200-1
  • Butler: 200-1
  • Utah: 200-1
  • Washington: 200-1
  • Pitt: 200-1
  • Ole Miss: 200-1
  • Drake: 200-1
  • Colorado: 200-1
  • Mississippi State: 250-1
  • Providence: 250-1
  • Notre Dame: 250-1
  • Stanford: 250-1
  • Wisconsin: 250-1
  • LSU: 300-1
  • Oklahoma State: 300-1
  • BYU: 300-1
  • New Mexico: 300-1
  • Dayton: 300-1
  • Georgia Tech: 300-1
  • Utah State: 300-1
  • Tulane: 300-1
  • VCU: 300-1
  • Georgia: 300-1
  • Wake Forest: 300-1
  • Seton Hall: 300-1
  • South Florida: 300-1
  • George Mason: 300-1
  • Richmond: 300-1

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Publish Date:2023-04-04 22:19:33

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