NCAA Tournament – March Madness Preview

It’s that time once again, March Madness. The single elimination tournament to crown a new college basketball national champion begins tonight. There are two “First Four” games tonight and another two on Wednesday evening. On Thursday afternoon, the big action starts, with the weekend packed wall-to-wall with basketball.

The NCAA tournament only falls behind the Super Bowl regarding betting volume. Bettors will wager hundreds of millions on the tournament this year, with the clear majority of action being placed at offshore bookmakers, instead of in Nevada sportsbooks.

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The Favorites

Duke Blue Devils

Duke was the heavy favorite to win the National Title (+350), but a rough January saw their odds fall. However, they did win the ACC Tournament and looked to be playing at a Championship level. They are the No. 2 seed in the East Region.

Bovada has Duke as the odds-on favorite at +600 in their 2017 NCAA Championship odds. Gamblers will find a better price at BetOnline, however. The Blue Devils are +750 to win the tournament at BOL.

North Carolina

UNC was a distant favorite to win the title when we started the season, but they rolled through the ACC going 14-4 in the conference. They’re now the favorites at some sportsbooks over the above-mentioned, Duke. They are the No. 1 seed in the South Region.

The Tar Heels are +700 at Bovada. A price that is considerably better than BetOnline, where they are the odds-on favorite at +500.

Villanova Wildcats

The Wildcats are the top seed in the East Region. They’ve demolished opponents early in the tournament, winning by more than 30 points in their last three opening games. They’ve been getting eliminated early the past few years, unable to crack the Sweet 16 in the five previous years, aside from their title last season.

Villanova is going at +800 at Bovada, which is slightly better than BetOnline’s odds of 7/1.


The Jayhawks have won their 13th straight Big 12 title this year. In recent years, they haven’t done much in the tournament, but have been strong in the first-round against inferior opponents. They have failed to make it to the Sweet 16 in two of the last three seasons. They’re the top seed in the Midwest Region.

Kansas is +800 at Bovada, but a better price can be found at BetOnline where they are +850.


The Wildcats enter the tournament winning their past 11 games. They’re the No. 2 seed in the South Region.

Kentucky is +1000 at both Bovada and BetOnline.


The Zags almost had a perfect season, but that fell late in the year as they lost to BYU as 20-point favorites. However, they still are the top seed in the West Region. They’ve never won a national title.

Gonzaga is a considerably better bet at Bovada at +900. At BetOnline, they are just +600 to win it all.

Come Back for More!

These future bets only scratch the surface for betting markets on March Madness. There are many pre-tournament wagers offered at every sportsbook online and loads of team and players props for every game of the tournament. Check out our free picks page over the next few weeks for picks on tournament games daily!

Joseph Falchetti

Joseph Falchetti - Editor-in-Chief / Sports Writer & Analyst

Joe is the author of the blog, most picks, and the majority of excellent sports and casino content on SafestBettingSites. He's been mentioned on as a gaming analyst, and his articles have been linked by larger publications, such as the New York Times.

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