The start of the 2016 NCAA Tournament is a mere three weeks away (the First Four opens on Tuesday, March 15 at the University of Dayton Arena), and the college basketball odds makers feel they have a firm grasp of the top championship contenders.
The latest 2016 NCAA Basketball National Championship Odds release from Bovada has Michigan State and Kansas listed as the two favorites to win the title with both drawing a +700 line. North Carolina is close behind the Spartans and Jayhawks at +800 odds.
Completing the offshore bookmaker’s top 10 favorite to win the NCAA Tournament are Kentucky, Oklahoma, Villanova, Maryland, Duke, Iowa and Virginia. The Wildcats, Sooners and Wildcats are each getting +1200 odds to claim the title while the Terrapins, Blue Devils, Hawkeyes and Cavaliers are +1600 championship picks.
The Spartans presently sixth in the AP Top 25 and they suffered through a three-game conference losing streak last month; however, their overall talent and Tom Izzo’s tourney prowess has convinced the odds makers they will be hard to beat next month.
Izzo has guided Michigan State to one national championship, two title game appearances, seven Final Fours and nine Elite Eights. Hard to argue with those results.
As for the Jayhawks, they are presently No. 2 in the AP Poll behind Villanova with a 24-4 record. Bill Self has taken Kansas to two title games and he won one of them; however, the ‘Hawks have been eliminated in the second round each of the last two years.
North Carolina has fallen to seventh in the latest AP Poll thanks to three losses in its last six games, but a 96-71 destruction of No. 11 Miami shows what this team can do when motivated. And the Tar Heels will certainly be battled tested come tournament time with road games at Virginia and Duke still remaining on their schedule.
2016 NCAA Basketball National Championship Odds: College Basketball Odds Provided by Bovada.lv
Michigan State +700
North Carolina +800
Wichita State +3300
Iowa State +3300
West Virginia +4000
Texas A&M +5000
Notre Dame +5000
South Carolina +20000
St. Mary’s +20000
Florida State +30000
Ohio State +30000
Boise State +50000
St. Joseph’s +50000