On Sunday afternoon, the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook became the first sportsbook to post odds for the 2017-18 NCAA men’s basketball championship. North Carolina, who would defeat Gonzaga in the national championship the following day, opened with the fourth best odds at +1,200. Three perennial powerhouses — Kentucky, Louisville, and Duke — opened as the co-favorites at +1,000.

The table below, which uses preseason odds from 5Dimes and BetOnline, displays the title odds for the past nine national champions and preseason favorites. (Information courtesy of SportsOddsHistory)

YearChampionOddsPreseason FavOdds
2016-17North Carolina+2400Duke+525
2015-16Villanova+2000North Carolina+800
2014-15Duke+1000Kentucky+400
2013-14UConn+7000Kentucky+500
2012-13Louisville+800Indiana+700
2011-12Kentucky+550North Carolina+350
2010-11UConn+4000Duke+500
2009-10Duke+1200Kansas/Kentucky+500
2008-09North Carolina+450North Carolina+450

As you can see, Duke, North Carolina or Kentucky has been the pre-season favorite in nine of the past ten seasons with the 2012-13 Indiana Hoosiers providing the lone exception. That trend continued this season with both Duke and Kentucky opening as co-favorites.

The table below displays the 2017-18 title odds from the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook.

TeamApril 2
KENTUCKY Wildcats10/1
LOUISVILLE Cardinals10/1
DUKE Blue Devils10/1
KANSAS Jayhawks12/1
NORTH CAROLINA Tar Heels12/1
VILLANOVA Wildcats12/1
GONZAGA Bulldogs12/1
ARIZONA Wildcats15/1
MICHIGAN Wolverines20/1
INDIANA Hoosiers20/1
WICHITA ST Shockers20/1
FLORIDA Gators20/1
BUTLER Bulldogs25/1
MICHIGAN ST Spartans20/1
WEST VIRGINIA Mountaineers25/1
VIRGINIA Cavaliers30/1
OKLAHOMA Sooners40/1
FLORIDA ST Seminoles40/1
ST MARY’S Gaels40/1
UCLA Bruins25/1
BAYLOR Bears50/1
MIAMI FL Hurricanes50/1
OREGON Ducks60/1
SETON HALL Pirates60/1
PURDUE Boilermakers60/1
USC Trojans60/1
WISCONSIN Badgers80/1
XAVIER Musketeers80/1
SMU Mustangs80/1
CINCINNATI Bearcats80/1
IOWA ST Cyclones80/1
CREIGHTON Bluejays80/1
ALABAMA Crimson Tide80/1
VANDERBILT Commodores80/1
NOTRE DAME Fighting Irish80/1
U CONN Huskies100/1
VCU Rams100/1
VIRGINIA TECH Hokies100/1
SYRACUSE Orange100/1
MARQUETTE Golden Eagles100/1
MARYLAND Terrapins100/1
MINNESOTA Golden Gophers100/1
NORTHWESTERN Wildcats100/1
ILLINOIS Fighting Illini100/1
ARKANSAS Razorbacks100/1
SOUTH CAROLINA Gamecocks100/1
TEXAS A&M Aggies100/1
NEVADA Wolfpack100/1
SAN DIEGO ST Aztecs100/1
UTAH Utes100/1
PROVIDENCE Friars200/1
GEORGETOWN Hoyas200/1
GEORGIA Bulldogs200/1
OKLAHOMA ST Cowboys300/1
KANSAS ST Wildcats300/1
TCU Horned Frogs300/1
TEXAS TECH Red Raiders300/1
DAYTON Flyers300/1
RHODE ISLAND Rams300/1
WAKE FOREST Demon Deacons300/1
CLEMSON Tigers300/1
ST JOHN’S Red Storm300/1
IOWA Hawkeyes300/1
OHIO ST Buckeyes300/1
PENN ST Nittany Lions300/1
NEBRASKA Cornhuskers300/1
TEXAS Longhorns300/1
ILLINOIS ST Redbirds300/1
OLE MISS Rebels300/1
TENNESSEE Volunteers300/1
AUBURN Tigers300/1
MISSISSIPPI ST Bulldogs300/1
MISSOURI Tigers300/1
BYU Cougars300/1
CALIFORNIA Golden Bears300/1
COLORADO Buffaloes300/1
ARIZONA ST Sun Devils300/1
STANFORD Cardinal300/1
HOUSTON Cougars500/1
CENTRAL FLORIDA Golden Knights500/1
MEMPHIS Tigers500/1
RICHMOND Spiders500/1
La Salle EXPLORERS500/1
DAVIDSON Wildcats500/1
GEORGIA TECH Yellow Jackets500/1
PITTSBURGH Panthers500/1
NC STATE Wolfpack500/1
MIDDLE TENN ST Blue Raiders500/1
LSU Tigers500/1
COLORADO ST Rams500/1
BOISE ST Broncos500/1
FRESNO ST Bulldogs500/1
WYOMING Cowboys500/1
OREGON ST Beavers500/1
VERMONT Catamounts1000/1
ST BONAVENTURE Bonnies1000/1
GEORGE WASHINGTON Colonials1000/1
GEORGE MASON Patriots1000/1
ST LOUIS Billikens1000/1
NC WILMINGTON Seahawks1000/1
CHARLESTON Cougars1000/1
OLD DOMINION Monarchs1000/1
PRINCETON Tigers1000/1
HARVARD Crimson1000/1
YALE Bulldogs1000/1
TEXAS ARLINGTON Mavericks1000/1
GEORGIA ST Panthers1000/1
ARKANSAS ST Red Wolves1000/1
OAKLAND Golden Grizzlies1000/1
VALPARAISO Crusaders1000/1
NORTHERN IOWA Panthers1000/1
BELMONT Bruins1000/1
AKRON Zips1000/1
OHIO Bobcats1000/1
BUFFALO Bulls1000/1
NEW MEXICO Lobos1000/1
UTAH ST Aggies1000/1
UNLV Runnin’ Rebels1000/1
WASHINGTON ST Cougars1000/1
EAST TENNESSEE ST Buccaneers1000/1
CHATTANOOGA Mocs1000/1
NEW MEXICO ST Aggies1000/1
GRAND CANYON Antelopes1000/1
WESTERN KENTUCKY Hilltoppers1000/1
BOSTON COLLEGE Eagles1000/1
FLORIDA GULF COAST Eagles2000/1
LOUISIANA TECH Bulldogs2000/1
PENNSYLVANIA Quakers2000/1
NC CENTRAL Eagles2000/1
BUCKNELL Bison2000/1
MONMOUTH Hawks2000/1
WASHINGTON Huskies2000/1
LA LAFAYETTE Ragin’ Cajuns2000/1
TROY Trojans2000/1
UTEP Miners5000/1
MT ST MARYS Mountaineers5000/1
SAN FRANCISCO Dons5000/1
WRIGHT ST Raiders5000/1
JACKSONVILLE ST Gamecocks5000/1
NC GREENSBORO Spartans5000/1
SOUTH DAKOTA Coyotes5000/1
NORTH DAKOTA ST Bison5000/1
IPFW Mastodons5000/1
SOUTH DAKOTA ST Jackrabbits5000/1
IUPUI Jaguars5000/1
CS BAKERSFIELD Roadrunners5000/1
TEXAS ST Bobcats5000/1
COASTAL CAROLINA Chanticleers5000/1
ALBANY Great Danes5000/1
FIELD ( All Others )300/1

Last year a new rule was put in place which allows players to declare for the NBA Draft, remove their names before May 24th deadline, and still retain their college eligibility. This will make these next few weeks particularly interesting, as players are being highly incentivized to at least test the draft waters. Once it’s clear who’s staying and who’s going, it will be easier to analyze the futures market. That said, the Minnesota Golden Gophers look like an interesting value play at +10,000.

Minnesota will graduate just one senior (Akeem Springs) after an impressive 24-10 season that concluded with a tough first round tournament loss against an under-seeded Middle Tennessee State team. The Golden Gophers return 88% of their scoring, 93% of their rebounding and 92% of their assists. With ESPN top 100 recruit Isaiah Washington joining an experienced backcourt that includes a potential Big Ten Player of the Year candidate (Nate Mason), the Golden Gophers could once again surprise folks next season.

 

Source: SportsInsights