2023 March Madness Odds: Favorites to win the National Championship
March Madness is one of the best times of year for sports betting. Upsets happen every day of the tournament and every team has a chance! 64 teams enter but only one will cut down the nets in a few weeks. 2023 March Madness odds to win the National Championship are constantly shifting!
Last year we watched No. 1 seed Kansas take down the No. 8 seed University of North Carolina in the national championship. North Carolina took a massive lead in the first half, leading 40-25. Kansas clawed their way back and wound up winning 72-69.
After their incredible run in the tournament last year, the University of North Carolina started the year as the Associated Press’ No. 1 team in the country but now may not even make the NCAA tournament.
With March Madness on the horizon, we’ll be updating the National Championship odds frequently and breaking down the favorites.
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2023 March Madness Odds
Odds from BetMGM sportsbook (updated 3/7)
- Houston: +600
- Kansas: +800
- Alabama: +800
- UCLA: +900
- Purdue: +1100
- Arizona: +1200
- Baylor: +1600
- Gonzaga: +2000
- Connecticut: +2000
- Texas: +2500
- Marquette: +2500
- Tennessee: +3000
- Saint Mary’s: +3300
- TCU: +3300
- Indiana: +4000
- Creighton: +4000
- Duke: +5000
- Kentucky: +5000
- Arkansas: +5000
- Miami: +5000
- Virginia: +5000
- Xavier: +5000
Teams with the best odds to win the National Championship
Houston Cougars (+600)
The Cougars are currently the overall favorites in March Madness odds to win the National Championship with a 29-2 record this season. They possess both a top-10 offense and defense according to KenPom’s efficiency metrics. They play extremely slow, carrying a pace that ranks 347th nationally! Their only two losses have come against Alabama in December by 6 points and Temple by one point in January. They roll into the conference tournament with an 11-game winning streak.
Marcus Sasser, Jamal Shead, and Jarace Walker led the way for the Cougars in their dominant season. With a deep team and strong metrics, there aren’t many teams better fit for a run in March.
Kansas Jayhawks (+800)
Kansas is one of the heavy favorites despite sporting a 25-6 record. When you break it down, all of the teams they have lost to have ranked in the top-25 of KenPom’s efficiency rankings. Their wins also include games against Texas, West Virginia, Baylor, TCU, Kentucky, Kansas State, Iowa State, and more formidable opponents. Kansas’ offense ranks just 24th in efficiency but their defense ranks 9th.
The Jayhawks are led by Jalen Wilson and Gradey Dick, both of whom are potent scorers. The latter is also a freshman who has made an instant impact on the Jayhawks. If Kansas can get hot offensively they could easily tango their way to a deep run in the big dance.
Alabama has dealt with plenty of off-court issues surrounding Brandon Miller and his involvement in a legal issue. Miller is the best player on the team as a freshman and has carried the team at times offensively. They have also received contributions from senior Jahvon Quinerly, Mark Sears, Jaden Bradley, and Noah Clowney.
Overall, the Crimson Tide rank 3rd in defensive efficiency but just 20th offensively. Part of their lack of efficiency offensively is because they push the pace of games. They shoot a ton and try and run up and down the court as fast as possible, boasting the second-fastest pace of any team and 3rd shortest possession length. They are yet to lose a home game this season and have beaten multiple formidable opponents including the aforementioned Houston Cougars.
UCLA has had an unbelievable season so far with 27 wins and just four losses. They are currently on a 10-game win streak and are yet to lose a home game. Their offense ranks 23rd in efficiency while their defense is 2nd! They do a good job of forcing turnovers defensively and not doing so offensively, an overall recipe for success. The only teams they have lost to were Illinois, Baylor, Arizona, and USC. They also beat Arizona and USC in their rematch at home.
The Bruins are led by tournament veterans Tyger Campbell and Jaime Jaquez. Both players were integral parts of UCLA’s 2021 tournament run which started in the “first four” play-in games but finished with a trip to the final four. After losing to North Carolina in the Sweet 16 last season, they could be back with a vengeance this year
There’s no point in wasting time here, the Boilermakers start and stop with Zach Edey, the 7’4 junior who will likely win Naismith player of the year. Given Edey’s size, the Boilermakers are a tough matchup for nearly anyone in the big dance. Their makeup could present value in March Madness odds.
The team ranks 11th in offensive efficiency and 23rd in defensive efficiency this season, meaning they are well-balanced enough to make a run in the NCAA tournament. Like many of the other top teams, they play at the speed of a tortoise, with the 325th-ranked pace. Unsurprisingly, they are arguably the best team at offensive and defensive rebounding.
They currently boast a 25-6 record and have lost more frequently as of late. In their first 23 games, they were 22-1. Since then, they are just 4-4. A lot of that came from playing tougher opponents in the Big 10
Like Alabama, Arizona plays at a rapid pace. The Wildcats have an elite offense though, ranking 6th in efficiency and are top-20 at both 2-point percentage and 3-point percentage made. They are 25-6 on the year with big wins over Tennessee, Creighton, San Diego State, UCLA, and USC.
Oumar Ballo, Azuolas Tubelis, Kerr Krisa, and Courtney Ramey lead the way for Arizona as their top contributors
Baylor has had an up-and-down season but if they can put it all together, they are extremely talented. Upperclassmen LJ Cryer and Adam Flager make up a strong backcourt while Keyonte George is an extremely talented freshman. The Bears also got back Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua from a season-ending injury in 2022. He should play a bigger role down the stretch.
The Bears boast the second-ranked offense in terms of efficiency but their defense ranks just 89th. This type of disparity can cause issues in the tournament if their offense has an off day. They play their first game of the Big 12 tournament on Thursday where they’ll match up against a rock-solid Iowa State team who just beat them the game prior. Baylor has the capability of beating anyone as they beat UCLA, Kansas, Texas, West Virginia, Gonzaga, and Arkansas.
Can the Zags finally break through and win a national championship? They came extremely close in 2021 as they were undefeated entering the national championship. Unfortunately, Baylor was just far too talented for Gonzaga, handing them their first and only loss of the season. In 2022 they were upset by Arkansas in the Sweet 16, a talented and athletic squad.
This year they sit at 27-5, losing to Baylor, Purdue, Texas, Saint Mary’s, and then a shocker to Loyola Marymount. Their best win of the season came against Alabama where they scored 100 points in an absolute track meet that resulted in 190 total points. Drew Timme is now a senior and continues to lead the Zags with 20 points per game. Julian Strawther, Anton Watson, and Rasir Bolton all add significant contributions as well.
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