There is still plenty of excitement to be had during the impending NCAA Conference Tournaments that take place this week and weekend, but bettors are already starting to look ahead to the Big Dance, and the money is coming in on a familiar team.
One of the stories this season in men’s NCAA basketball was the lack of blue-blood schools to grace the top-5, especially near the end of the season. Missing from the top all year were teams like North Carolina, Duke, and Kentucky, and in their places Purdue, Houston, and Alabama. But there were a couple of the powerhouse programs that moseyed in and out of the top 10, as Kansas and UCLA made late-season runs.
March Madness Odds: Houston And Alabama Are Favorites, But Public Likes Kansas
And while Alabama and Houston are listed as the early favorites by most sports books to win the title, it is Kansas that bettors are finding the early value in.
The picture will become more clear after Selection Sunday and the brackets are filled out and the paths to the title are imagined. But before we know who each team is going to potentially play in the Sweet 16 and Elite 8, it seems that people are high on Kansas and their chances of repeating as National Champions.
Depending on your sports book of choice, the Jayhawks are listed as either the third or fourth team with the shortest odds of cutting down the nets. Our friends at BetOnline have them at 4th at +1000, just behind UCLA at +900. The public apparently likes those odds.
According to reports, 9.2 percent of the bets thus far have come in on Kansas, compared to 8.7 percent for Houston. Nabbing the Jayhawks at a +1000 value is a great bet, given the program’s history and Bill Self’s ability to coach his teams deep into March year after year.
In a field that may be considered one of the most wide-open, there are a few other value bets to look at. Gonzaga has had a down year by their standards, but are listed at +2000. Perhaps fewer expectations will work out for Mark Few and company and the Bulldogs could find themselves making a run. Tennessee was one of the better teams all year until their late-season collapse, and they are +2800 underdogs, and could be worth throwing a flyer on.