The 2017 NCAA Tournament could have a repeat winner if Las Vegas has any say in it. Villanova is the favorite at one sports book, with North Carolina not far behind.
Six other teams have odds of less than 10-to-1 at William Hill sports books: Kansas, North Carolina, Gonzaga, Kentucky, Duke and Arizona.
But Vegas hasn’t reached a consensus like in year’s past. North Carolina, Villanova, Duke and Kansas are the favorite at different books. See full odds for the 2017 NCAA Tournament below from William Hill.
2017 NCAA Tournament odds
|Fla. Gulf Coast||750-1|
|New Mexico St.||1000-1|
|So. Dakota St.||1500-1|
|Mt. St. Mary’s||2500-1|
2017 NCAA Tournament preview, best bets
The South Region appears to be the toughest to crack, with North Carolina, Kentucky and UCLA as the top seeds. Dark horse Wichita State, which the advanced numbers love, is buried as a No. 10 seed in that bracket.
All three of the top seeds in that region are listed at 10-1 or lower — all among the eighth best in the country.
But despite the difficulties UNC could face in the bottom of that bracket, the Tar Heels probably have the easiest path to the Elite 8. Butler and Minnesota are the No. 4 and No. 5 seeds in that region, and they’d be at least a six-point favorite over both on a neutral court.
Villanova and Gonzaga have the easiest roads to the Elite 8 after that, but West Virginia looms as a No. 4 seed that could give Gonzaga trouble in the West Region. They’re our best value pick to win the NCAA Tournament.
Villanova may have some trouble in the Sweet 16 should they get there, as well. Florida and Virginia, two teams the numbers love, could be waiting for the Wildcats in that game.
While bettors might be looking for a long shot to cash in in a tournament that seems like a complete toss-up, teams outside of 10-to-1 rarely cash. They may make a run to the Elite 8 or even the Final Four — think Wichita State in 2013, Syracuse in 2016, VCU in 2011. But since 1998, just one team outside of a top-three seed has won the NCAA Tournament — seventh-seeded Connecticut in 2014. The best teams usually win out in this tournament.