As Villanova was celebrating its third national championship April 2, the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook was busy posting the odds to win the 2019 title.
Duke opened as the favorite (5-1 odds), thanks to the freshman phenom trio of Zion Williamson, R.J. Barrett and Cameron Reddish. Behind Duke were the powerhouses Villanova, Kentucky and Kansas at 8-1.
Since then, the odds have shifted a bit, but for the third consecutive year, the Blue Devils look like they’ll open the season with the best odds to win the title.
All data entering Sept. 24
A quick explanation on the odds: A $100 bet on +450 odds would return $450, a $100 bet on +1200 odds would return $1,200, etc.
College Basketball 2019 National Title Odds Tracker
College Basketball Opening Future Odds
Duke: 500 | Kentucky: 800 | Kansas: 800 | Villanova: 800 | North Carolina: 1200
Gonzaga: 1500 | Virginia: 1500 | Michigan State: 1500 | Oregon: 2000
Michigan: 2000 | UCLA: 3000 | West Virginia: 3000 | Auburn: 3000
Tennessee: 4000 | Florida: 4000 | Wichita State: 4000 | Purdue: 4000
Texas Tech: 4000 | Nevada: 6000 | Cincinnati: 6000 | Miami-Florida: 6000
NC State: 6000 | Ohio State: 6000 | Arizona State: 6000 | Clemson: 6000
Maryland: 6000 | Vanderbilt: 6000 | Syracuse: 8000 | Florida State: 8000
Virginia Tech: 8000 | Texas: 8000 | Baylor: 8000 | Butler: 8000
Louisville: 8000 | LSU: 8000 | Mississippi State: 8000 | Penn State: 8000
St. John’s: 8000 | TCU: 8000 | Texas A&M: 8000 | Wisconsin: 8000
Xavier: 8000 | Seton Hall: 8000 | Arizona: 10000 | Arkansas: 10000
Odds and Ends
Duke Blue Devils
The good news for the Blue Devils? Duke owns the No. 1 recruiting class in the country heading into 2019. That marks the fourth time in the past five seasons it can claim that title.
Duke opened at 5-1 to win the championship, the favorite among the field of 190 teams, and is still the favorite at that same price.
The bad news for Duke? The preseason favorite hasn’t won the title since Tyler Hansbrough and Ty Lawson led North Carolina to the title in 2008-09.
In Archie Miller’s first season in Bloomington, the Hoosiers finished 16-15 and 9-9 in the Big Ten. IU opened at 200-1 to win the national title in April and is now down to 40-1 to win it all, tied for 15th among the teams listed.
According to ESPN’s recruiting rankings, Indiana is 11th in the country, mostly due to commit Romeo Langford, who is considered a top-10 player in his class.
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Moving in the opposite direction is Villanova. The defending champs opened at 8-1 to become the third team since the early-1970s UCLA dynasty to defend its title.
Since then, Villanova’s odds have dipped all the way to 30-1.
Worry not, Villanova fans: When the Wildcats won the title in 2016 and 2018, they were listed at 27-1 and 25-1, respectively, entering the regular season.
John Calipari enters his 10th season as the coach of Kentucky. At one point in the offseason, the Wildcats were co-favorites with Duke to win the title at 5-1 and are now currently 6-1, just behind the Blue Devils.
The Wildcats also own the nation’s second-best recruiting class behind Duke.
Kentucky won just 26 games last season. The four previous times Kentucky won fewer than 30 games under Cal, the ‘Cats had a decent following season:
2016-17: 32-6, Elite Eight
2014-15: 38-1, Final Four
2013-14: 29-11, runner-up
2011-12: 38-2, national champions
Nevada Wolf Pack
The Wolf Pack opened at 60-1 to win the national title in April, and just a few weeks later, that number had already fallen to 40-1.
As of June 1, Nevada had dropped all the way to 12-1, giving the Wolf Pack the sixth-shortest odds to win the title.
Nevada added a five-star power forward recruit in Jordan Brown, and early in the offseason, it received the good news that the Martin twins (Caleb and Cody) were returning to school.
Nevada is going to be loaded, and the odds now reflect it.