NCAA Tournament Odds: Why Duke Is Solid Hedge To Win National Title

The Blue Devils are +450 at a couple shops


March 26, 2022

Some of us are rooting for the Kansas Jayhawks to win the NCAA Tournament.

We discussed a Jayhawks futures bet back in early November when most pundits were drooling over Gonzaga, UCLA, Duke, Michigan and Purdue. I thought 20-1 was a solid bet on one of the deepest and most well-rounded teams Bill Self has had in a long time.

But when Gonzaga suffered another early exit — what else is new? — the road map suddenly became a whole lot clearer for Duke’s path to the Final Four and national championship game in head coach Mike Krzyzewski’s final NCAA Tournament on the sidelines.

With only Duke, Arkansas, North Carolina, Purdue, St. Peter’s and UCLA remaining on the left side of the bracket, I took to Twitter on Friday afternoon with thoughts on betting the Blue Devils to win the whole enchilada at +450. They’re a 4-point favorite against Arkansas in the Elite Eight and I thought they would be about a 2-point favorite against now-eliminated Purdue. Duke clearly is the odds-on favorite to reach the title game, so betting a championship future at +450 made a whole lot of sense.

Why wait?

Naturally, Purdue lost to No. 15 St. Peter’s on Friday night, making Duke’s journey even easier.

Duke’s odds to win NCAA Tournament:
+400 BetMGM ($100 wins $400)
+400 BetRivers
+400 Caesars
+400 DraftKings
+400 FanDuel
+400 SuperBook
+425 Bet365
+425 Circa
+450 PointsBet
+450 WynnBET ($100 wins $450)

“Once Gonzaga lost, we made the necessary moves to prepare for Duke to make the national title game,” one Las Vegas bookmaker told NESN. “We dropped Duke from +750 to +500 immediately. Now we’re even lower. It’s all about the narrative: Coach K has the most talent on that side of the bracket and it’ll be a ratings bonanza if Duke reaches the Final Four in his last season.

“Watch them go all the way to the title game.”

I agree. Give me Kansas-Duke in the national championship and I’ll be a very happy camper.

There are two other bets I dig on Saturday night. Both Houston and Villanova have exceptional defenses and the Cougars and Wildcats prefer a slower pace and a half-court style. Given the expected tempo and the physical man-to-man defenses, the “Under” is a decent bet for the first half and game. I expect this to be around 28-26 after 20 minutes and to stay low and slow the rest of the way.

Duke +450 to win NCAA Tournament
Houston-Villanova 1H Under 59.5
Houston-Villanova Under 128

RECORD: (104-102, +8.6)

Thumbnail photo via Kelley L Cox/USA TODAY Sports Images

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