March madness 2020 has been suspended due to the Coronavirus outbreak. If the competition resumes, we will publish the table with futures odds right here.
What is a March Madness futures bet? It is exactly as it sounds: a bet placed on an event that will take place in the future. It doesn’t get much easier than that! The only thing is when you’re trying to predict the outcomes of these March Madness matchups, months or even a year in advance, so much can happen between the bet being placed, and the final result.
Especially with March Madness. There are over three hundred NCAA Division I Basketball teams, and while the usual programs head to the tournament year after year, sometimes a total underdog, or as they’re commonly known as a Cinderella team, can come out of the woodwork and shock the country.
While there haven’t been many Cinderella team champions - other than the 1988 Kansas Jayhawks (No. 6 seed) or the 1985 Villanova Wildcats (No. 8 and still the lowest seed to ever win a title), bettors still hold out hope every year, picking a few longshots for their March Madness Futures bets.
— NCAA (@NCAA) March 11, 2020
How to Read College Basketball Futures Odds
While the premise of betting on college basketball futures is simple enough - predicting the winner of a conference tournament or the NCAA national title long before the event, understanding how the odds work will help your betting strategy. If you go to your favorite sportsbook and look at the Futures odds board, you can see a number next to each team’s name.
For March Madness futures, this number is almost always positive, as there is no clear and obvious favorite where the tournament can be so unpredictable. There will be lower odds like +125 or +250, up until the tournament is underway and they’ll drop even further, the closer you get to the title game.
You can grab some great March Madness futures early on, for excellent value - there are many teams who are front runners to win, that started the season with +4000 or +5000 odds! Strategies should definitely be implemented when it comes to March Madness futures, but when you’re making picks months before, it can end up being a guessing game or gut instinct for some.
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2020 March Madness Futures - Odds to win the National Title
In April 2019, just after Virginia downed Texas Tech 85-77 in the NCAA College Basketball Championship game, oddsmakers started quickly filtering out early action on 2020 March Madness futures.
Naturally, the winning team, and a few teams with notable performances or longstanding habits of making it to the final rounds of the playoffs, topped the odds board. The day after the March Madness National Championship, Virginia was listed as +500 to win the national title the following year.
Texas Tech didn’t fare so well at +3000, which leads us to think that the oddsmakers believe it was a fluke that they even got to the final game. The other two teams in the Final Four, Auburn (+2000) and Michigan State (+1200) had some respectable odds, while usual suspects like Duke and Kentucky were quite high at +800 odds to win the title.
Now, don’t forget these were the odds to win the 2020 title, an entire year before the main event. A whole college basketball regular season has gone by now, and the odds have definitely shifted in a few team’s favor.
March Madness Futures Odds 2020
As we look at the odds board, with only a few days to go before Selection Sunday, we can see some drastic changes to the March Madness futures since April 2019.
You’ll notice that Virginia is now sitting middle of the pack to win back to back National titles at +4000. They’ve secured the No. 2 seed for the ACC conference tournament after the 2019-2020 season with all four teams in their conference ranked within the AP Top 25. Needless to say, they came out with an 11-1 record, so don’t sleep on the Cavaliers just yet!
Currently, the Kansas Jayhawks top the board at +450 to win the NCAA basketball national title on April 6, 2020. They are breaking out of the Big 12 conference as the team to beat this tournament, sitting pretty at the top of the AP Top 25 rankings, so if you picked them up over the summer, or even early fall, you might see some great value if these guys make it to the title game.
Another team to watch is Gonzaga, who currently is at number two on the odds board with +900. Gonzaga secured the No. 1 spot in the WCC over the Saint Mary’s Gaels, claiming the conference title with a great showing from Joel Ayayi. This will inevitably solidify them as a No. 1 seed come Selection Sunday. They entered the season at +1800, so if you grabbed those odds to win the title for 2020, you could be looking at a very hefty payout.
Another team from the Big 12 conference to keep an eye on is the Baylor Bears. Baylor’s odds have been a little shifty lately, rising from +900 to +1200 in the past week, after their overtime win over Texas Tech. They seem a little shaky heading into the tournament, but they’re still sitting at number three to win the title on the odds board, rising from +6000 last April.
By far the biggest surprise of the season in terms of March Madness odds is Dayton of the Atlantic 10. Dayton started the season at +50,000 to win the national title, to be one of the top picks on the odds board at +1000, is quite the feat. Sports bettors that scooped up those odds last April must be psychic because they are in for a huge payout if Dayton wins the NCAA basketball title. Dayton now sits at No. 3 on the AP Top 25 list, and are making history for the program this season behind Obi Toppin and coach Anthony Grant.
For a full list of odds to win the March Madness National Title, head over to Bovada sportsbook[php link] for the most up-to-date list - and to place your March Madness Futures bet, of course!