One of the biggest reasons for the popularity of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament each year is the unpredictability of each game played. The Madness reached its zenith last March when a No. 1 seed (Virginia) was finally upset by a No. 16 seed (UMBC), and now more than ever it seems like any team can win it all.
That’s on the surface. Diving into the numbers, though, there has been an endless stream of No. 1, 2 and 3 seeds that eventually wind up winning the whole shebang in early April. In the last 20 years, there have been 14 No. 1 seeds that won it all. Only two 2 seeds and three 3 seeds have captured the crown since 1998, and just one non-top three seed has won the title in the past two decades (UConn in 2014 as a seven seed).
Take this info into account when looking at March Madness futures bets right now. You’ll be wasting your money by picking a middle-range team like a Kansas or a Maryland or a Virginia Tech to raise that clunky NCAA trophy. And save those longshots for your bracket.
Picking double-digit seed teams to win a round or two is fine. Anything past that is psychotic.
Philly native and ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi currently has the following teams as 1 and 2 seeds: Virginia, Michigan State, Kentucky, North Carolina, Gonzaga, Michigan, Duke and Tennessee.
So look around for good value on some of these teams.
Right now at FanDuel Sportsbook (which is currently operating online in New Jersey), Duke is the overwhelming favorite to win it all at +230. The team with the next highest odds is Gonzaga at +750.
Make no mistake, you can do better than Duke at +230. Look at a team like Kentucky at +1400 or Michigan at +1600.
Here are the top current FanDuel odds.
North Carolina +1400
Michigan State +1600
Texas Tech +2100