The 2017 NCAA Tournament ended less than 48 hours ago, but you can already place your bets on the winner of the 2018 NCAA Tournament.
And if you like Kentucky to win it all, you’re in line with the extremely early leans from oddsmakers.
According to odds released by Bovada on Wednesday, the Wildcats are +1000 to win the national championship next season. Even though stars De’Aaron Fox, Malik Monk and Bam Adebayo are gone after one year and an Elite 8 appearance, John Calipari is known for reloading with top-shelf recruits who will step in and be the next great “one-and-done” players. The 2017-18 season is expected to be no different in that regard.
Traditional powers North Carolina, Duke and Kansas join Kentucky near the top of the list of teams with the best odds to win it all. The Tar Heels won the 2017 tournament after finishing as runner-up to Villanova in the 2016 version.
Here’s a look at how Bovada initially set the odds for all 14 SEC teams:
Odds to win the 2018 NCAA Tournament
|SEC team||National title odds|
Some takeaways from these initial numbers:
- The five SEC teams which made the 2017 NCAA Tournament are considered to be among the favorites to return for a chance at a title in 2018.
- South Carolina’s Final Four appearance didn’t do much to sway oddsmakers in setting the 2018 number for the Gamecocks.
- New LSU coach Will Wade has plenty of work to do to change the perception of the Tigers program.
- New Mizzou coach Cuonzo Martin has brought enough recruiting mojo to the table to have his team considered on equal footing with five other league teams after a terrible year for the Tigers under Kim Anderson.
- Vanderbilt’s early exit in the NCAA Tournament did not significantly impact the perception of that team for the next season, even with big man Luke Kornet graduating.