March Madness is almost here and that means it’s time to fill out your NCAA Tournament brackets. So, who should you pick to go all the way? Bovada.lv has just released its futures odds for the tournament, revealing its own favorite picks while giving you a point of reference when filling out your bracket. Here are some of the odds-on favorites and some sleepers that we think could take the title.
Louisville Cardinals – 19/4
Louisville landed the number one overall seed after finishing the season strong with a Big East Conference title. With that honor, the Cardinals are also the overall favorite to win the tournament at 19/4.
Louisville may be one of the hotter teams right now, but its also got one of the toughest brackets to get through in the Midwest region. With Duke – who most thought could easily be a number one seed as well – Michigan State, and a very popular sleeper team in Saint Louis in their way, the Cardinals have a lot of land mines to avoid in their quest to a championship. Still, Louisville has proven they can beat any team in the country, so the Cardinals aren’t a bad pick. But there may be other teams out there with better value and a better shot to claim the 2013 national championship.
Indiana – 5/1
The Hoosiers are not far behind Louisville as the second futures favorite at 5/1. As the number one seed in the East region, Indiana is also getting a lot of deserved respect for the regular season it had.
While Louisville has one of the tougher sides of the bracket to deal with, Indiana appears to be in one of the weaker regions in the East. Miami will certainly be a worthy adversary as the two seed in the region, but then Marquette, Syracuse and UNLV round out the top five. With this lineup, I like Indiana over Louisville as a title contender, but of course the Hoosiers will have to get hot and recapture some of that magic they had earlier in the season.
Gonzaga Bulldogs – 10/1
After climbing to the top of the AP Poll for the first time in school history, the Bulldogs were favored to land a number one seed for the tournament. However, even after they did, some experts are still questioning their worthiness, considering their weak conference schedule. Interestingly, Gonzaga is also getting a lot of love from odds makers and comes in tied for the fourth best odds at 10/1.
No one is doubting whether or not Gonzaga is one of the best teams in the country, but the big question is: Are they capable of winning the entire tournament? Despite having a strong program that has fielded great teams for years, the Bulldogs have never cracked the Final Four. This will be the best chance they’ve ever had, but winning the title against the likes of teams like Louisville, Indiana and Duke seems like a tall order. Consider the Zags over valued at 10/1. This is probably a pick you will want to avoid.
Sleeper Pick: New Mexico – 25/1
Don’t fall asleep on the Lobos from New Mexico. As the third seed in the West region, the Lobos have a great chance to shock Gonzaga and Ohio State and make a deep run. They won the ultra-competitive Mountain West Conference – which boasts five tournament teams this year – and achieved a 29-5 record on the season. Their wins over UConn, Cincinnati and Colorado State proves they can play with some of the best teams in the country. Will the Lobos win it all? It’s somewhat of a long shot, but at 25/1, it’s a definitely a wager worth making.