College Basketball Odds for the 2024 National Championship

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Kentucky's Reed Sheppard, right, drives while defended by Illinois State's Johnny Kinziger, left, during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Lexington, Ky., Friday, Dec. 29, 2023.
(AP Photo/James Crisp)
Chase Kiddy @chaseakiddy Feb 20, 2024, 2:11 PM
  • UConn is currently a +475 favorite to win the 2024 national championship.
  • Purdue (+650) is second and the table and has spent most of the season as the No. 1 team.
  • Kansas (+2000) and Michigan State (+4000) account for more than one-sixth of the market handle.

Another season of college basketball is underway. Fortunately, the college basketball odds table never went anywhere.

BetMGM opened a fresh market for the 2024 college basketball national championship just minutes after UConn cut down the nets in April 2023. 

So for ambitious handicappers who like to establish early positions, here’s a look at the NCAAB odds for the 2024 national championship, as of Feb. 12, as well as a few notes and numbers to consider before betting. 

College Basketball Odds for the 2024 National Championship

TeamCurrent OddsOpening Odds
UConn+475+1200
Purdue+650+1800
Houston +950+2200
Arizona+1000+1600
Tennessee+1300+3300
Alabama+1800+1400
North Carolina+1800+2500
Auburn+1800+4000
Kansas+2000+1600
Iowa State+2000+5000
Duke+2500+1200
Kentucky+2500+1400
Marquette+2500+2000
Creighton+3000+2500
Baylor+3500+3500
Illinois+3500+6600
Michigan State+4000+2500
Wisconsin+5000+10000
BYU+6000+25000
Florida Atlantic+6000+6600

College Basketball Championship Odds: Results Begin To Shape Market

With nonconference showdowns mostly completed and conference tournaments now starting, the college basketball betting market has a pretty good idea of who the main contenders will be this season. 

The biggest winner of the nonconference season was likely Tennessee, which was adjusted down to +2000 from an opening position of +3300. The Vols are now priced at +1400.

The Vols are 5-5 in Quad 1 games, initially dropping early contests with Purdue, Kansas, and North Carolina. At BetMGM, the Vols are the eighth-most popular championship bet with 4.3% of all tickets and 3.9% of all handle.

Baylor, Purdue, Iowa State, and Houston have also shown big movements between their market-opening position against their present odds. 

On the flip side, Gonzaga and USC are probably the two biggest losers of the season. Both had top 25 expectations to start the season; neither is currently ranked, and both could miss the NCAA Tournament.

NCAA Championship Odds: It’s Time To Take UConn Seriously (Again)

Remember the old UConn teams? They would pop up every eight years or so and go on a crazy run in March Madness, cutting down the nets and shocking the nation. Then, they’d fall back into the middle of the pack in the Big East the following season.

Under head coach Dan Hurley, those days appear to be over. UConn is the reigning national champion once again, and this time, the Huskies show no signs of slowing down. 

This season, Purdue has posted a gaudy record in games against Quad 1 opponents, currently checking in with an 9-3 record in such games. 

Well, after UConn’s blowout win against No. 4 Marquette on Feb. 17, UConn is right there with a 9-2 Quad 1 record. Not coincidentally, UConn has recently risen back to the top of the table, topping the table at +475.

Purdue (+650) has been the consensus No. 1 team to most college hoops fans (and the betting market) for most of the year, but UConn is pushing the Boilermakers in the world of bracketology and the world of college basketball odds. 

UConn lost both Jordan Hawkins and Andre Jackson Jr. to the NBA Draft last year. But the Huskies retooled overnight, with four players (Donovan Clingan, Alex Karaban, Cam Spencer, Tristen Newton) all averaging at least 13 points per game this season. 

Historically, no one ever picks UConn to repeat. This could be the year that changes.

History of UConn National Championships

UConn Championship YearFinal RecordNext Season Result
202331-8?
201432-8Missed NCAAT
201132-9Lost Round of 64
200433-6Lost, Round of 32
199934-2Lost, Round of 32

National Championship Odds: Kentucky Overtakes Kansas As BetMGM Market’s Favorite Team

Kentucky has emerged as a chief public betting target in the college basketball national championship odds market. At BetMGM, 12.1% of all championship bets were backing the Wildcats, as of Feb. 19 – noticeably more than any other Division I team.

Kansas, which spent most of the offseason as a popular betting target, has had its ticket share reduced down to 9.2% by new, in-season action.

For those paying attention to early-season basketball, this development may seem a little strange. Kentucky is only 3-6 in Quad 1 games so far, and it’s been nearly 10 years since head coach John Calipari led the team to a Final Four appearance.

So what gives? Why is Kentucky so popular with bettors? 

Amusingly, the likely answer has almost nothing to do with basketball. 

On Sept. 18, Kentucky’s share of championship bets was around 4% – a pretty typical number for a team near the top of the table. UConn, Purdue, and Arizona all had similar shares.

But just 10 days later, something important happened. On Sept. 28, the state of Kentucky legalized mobile sports betting.

By Oct. 4, Kentucky had become the third-most bet team at BetMGM, with 8.2% of national championship bets. A month later, on the eve of the first games, Kentucky was up to 11.1% of all championship tickets.

So, yes, Kentucky is a common national championship wager in BetMGM’s college basketball odds market, and the Wildcats will likely continue to be popular throughout the rest of the regular season. Ardent college basketball fans can attest to the fact that Big Blue Nation loves Kentucky hoops.

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About the Author

Chase Kiddy

Read More @chaseakiddy

Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.

Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.