- No. 2 Baylor is now a top-six contender in the 2020 March Madness title odds
- The Bears are fresh off back-to-back road victories over No. 6 Kansas and No. 23 Texas Tech
- Is there still value betting Baylor to win the National Championship at +1400?
The Baylor Bears are taking the college basketball world by storm. For the eighth straight week they climbed in the AP rankings and now sit second in the poll, behind only Gonzaga.
As they ascend towards the top spot, their odds to win the National Championship continue to shrink.
2020 NCAA Men’s Tournament Championship Odds
|Duke Blue Devils||+900|
|Michigan State Spartans||+1200|
|Ohio State Buckeyes||+1400|
Odds taken on Jan. 13th
The Bears were a 50-1 long shot before the season started, but are now tied for the sixth shortest 2020 March Madness odds at +1400. As short as their new price is, there’s an argument to be made they still represent a lot of value. They’ve won 12 straight overall and are fresh off a road win versus a Kansas team whose title odds are 40% shorter.
The Best Resume in College Basketball
Baylor’s upset win in Lawrence was their first road victory in 22 attempts versus a top five team. Four days earlier they knocked off No. 23 Texas Tech in Lubbock, snapping the Red Raiders’ 15-game home winning streak.
They’re 5-0 against Top 25 programs, while No. 1 Gonzaga has just won victory over a team currently ranked inside the Top 25.
Baylor should be No. 1 on Monday without ANY debate.
Wins: Kansas (road), Butler (home), Villanova (neutral), Texas Tech (road), Arizona (home) – all in AP Top 25
Gonzaga wins: Oregon (neutral), Arizona (road)
Duke wins: Kansas (neutral), Michigan St (road)
Loss: Stephen F.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) January 11, 2020
The Bears aren’t just beating good teams, they’re completely shutting them down. In their five biggest wins of the season, they’ve held their opponents to an average of 16 points below their season outputs. They rank ninth in scoring defense, fifth in defensive efficiency and only one team has exceeded 65 points against them.
Their lone loss came against Washington in Alaska, in a game they led until the the final minute. They’re first in the NET rankings and sit five spots higher than the Bulldogs in KenPom’s overall efficiency metrics.
Final Four Bound?
Baylor has never made the Final Four under head coach Scott Drew, but they’ve come close. They reached the Elite Eight in 2010 and 2012, and were knocked off in the Sweet Sixteen in 2014 and 2017. They were a No. 3 seed four times last decade and this year’s squad is shaping up to be Drew’s best shot yet at a Final Four breakthrough.
Scott Drew wins at Phog Allen Fieldhouse for the first time EVER.
Baylor wins for the first time EVER at a Top-5 opponent.
Nope. Scott Drew's team is good enough to win the whole damn thing.
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) January 11, 2020
If the Bears stellar play continues, they could earn the program’s first No. 1 seed in school history. Their defense gets most of the credit, and rightfully so, but their offense is no slouch.
They feature an elite guard duo in Jared Butler and MaCio Teague, and Davion Mitchell has emerged as a legitimate secondary scoring threat. They made 42% of their threes versus the Jayhawks, and if they can get even 85% of that production on a regular basis they’ll be extremely difficult to beat.
The Price is Still Right
Don’t get me wrong, I’d much rather be holding a 50-1 ticket on Baylor to win it all, but their +1400 odds still present enough value to warrant a wager. The Bears have looked like the best team in college basketball for most of the first half of the season, so a chance to buy them at longer odds than five other programs seems like a smart bet.
They’ve proven they can win in hostile environments and with a relatively easy schedule in front of them for the next four weeks, their price is likely to shrink even further.
Let's have fun and keep it civil.