With a great mix of power conference teams and brand names alongside some mid-major sides that have everything it takes to win, the NCAA Tournament bracket is as wide open as it’s been in years.
The Gonzaga Bulldogs enter as favorites at +800, but is there more value anywhere else on the board? Right now the bettors are all over Kansas who are currently listed as +900, as they’ve taken a whopping 29% of the dollars bet at DraftKings Sportsbook.
Let’s take a look at the odds and pick some potential winners with the best value to win the 2020 NCAA Tournament.
There’s a reason they’re the chalk: the No. 1 adjusted offense in college basketball, shooting almost 40% as a team from three-point range, and enough team defense (35th adjusted) and rebounding to go with it. And don’t worry about the soft schedule: they racked up plenty of Q1 wins at home, on the road, on neutral floors... basically everywhere but Nassau, Bahamas, where they lost in a tournament final to Michigan. And like the rules with people you’re casually dating, if it didn’t happen in the same country, it didn’t happen.
Only one senior on this team, Killian Tillie, was a part of their 2017 national championship game run, but this team has the pedigree and the talent to get all the way to the top. And with a No. 1 seed almost a given (maybe wait until after the BYU game in Provo Saturday to bet this just to be safe??), they’ll have a very gettable path to the title. Filip Petrusev leads a balanced attack that’s a joy to watch on both sides.
Right now 5% of the wagers at DraftKings Sportsbook are on the ‘Zags to win it all.
Don’t look now, but the most athletic team in the tournament is now making threes. And if that happens, they’re basically an unbeatable Death Star of athleticism and length in green and yellow. They don’t even need to make 40%, just in the mid 30’s is fine, as their stifling defense shuts people down inside (3rd in adjusted defense, 6th in eFG defense).
They’re also deep enough where one injury might hurt less than with other teams. Jared Butler, MaCio Teague and friends are a group no one wants to play in March.
San Diego State +2200
How can a No. 1 seed that hasn’t lost a game yet be considered a sleeper? Because this price feels like a holiday present from your benevolent bookmaker. That’s insane value on a team that is undefeated, and very likely to be a No. 1 seed giving them the easiest possible path to Atlanta and the Final Four. Even if you’re doing some money line hedging down the way, it’s a very big number for a team that has shown they can beat good comp (four Q1 wins, including neutral and on the road). They’re seventh in adjusted offense and defense, and only Kansas is ahead of them when both numbers are combined.
And if you live on the east coast and don’t stay up late, go to work late one day and watch Malachi Flynn. He’s worth it, and he’s capable of getting a team to a national championship. And many bettors agree: 5% of the handle at DraftKings is on the Aztecs to cut down the nets in Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
A Dark Horse
Sometimes the team with the best big man can do it alone, and Luka Garza has been that for the Hawkeyes. He’s just about unguardable at times: a 7-footer with a gorgeous three-point stroke and a post game to go with it.
This is setting money on fire unless deadeye shooter C.J. Frederick comes back from a brutal ankle injury by tournament time, but this team plays insanely hard and has enough upperclassmen that can play when it’s crunch time. No one wants to play Iowa. Iowa probably doesn’t want to practice against Iowa. There’s value here, but be prepared to start hedging a bit as it we get from eight to four to two.
Here’s the full list of odds from DraftKings Sportsbook.
2020 NCAA Tournament Champion Odds
|Team||Odds 3/10||Odds 3/4||Odds 2/19|
|Team||Odds 3/10||Odds 3/4||Odds 2/19|
|San Diego State||+1500||+1500||+2200|
|East Tennessee State||+10000||+10000||+20000|
|New Mexico State||+15000||+15000||+30000|
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