The NCAA Tournament is one of the biggest events of the year for Las Vegas sports books, and with the bracket being released on Sunday, oddsmakers quickly shuffled out a fresh odds sheet for the 2017 NCAA Tournament, as well as game odds for the first round’s games. For those looking to find value for future bets or just get Vegas’ take on who is seeded properly (and who isn’t), the game odds and future odds can provide a little assistance in picking your bracket and looking for upsets.
There isn’t a consensus favorite this year, as Villanova, North Carolina, Duke or Kansas can be found at the top of the odds sheet depending on which book you go to. That means this year, as much as any year, it’s important to shop around for the best odds if you’re making the pilgrimage to Las Vegas for the first weekend of the tournament and looking to place some future bets.
At William Hill Sports Books, you will find North Carolina at the top of the odds sheet at 13-2, narrowly edging out top overall seed Villanova (7-1) and a cluster of teams at 15-2. The lack of a consensus top team means you can get reasonable odds on any of the teams seeded one or two, but there isn’t any real standout value out there.
The worst odds for any of the top two seeds in the tournament is Louisville at 10-1, and there’s a fairly sizable drop off from them, UCLA (10-1) and Oregon (15-1) to the rest of the field. For those looking for a bracket-buster to win it all, the best odds for a team seeded outside the a top-5 seed is No. 6 SMU (40-1), while No. 10 Wichita State (75-1) has the best odds to win it all from a double-digit seed.
Here is the full list of teams with reasonable odds to win it all (through 200-1), from William Hill:
Kansas, Gonzaga, Kentucky, Arizona, Duke (15-2)
Louisville, UCLA (10-1)
West Virginia (30-1)
Baylor, Florida State, Florida, Virginia, Purdue, SMU (40-1)
Butler, Iowa State, Notre Dame, Minnesota, Cincinnati (50-1)
Michigan, Wisconsin (60-1)
Creighton, Wichita State (75-1)
South Carolina, St. Mary’s, Dayton, Miami (FL), Michigan State, Oklahoma State (150-1)
Arkansas, Northwestern, Seton Hall, Nevada, Middle Tennessee State, Marquette, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech (200-1)
As for single game lines, there are some that pop out from that sheet as games that are considered much closer by Vegas oddsmakers than one would expect based off of seeding. The biggest miss from the committee comes out of the South Region where Wichita State, the 10-seed, is a 6-point favorite over Dayton, the 7-seed, as the oddsmakers firmly believe the Shockers were far under-seeded.
Others that jump out include No. 6 Maryland as a 1-point favorite over No. 11 Xavier, No. 5 Minnesota as a 1-point favorite over No. 12 Middle Tennessee State, No. 7 South Carolina as a 1-point favorite over No. 10 Marquette, No. 5 Notre Dame as a 6.5-point favorite over No. 12 Princeton and No. 6 Creighton as a 2-point favorite over Rhode Island.