2019 NCAA Tournament Odds Update
With less than two weeks before the tipoff of March Madness, the Duke Blue Devils are heavily favored to win this year’s tournament and their sixth national championship.
On the latest NCAA Tournament futures odds at Bovada Sportsbook, the Blue Devils are +210 favorites. Duke’s chances of living up to the hype depend heavily on the health of star Zion Williamson. Duke’s explosive forward hasn’t played since February 20 when he injured his knee in a game against the North Carolina Tar Heels. With Williamson hurt, Duke has gone 3-2 straight up, relying on R.J. Barrett and Cam Reddish to carry the load.
Williamson is expected to be back for the ACC Tournament. His status for the tournament and how he looks if he does play should be on all bettors’ checklists heading into the Madness.
Gonzaga, Virginia are No. 1, No. 2 in AP Top 25
Following Duke on the NCAA Tournament futures are the Gonzaga Bulldogs and Virginia Cavaliers, both at +800.
Gonzaga, currently the top-ranked team in the nation, has steamrolled through the West Coast Conference once again this season. The Bulldogs are 29-2 on the season, with their only losses coming against the North Carolina Tar Heels and the Tennessee Volunteers, two teams they could potentially match up with in the tournament. One key point to remember about the Bulldogs: they did defeat Duke back in November when Williamson was in the lineup.
Virginia currently sits at No. 2 in the Top 25 with a 27-2 record on the season. Both of the Cavaliers’ losses this season have come against Duke, so they’ll likely want to avoid a third matchup in the tournament if possible. With one of the top defenses in the nation this season, Virginia could be worth taking a flyer on.
Volunteers have beaten Gonzaga, Kentucky
Rounding out the top five on the NCAA Tournament futures board are the Kentucky Wildcats at +900 and North Carolina and Tennessee, both at +1100.
Kentucky has also dropped games against Duke and Tennessee this season. Many experts are still picking the Wildcats to be a No. 1 seed in the tournament if they don’t flame out in the SEC Tournament.
North Carolina appears to be getting stronger down the stretch, making some bettors forget about earlier losses to Virginia, Louisville and Kentucky. If the Tar Heels can avoid some of the inconsistencies that plagued them earlier in the season, they could be playing some of their best basketball just when they need to – entering the tournament.
Tennessee may be the No. 5-ranked team in the nation, but they’ve still somewhat quietly posted wins over Gonzaga and Kentucky while going 27-3. The Volunteers have never won a national championship and have advanced past the Sweet 16 only twice.