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Giving Away Money: 2024 College Basketball National Championship Odds

Draft deadline has passed, so who’s favored to cut down the nets?

NCAA Basketball: Final Four National Championship-San Diego State vs UCONN Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA Draft deadline passed last week, and with that drop-dead date lapsing, the 2024 national picture has now come into focus a bit more. Some teams received very bad news: looking at you Kentucky, Alabama. And some others got far better news, including: Purdue alongside reigning POTY Zach “Candyass” Edey; Illinois and SDSU had had a troika of starters return; Kansas held on to more talent than usual; and sadly for the rest of CBB, the newly-minted national champion Connecticut Huskies lost little.

And yesterday, the Books opened business on future odds to cut down the nets next year. We’ll give you our best bets, some to stay away from, and a few second-tier candidates that just might be worth a few bucks.

First, the odds from Sports Betting AG:

2024 College Basketball Championship Odds

Kansas 10/1

Purdue 10/1

Duke 12/1

Michigan State 16/1

UConn 16/1

Gonzaga 18/1

Kentucky 20/1

Arkansas 22/1

Houston 22/1

Marquette 22/1

Saint John’s 25/1

Texas 25/1

Arizona 28/1

North Carolina 28/1

UCLA 30/1

Creighton 33/1

Florida Atlantic 33/1

Maryland 33/1

Tennessee 33/1

USC 33/1

Alabama 35/1

West Virginia 35/1

Colorado 40/1

Florida 40/1

Villanova 40/1

Illinois 50/1

Miami FL 50/1

Auburn 60/1

Baylor 60/1

Kansas State 60/1

Michigan 60/1

Wisconsin 60/1

Memphis 66/1

Ohio State 66/1

Oregon 66/1

Providence 66/1

TCU 66/1

Texas A&M 66/1

Xavier 66/1

Indiana 75/1

Rutgers 75/1

Saint Marys 75/1

Texas Tech 75/1

Virginia 75/1

Iowa State 80/1

San Diego State 80/1

LSU 100/1

Missouri 100/1

New Mexico 100/1

Oklahoma State 100/1

Boise State 125/1

Iowa 125/1

Syracuse 125/1

Virginia Tech 125/1

Arizona State 150/1

Clemson 150/1

Louisville 150/1

Mississippi State 150/1

North Carolina State 150/1

Northwestern 150/1

Oklahoma 150/1

Ole Miss 150/1

Pittsburgh 150/1

Florida State 200/1

Stanford 200/1

Butler 250/1

Nevada 250/1

Penn State 250/1

Utah State 250/1

Vanderbilt 250/1

Washington State 250/1

Cincinnati 300/1

Dayton 300/1

Drake 300/1

Georgetown 300/1

Georgia Tech 300/1

Notre Dame 300/1

UAB 300/1

Utah 300/1

VCU 300/1

Wake Forest 300/1

Charleston 400/1

Georgia 400/1

Belmont 500/1

BYU 500/1

Kent State 500/1

Loyola Chicago 500/1

Nebraska 500/1

North Texas 500/1

Oregon State 500/1

Saint Louis 500/1

South Carolina 500/1

Toledo 500/1

UCF 500/1

UNLV 500/1

Washington 500/1

Wichita State 500/1

Boston College 1000/1

California 1000/1

Davidson 1000/1

DePaul 1000/1

Minnesota 1000/1

Temple 1000/1

Tulane 1000/1

Best Bets:

Connecticut (16/1) — Hard to believe UConn isn’t at least a co-favorite. The Huskies lost Sanogo, but return almost everyone including Tristen Newton. Last year’s team was terrifying when they hit the switch. They fell asleep a bit in conference play, but in the first third and the last third of the year, it wasn’t a fluke. They really were that good. Don’t overlook them. The defense is tenacious, they force mistakes, they score from every level of the court, and it only takes one good 7-10 minute run to bury even quality opponents.

Like this one

Kansas (10/1) — It feels like cheating to put the national favorite as a best bet. But they’re a favorite for a reason. An already-loaded roster brings in its yearly bumper crop of blue chippers, adds a dominant big, and will be especially scary, even grading on the Kansas curve. The crucible of Big 12 play is eventually going to pay off for Kansas...again. And likely soon. One of the safer bets, let’s say.

Arkansas (22/1) — I have bad news for you: Arkansas is going to be really, really good this year. Like “possibly run away with the SEC”-good. Their transfer class alone is better than any else’s signing class. Muss is a clown, and his teams are stupid as hell. But talent won’t be the issue for Big Dumb Arkansas Basketball. This team is a legit Final Four contender, on paper at least. And that’s awful. Arkansas basketball does not deserve good things.

Gonzaga (18/1) — The second-most talented team in the country didn’t skip much of a beat. And, if the Zags really get more physical as they’ve promised, then this is natty contender. They were remarkably close last year, even with a baby-soft interior. The Bulldogs just need to catch a few breaks: they’ve had very few in tournament play.

Not With A Stolen Wallet:

Tennessee (33/1) — They return an absolute ton, including Vescovi, five upperclassmen, and the SEC’s the best point guard. But it’s an offense that retreats for whole months at a time, a team that can never stay healthy (probably because they play rugby), and for whatever reason, Rick Barnes has drawn awful matchups in cursed March. They’ll be a very good SEC team and vie for the top. But until Barnes actually proves he can do it, there’s no reason to trust the elder dean of the SEC.

Duke (12/1) — Rumors of the Blue Devils ascendancy was greatly exaggerated. Dookie feasted late on a very mortal ACC — an ACC that I don’t see improving much this year. There just aren’t enough clutch baskets to be had on a squad that otherwise plays solid team ball. But 12/1? Way, way too high.

Kentucky (20/1) — Sure, the Wildcats lost 57% of their scoring and 79% of their rebounds and 84% of the blocks on their starting lineup....but yeah, that’s 20:1 material. My eyes are about to roll out of my head, skitter across the floor, catch a Super Bus to Vegas, grow some arms, and then smack whoever made this line. Wisconsin broke Kentucky back in 2015 and they’ve not been right since. There’s no reason to trust any team that lost this much in the paint, and there’s even less reason to trust the depressively schizoid ‘Cats.

Purdue (10/1) — When this team decides it’s not scared of making a perimeter shot, and the softest seven-footer to ever live decides he can be something he’s never been, then we’ll talk. That 16-1 upset wasn’t even an upset: Purdue got flat outplayed. It won’t be the last time either.

Wildly Optimistic Dark Horses

SDSU (80/1) — A trio of veteran upperclassmen announced their return. Granted, the tourney is about matchups as much as anything, but Dutcher put together a 30-2 season three years ago, and took the Aztecs to the national final last year. They’re very capable of putting it all together. No one was beating UConn this year (their closest game was 13 points, and they won all five by an average of 20 PPG). And at 80/1, this is just disrespectful.

Ole Miss (150/1) — Ole’ Wifebeater McRagepants is back, darkening the sidelines with his trash-ass presence. But his own innumerable failings aside, one thing Chris Beard can do (besides terrorize staff, abuse players, and beat women) is coach remarkably effective system-basketball. TTU had good players, but none were overwhelmingly heads and shoulders above any other very good team. He doesn’t require a Kansas-type roster to win. That’s good: he won’t have it at Ole Miss. But the Rebels will be long, athletic, and a PITA to play. The first time through the conference is going to be an adjustment for the rest of the league too. Good year to catch people sleeping — or to implode. In either case, at 150:1, it’s worth a few bucks. Defense travels well in March.

Whence Alabama?

The Tide are there, at a very wholesome 35:1. Firmly a second-tier contender, with the likes of Arizona and others who lost a lot of star power. It’s hard to get a read on this team and how it will gel though. The front court was decimated. The back court will be working in two new guys (though the Tide just might get Nelson from NDSU, as this is a perfect system for him). And I’m expecially worried about the loss of coaching continuity. The head man is there, the system is in place. But you can’t flip all three coaches, including Pettway, and expect to get better. I still may bet on Alabama...but it won’t be this week. Let’s see what they look like in the Summer circuit first.

This kind of story doesn’t lend itself, so we’ll kick it off with a discussion question instead: