If someone said that they correctly predicted this year’s Final Four, we kindly ask that they show us the receipts. For just the third time in NCAA Tournament history, the Final Four will feature zero No. 1 seeds, creating opportunities for new contenders to cut down the nets.
According to men’s national championship odds boards, the UConn Huskies (-125) are the odds-on favorite to win the 2023 NCAA Tournament, followed by the San Diego State Aztecs (between +360 and +400) and Miami Hurricanes (between +450 and +490). Coming out of the woodworks is Florida Atlantic (between +600 and +650) to take the last spot.
The Final Four goes down this Saturday, as Miami takes on UConn in the early window and Florida Atlantic battles San Diego State in the nightcap, and then the championship game is set for April 3 in Houston (sorry Cougars).
To give you an idea of how bizarre this Final Four is, all four teams entered the season with odds north of 66-1. Three of the teams are in the Final Four for the first time in their programs’ history.
Odds to Win 2023 NCAA Basketball National Title
|Team (Seed)||DraftKings||FanDuel||BetMGM Code TODAY||Caesars Code TODAYFULL|
|UConn Huskies (4)||-125||-125||-125||-125|
|San Diego State Aztecs (5)||+375||+360||+375||+400|
|Miami Hurricanes (5)||+475||+490||+475||+450|
|Florida Atlantic Owls (9)||+650||+600||+625||+625|
A lot goes into picking the eventual winner of March Madness. You must take numerous factors into consideration, including the team’s recent form, ceiling, opponent, and ability to make plays on both ends of the floor.
As always, college basketball futures markets are among the most competitive in the industry. The last team standing is rarely the favorite, though that doesn’t mean you should take a stab at longshots with no realistic title aspirations.
Make sure to shop around different sportsbooks, as some books offer better odds than others for the same team.
NCAA National Champion Favorites
The Huskies started the season as one of the most dominant programs in the nation (14-0), but then hit a midseason wall. But now they’ve rediscovered their early-season form, looking even more powerful than before.
UConn powered through its first four opponents each by 15 points or more, and while that can be attributed to its easy schedule (avoided Kansas in the Sweet 16), it showed its might against tougher competition later on by whooping Gonzaga, 82-54, in the Elite Eight.
The Huskies have the highest adjusted efficiency margin (per KenPom) and rank third in adjusted offensive efficiency. We already knew how stellar their offense is, but it’s the defense that has been impressive. They held the Bulldogs – the number-one offense in the nation – to just 54 points.
UConn is just two wins away from becoming just the sixth school to win at least five national titles, and they’ll likely be favored in both of those games.
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San Diego State (+360 to +400)
After back-to-back years of first-round exits, Brian Dutcher and the Aztecs are dancing into the Final Four for the first time in program history. This team wins with its defense, allowing an average of 58.1 points per game (second in the nation) and holding opponents to 38.4% shooting from the field (fourth).
To everyone’s surprise, San Diego State elevated their defense against stronger competition, limiting opponents to 57.3 points a night in the tournament. That includes 64 and 56 points to Alabama and Creighton, respectively.
The only player averaging in double figures is senior guard Matt Bradley, who’s putting up 16.9 points a night. The All-Mountain West First-Team selection has put on a one-man show that has fared well against opponents with less potent offenses, and the Bradley-or-nothing strategy might still work against a team like Florida Atlantic.
However, when the Aztecs likely meet UConn in the championship game, Bradley is going to need some of his teammates to kick in an extra gear if the team wants to hang its first national championship banner.
Miami (+450 to +490)
The Hurricanes have survived the toughest path of any team still alive, knocking out the likes of Indiana, Houston, and Texas to reach the Final Four for the first time in school history. People even thought that Miami could get sent home at the hands of a popular Drake team in the opening round.
The Canes have one of the most efficient offenses, boasting four different double-digit scorers who can each light up any given night. ACC Player of the Year Isaiah Wong is averaging 20.3 on 45.5% shooting from downtown over the past three games. Jordan Miller logged 27 points in the Elite Eight.
In the Sweet 16, the team dropped 89 points on Houston – the best defensive team in the nation – including 26 points from Nijel Pack. No team has had an answer for the Hurricanes’ offense, which is averaging 87.3 points over its last three games.
UConn is also scoring at an elite rate in this tournament, so it might take a 90-point effort from Miami if it wants to earn its first-ever spot in the championship game.
Florida Atlantic (+500 to +650)
The Owls were priced at +25000 at BetMGM on February 1 to win it all. They were such heavy longshots that sportsbooks wouldn’t even offer title odds for them entering the season. Now in the Final Four, they’re two wins away from cutting down the nets for the first time in program history.
The darkhorse program has fought tooth and nail to reach this point, winning three games in the tournament as the underdog and winning all four games by single digits.
If the Owls win the national championship, they’d be the highest-seeded team to do so. But even if they don’t win the title, they would still have won the most total games this games (35 so far). Florida Atlantic is playing with house money and is battling against zero pressure at this point.
Also read: Biggest upsets in March Madness history