We are a little over a month-and-a-half away from the start of the NCAA Basketball Tournament. March Madness odds boards have been up for months and Houston has maintained its spot as the betting favorite to win the 2023 National Title. Other teams at the top of college basketball National Championship odds boards include Purdue at +1000, Alabama at +1000 and Kansas at +1200.
Below are live NCAA basketball National Title odds for this season as well as betting insight on all of top college basketball teams.
March Madness odds
Check out March Madness odds below. National title futures prices are available for dozens of schools below. If you are looking for college basketball betting odds for today’s games go here.
College basketball National Title odds
The college basketball futures market had some changes during the week after losses to top-ranked teams. As a continuing trend this season, the AP rankings have flipped over frequently at the top as there appears to be a weak top tier of teams this season.
Here is the outlook for some of the top teams in college basketball along with their National Title odds.
Houston : Despite a shocking loss to Temple, the Cougars remain atop the odds board at all major American books. Houston’s upcoming schedule isn’t particularly tough but they still have both games against Memphis to get through.
Alabama : The Tide continue to decimate the SEC with an eight-game win streak – all by double digits. Without a top-25 matchup on the schedule until mid-February, Alabama should see its numbers continue to hover near the top of the title picture.
Purdue : Winners of six straight games following the loss to Rutgers, Purdue has figured things out to maintain a steady hold of the Big Ten. Things really pick up in February for the Boilermakers when they face in-state rival Indiana twice.
Kansas : Even after three consecutive losses, the Jayhawks remain a presence on the title futures odds board. Kansas has struggled to find consistent perimeter shooting outside of freshman Gradey Dick as teams have forced the Jayhawks to win with the long ball.
UCLA : A road loss to Arizona didn’t hurt UCLA’s national title odds perception as the Bruins still remain a major contender. UCLA’s offense has taken a bit of a dip in recent games but the top-5 defense more than makes up for the issues.
Tennessee : The nation’s No. 1 defense continues to impress in a pair of recent double-digit wins. The Vols have some major competition coming up with games against Texas, Alabama and a pair against Auburn.
Arizona : Enduring a sluggish stretch in Pac-12 play, the Wildcats bounced back with an impressive home sweep of the Los Angeles schools. If Arizona can endure turnover problems and cold-shooting stretches they’ll remain in the hunt.
UConn : Losing five out of six games before smashing Butler, UConn dealt with a brutal stretch of the Big East schedule. Now that things ease up, and the Huskies get the league’s top teams at home, they’ll have a chance to run up more wins.
Virginia : Tony Bennett’s ballclub has been tinkering with its frontcourt rotation but the victories have continued to come for the ‘Hoos. Virginia plays one of the three slowest paces in the country but they find ways to win with a top 25 offense and defense.
Baylor : Finding themselves back in the top ten, the Bears have reeled off five straight wins since an early three-game Big 12 losing streak. Baylor’s offense continues to be top notch and the defense has steadily improved in recent weeks.
How March Madness odds are changing
Here is how March Madness odds looked in the pre-season and early in the campaign.
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Here are what March Madness odds looked like in the early portion of 2023.
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NCAA Tournament Odds
The 2023 Final Four will take place in Houston, Texas at NRG Stadium – home of the NFL’s Houston Texans.
Las Vegas (March 23 and 25)
Louisville (March 24 and 26)
New York City (March 23 and 25)
Kansas City (March 23 and 25)
New Orleans (April 1 and 3)
First round seed matchups, history
TheLines offers a look back at the history of all of the first round seed matchups. Check them out here:
- 8 vs. 9 2021 matchups and history
- 7 vs. 10 2021 matchups and history
- 6 vs. 11 2021 matchups and history
- 5 vs. 12 2021 matchups and history
- 4 vs. 13 2021 matchups and history
- 3 vs. 14 2021 matchups and history
- 2 vs. 15 2021 matchups and history
- 1 vs. 16 2021 matchups and history
March Madness betting sites
How the NCAA Tournament works
March Madness is a 68-team, single-elimination tournament that annually crowns college basketball’s NCAA Division 1 men’s national champion.
The event is aptly named, considering it features a frenetic 67 games over a 19-day period. The participating schools are announced on “Selection Sunday”, along with the exact seeding and brackets.
The annual college basketball rite of spring is sports betting’s most prolific multi-day event. Below you’ll find the current betting odds for the favorites to win the NCAA Tournament, along with key tournament details and betting strategy to help you during the month-long madness.
The first 32 teams to gain entry into the tournament do so automatically by winning their conferences. The remaining 36 slots are filled by “at-large” teams. A 10-member selection committee consisting of athletic directors and conference commissioners undergoes an arduous and multi-layered process to determine the 36 at-large teams and subsequently finalize seeding and brackets.
This year, the committee will employ the NCAA Evaluation Tool (NET) as its primary sorting method for determining at-large entrants. The NET replaces the RPI (Rating Percentage Index), which had been utilized since 1981.
The NET utilizes the following metrics:
- Game results
- Strength of schedule
- Game location
- Scoring margin
- Offensive and defensive efficiency
- Quality of wins and losses
The NCAA has a detailed, step-by-step breakdown of seeding and bracket protocol on this page within its website.
March Madness betting history
The first NCAA basketball tournament took place in 1939 in Evanston, Illinois. Since then, 37 teams have won it all and five teams have won the tournament at least five times (Indiana, Duke, UNC, Kentucky, UCLA). Since seeding began in 1979, number 1 seeds have won the tournament 25 times and have accounted for almost 49% of all championship appearances. Just three times has a team seeded lower than four won the title, and no team seeded below eighth has won, nor made a championship appearance.
Since betting lines were released for NCAA tournament games in 1985, underdogs in March Madness odds have covered 44% of the time, winning outright 29% of the time. Games have gone under the total in 56% of games. Since 2010, games have gone under the total in 70% of games and favorites have covered in seven out of ten games. Three teams have won more than one championship since 2010 (Duke, UConn, Villanova), but none have won back-to-back titles (despite Butler & UNC appearing in back-to-back title games).
Since 2000, the top overall seed has made the championship game just four times but won the game three of those times (75%). In total, top overall seeds in the tournament have comprised of just 8% of the total Final Four teams (missed 13 out of 20 years). Besides 1-seeds, 2-seeds have the most championship appearances since 2000 (7 times), followed by 3-seeds (6 times), and 5- and 8-seeds (2).
Just eight percent (52/640) of all Sweet 16 teams have been seeded 11 or lower, and only 2.8% of teams in the Elite Eight were seeded 11 or lower. Four 11 seeds advanced to the Final Four (Loyola Chicago, 2018; VCU, 2011; George Mason, 2006; LSU, 1986). UMBC is the only 16-seed to upset a 1-seed in the tournament’s history (2018), and just eight 15-seeds have prevailed (5%). In 2015, two 15-seeds upset 2-seeds (25% of all such upsets) and two 14-seeds upset 3-seeds.
Using historical data when filling out brackets and betting March Madness, err caution; stats should be used in the long-run but when choosing individual games, be sure to study matchup statistics. The most important thing to remember, though, is this is March Madness, and anything can (and will) happen.
Tournament betting strategies
The historical ATS data for each team in tournament play is just one of countless data points that can constitute March Madness odds betting research. Other factors that can hold considerable relevance include:
- A team’s late-season performances, including in their conference tournament
- Key injuries
- A team’s defensive proficiency, as this typically has more carryover into tournament play than a high-powered offense
- “Fading the public” when the line appears to be significantly affected by a team’s popularity, as opposed to actual recent performance
Examining various tournament-specific historical trends, such as how high-seeded mid-majors have done in each round in terms of straight-up wins and losses.
Another overarching data set that could prove highly valuable is the performance of each seed in each round versus the spread. Courtesy of BoydsBets.com, below is an overview of historical first-round performance by seeds 1-16 against the number:[table “” not found /]
Where can you legally wager on March Madness this year?
Bettors physically located within the following states will be able to place a legal sports wager on March Madness games:
- Arizona Sports Betting
- Colorado Sportsbooks
- Illinois Sportsbooks
- Indiana Sportsbooks
- Iowa Sportsbooks
- Michigan Sportsbooks
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey Sportsbooks
- New Mexico
- New York Sports Betting
- Pennsylvania Sportsbooks
- Rhode Island
- Tennessee Sportsbooks
- West Virginia Sportsbooks
- Virginia Sportsbooks
Then, there will be a flurry of sports betting legalization efforts unfolding at statehouses around the country during 2022 legislative sessions. Thus, hundreds of thousands of potential new bettors are expected to be part of the fun when the 2023 version of March Madness rolls around.
Based on recent progress and momentum, many states appear to have at least a fighting chance of implementing legalized sports betting in time for next year’s tournament.