2024 College Basketball National Championship Odds - NCAA Tournament Picks

2024 College Basketball National Championship Betting

The field for the 2024 College Basketball national championship tournament hasn’t even been set and odds are available for which team will cut down the nets in early April. I guess you could say the madness has already started with March Madness ready to fill the airwaves. It isn’t a surprise to see the three teams that have shared the No. 1 ranking over the last three months sitting at the top of the odds board.

The defending champion Connecticut Huskies spent six weeks at the top of the AP Poll and have emerged as the betting favorite. The Huskies won 18 of 19 games ahead of the Big East Tournament winning their first regular season conference title in 25 years with an overall record of 28-3. Two of their losses were to ranked foes Creighton and Kansas.

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Purdue spent five weeks as the No. 1 ranked team in the country before UConn’s run and boast arguably the best college basketball player in Zach Edey. The Boilermakers finished the regular season with five straight wins and were 14-1 in their last 15 games. They won the Big Ten regular season crown going 17-3 and 28-3 overall with a spotless 7-0 record against ranked opposition. Edey, last year’s player of the year in several different outlets, averaged 24.2 points and 11.7 rebounds in 31 games.

And Purdue has some unfinished business in the NCAA Tournament looking to avenge their loss as a No. 1 seed last year to Fairleigh Dickinson. It was the second time such an upset occurred and the Boilermakers are hoping for the same result as Virginia. The Cavs were upset by UMBC in the first round of the 2018 Tournament and used that as motivation to win a national championship the following season. Could this be Purdue’s redemption tour?

Sitting between UConn and Purdue on the National Championship odds board are the current No. 1 ranked Houston Cougars, who won the Big 12 regular season title in their first year in the conference. And they did it impressively winning their final nine regular season games, including a 76-46 thrashing of Kansas in the finale. The Jayhawks tumbled in the rankings and on the odds board with their 30-point loss to Houston punctuating a season-ending skid that saw them lose three of their final four games.

The top three favorites are the only teams on the board with odds shorter than 7/1 and they’ll all be a No. 1 seed when the field is set. That’s not always a good thing, though, since the highest seed to reach last year’s Final Four was UConn at No. 4. There were also two No. 5 seeds and No. 9 Florida Atlantic surprised everyone with their run to the national semifinals.

2024 NCAA Basketball Championship Odds

Purdue Boilermakers

As the first No. 1 seed to lose to a 16 I can only think of Virginia when discussing the Boilermakers. UVA will always be the answer to a trivia question but at least the Cavs made up for their upset loss by vanquishing every opponent to cut down the nets the following season. And I believe Purdue has the same mindset and it’s why Edey returned for another season. You could argue the Big Ten wasn’t as strong as its been in the past and Purdue had an easier path to the regular season crown. But they still had to win the games and they played their best against stiffer competition beating seven teams that were ranked No. 12 or better at the time of the game, including then No. 1 Arizona.

North Carolina Tar Heels

They didn’t lose to a No. 16 seed last year because they didn’t make the NCAA Tournament, finishing off a failed season that started with the Heels as preseason No. 1. The re imagined lineup did wonderful things this season, though, leading UNC to the ACC regular season title and a sweep of Duke in the season series. Newcomers Harrison Ingram and Cormac Ryan have helped position the Heels as a solid betting option.

Saint Mary’s Gaels

The Gaels slayed the dragon beating Gonzaga in the WCC Tournament championship giving them the regular season and tournament titles. And the squad has a boatload of confidence entering the Dance with wins in 18 of their last 19 games. SMC has a good mixture of size and scoring and the Gaels are one of the best rebounding teams in the country. Aidan Mahoney averaged 13.7 points during the season and turned it on against the Zags in the tournament final scoring 23 points on 5 of 7 three-point shootings. There’s always a team that makes a crazy run and Saint Mary’s could be that squad this year.

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