It’s bluebloods only and narratives galore with a TV executive’s dream group of national championship contenders entering this weekend’s Final Four action in New Orleans.
No. 1 Kansas is the lone top seed of the group, but No. 2 Duke is currently the betting favorite at top sportsbooks, with +160 odds to cut down the nets in the Big Easy. The Jayhawks are now second on the March Madness board at +180, while the Jayhawks’ opponent - No. 2 Villanova – is third with college basketball futures odds of +450.
No. 8 North Carolina rounds out the board with +500 odds to upset the Blue Devils again and eventually get it done in Monday’s national title game.
Final Four NCAA Tournament Winner Odds
|8. North Carolina
All odds current as of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.
Final Four Favorites
While Kansas was the overall betting favorite entering the Elite Eight, those college basketball odds have flipped with Duke now leading the charge at +160 and Kansas second at +180.
The Blue Devils have been crushing it on betting apps all month, covering three straight games leading into Saturday’s Final Four matchup with North Carolina.
Duke is a -4 favorite in what will certainly be coach Mike Krzyzewski’s final game against the Tar Heels. It’s an insane turn of events for both teams after North Carolina upset Duke in Krzyzewski’s final game at Cameron Indoor – in what then was presumably his last game against the bitter rival. Now the stars have aligned for an epic rematch in New Orleans with a shot at the National Championship on the line.
The Jayhawks, meanwhile, quietly rolled through Providence and Miami to get back to the biggest stage in college hoops. Kansas has been billed as a serious title contender all season, even more so than Duke and No. 2 Villanova. Bill Self’s squad has been mostly drama-free and doesn’t play down to its competition – of the Jayhawks’ six losses, five came against NCAA Tournament teams – including three teams seeded third or better.
Everyone is talking about Krzyzewski and Duke going into the weekend. But with star guard Ochai Agbaji leading the charge and the most impressive resume top-to-bottom, Kansas is the more sensible pick at +180 odds to win it all.
Final Four Underdogs
Villanova isn’t technically an underdog as a No. 2 seed, but you wouldn’t know it after the past few weeks. The Wildcats shut down a red-hot Houston in the Elite Eight with most expecting the Cougars to get it done and reach the Final Four for the second year in a row.
Villanova was a popular pick last year before star guard Collin Gillespie went down with a season-ending injury ahead of the tournament. Now Gillespie is back and doing his thing alongside standout forward Jermaine Samuels, and Villanova is just one win away from another national championship appearance. The problem is this is the most skilled and dangerous opponent Villanova has seen this month. Maybe by a lot. We don’t see Villanova making it ugly enough to get past Kansas in the semifinals.
North Carolina is the more intriguing dog – the No. 8 Tar Heels are playing more like a No. 1 seed and crushed No. 15 Saint Peter's dreams in ruthless fashion during a 20-point Elite Eight win. They also put on a ridiculous offensive onslaught to pull away from UCLA in the Sweet 16.
The Tar Heels already crushed Duke’s dreams once in the final game of the regular season. They’re +4 underdogs for the rubber match after Duke beat them by 20 in Chapel Hill. This is one of the most anticipated Final Four matchups of all time and could go either way. Whatever happens, it’s going to be a serious challenge for the winning team to regroup and come back just as strong 48 hours later in a potential title game matchup with Kansas. That’s another reason we like the Jayhawks to come out on top in the end.
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