College basketball was unable to crown a champion in the 2019-20 season, so the Virginia Cavaliers remain the defending champs heading into this weekend’s NCAA Tournament. Who will be the next title winner in what has been a season we’ll never forget? We’ve got a few teams we like based on their national championship futures odds on DraftKings Sportsbook.
The Gonzaga Bulldogs are the betting favorites heading into the NCAA Tournament with +205 odds to complete an undefeated season with a national title. Gonzaga is 26-0 as they ran through the West Coast Conference without issues, but they also beat some quality programs in the non-conference schedule including Kansas, Auburn, West Virginia, Iowa and Virginia. Gonzaga won four of these five games by double digits, and they’ve been in the top spot in the rankings all season long. Even the advanced metrics love this team.
The Baylor Bears are getting the second best odds to win the championship at +500. They were slotted second in 15 of the 16 AP polls this season, and oddsmakers agree the Bears have the second best shot. Baylor has a 22-2 record and suffered their second loss of the season in the semifinal round of the Big 12 tournament. This shouldn’t be too much of a concern, but Baylor can be beaten by good offense. The Bears rank No. 3 in KenPom’s adjusted efficiency but just 44th on the defensive end. Regardless, Baylor is an incredibly tough out.
The West Virginia Mountaineers are a No. 3 seed in the Midwest region, and they could be worth a look if you’re looking at the futures betting market. They are tied for the sixth best odds at +2000. West Virginia is a well-coached team by Bob Huggins, and they should be fired up after a disappointing end to the season. The Mountaineers lost three of their last four games and two straight games for the first time all year to end their season. However West Virginia has proved they can hang with the best teams in the country, as they went to overtime against Baylor and lost by five versus Gonzaga.
Are the Alabama Crimson Tide turning this university into a basketball school? Not quite, but Nate Oates has Alabama as a No. 2 seed in his second year in charge. The Tide are getting +2000 odds for the sixth best in the country, and they should be even higher than that. Alabama has the No. 2 adjusted efficient defense, and they are on a six-game winning streak going into the NCAA Tournament. Additionally, we do not know if Isaiah Livers will return for the Michigan Wolverines, which are the No. 1 seed in Alabama’s region. Alabama could be set up to go on a run.
The Arkansas Razorbacks may not look like much of a dark horse coming in as a No. 3 seed, but oddsmakers sure think they are. Arkansas is getting the 20th best odds to win the national title at +5000. Razorbacks head coach Eric Musselman has done an incredible job in his second season, and he once brought Nevada to the Sweet 16. Arkansas can stay in every game because of their defense, but it will be the offensive end that will determine whether the Razorbacks will go on a run.
The Virginia Cavaliers are a No. 4 seed, and they are tied for the 14th best odds to repeat as national champions. Virginia plays college basketball about as slow as college basketball can be played, as they rank No. 347 out of 347 teams this season in possessions per game, and that can get teams out of their rhythm. The Cavaliers will likely need to get past Gonzaga, but seeing them once already during the regular season can only help Virginia heading into that matchup. Odds are against a repeat champion, but crazier things have happened.
Here are the odds to win the 2021 NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship:
NCAA Tournament national championship futures, Selection Sunday
|San Diego State||+5500|
|UC Santa Barbara||+20000|
|Mt. St. Mary's||+20000|
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