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#1-Ranked Baylor Finally Top-Five in the 2020 March Madness Futures Odds

Blair Johnson

by Blair Johnson in College Basketball

Updated Apr 13, 2020 · 11:16 AM PDT

Scott Drew angry
Baylor men's basketball head coach Scott Drew hasn't had much to be upset about this season with the Bears currently ranked first in the nation. Photo by Max Goldberg (Wikimedia Commons).
  • No. 1 Baylor is finally in the top-five of the 2020 March Madness Futures Odds
  • The top-ranked Bears are a consensus +1500 favorite to win it all in Atlanta (up from +4000 in early Dec.)
  • Read below to see if betting on the Bears is good value 

The No. 1 Baylor Bears (16-1, 6-0 Big 12) have finally cracked the top-five in the 2020 NCAA Tournament odds. The top-ranked team in the land is a consensus +1500 favorite to win it all in Atlanta (up from +4000 in early Dec.). And Scott Drew’s squad is riding a 15-game winning streak, including victories over top-25 outfits like Kansas, Villanova, Butler and Arizona.

Odds to win 2020 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament

Team Odds
Duke +1000
Gonzaga +1000
Louisville +1100
Baylor +1200
Kansas +1200
Michigan State +1600
Dayton +2000
Oregon +2000
San Diego State +2000
Seton Hall +2000

Odds taken Jan. 25 

Baylor has proven to be a bettor’s darling this season, going 5-1 ATS since conference play began earlier this month. That string of success includes victories as road dogs in Lubbock and Lawrence. But are the Bears overrated due to their early Big 12 domination? Or is Drew’s team for real? Let’s analyze their March prospects and make a prediction.

Happy New Year!

Bears fans will remember the first full week of 2020 for years to come. That’s when Baylor took down a pair of heavyweights in back-to-back wins away from Waco that rocked college basketball. First came a victory at Texas Tech Jan. 7.

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That 57-52 result over last year’s national runner-up was classic Baylor. Even though the Bears had a season-high 20 turnovers, Baylor still managed to hand Chris Beard’s club its first home loss in nearly a year. What followed was even more impressive.

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The 67-55 win over the Jayhawks was Baylor’s first-ever win at The Phog in 18 tries. It was also their first win over a top-five team on the road in 22 attempts and fifth-straight win against a ranked team, which is a program-best. With those road wins over Texas Tech and Kansas, Baylor has proven it belongs in the conversation of the game’s elite and absolutely is worth a bet at +1200.

What’s Next?

Following a Big 12/SEC Challenge matchup in Gainesville against Florida Saturday, Baylor gets back to conference action Wednesday with another road game in Ames against the always-dangerous Cyclones. Baylor knocked off Iowa State 68-55 on Jan. 15.

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That home win was another example of what Baylor can do on defense. The Bears are No. 4 in KenPom’s defensive adjusted efficiency rating and have made a habit of shutting down teams all season. Teams have only scored 67 or more points against Team Sic ‘Em three times during the 2019-20 campaign — and that includes an 87-78 win over Villanova.

Their Time?

Baylor reached the Elite Eight twice last decade, advancing that far in 2010 and 2012. But the program hasn’t reached the Final Four since 1950. That drought could very well end this season — and the Bears’ resume this season proves that.

Right now, they’re the favorite for the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament. And their impressive list of victories over non-conference powers like ‘Nova, ‘Zona and Butler emboldens their case.

According to KenPom, Baylor is favored to win all but two of the rest of their games — at home against Kansas and on the road against West Virginia. For bettors looking for an option outside chalk like Duke, Gonzaga and Louisville, Baylor is more than worthy of a wager to cut down the nets at Mercedes-Benz Stadium April 6.

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