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Odds to Win March Madness Ahead of Second Round – Gonzaga Still Betting Favorite

Robert Duff

by Robert Duff in College Basketball

Updated Mar 18, 2022 · 11:29 PM PDT

Gonzaga Bulldogs celebration
Gonzaga forward Drew Timme (2) right, is greeted by guard Rasir Bolton, left, at the bench during the second half of a first round NCAA college basketball tournament game against Georgia State, Thursday, March 17, 2022, in Portland, Ore. Gonzaga won 93-72. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)
  • With shortened odds from +275 to +260, the Gonzaga Bulldogs remain the betting choice to win the NCAA Tournament
  • The Kentucky Wildcats, who opened third at +825 in the March Madness odds, were ousted by Saint Peter’s
  • A look at all the NCAA Tourney movers and shakers following first-round action

Still in search of their first-ever NCAA Tournament title, the Gonzaga Bulldogs find themselves retaining a familiar role as the team to beat.

Through one round of March Madness action, Gonzaga not only is maintaining hold on the role as the chalk, the Zags are even shortening their odds. The Bulldogs are now listed by oddsmakers as the +260 betting choice to emerge as champion in the odds to win March Madness.

March Madness Odds

School Odds
Gonzaga +260
Arizona +550
Kansas +750
Baylor +1000
Auburn +1200
Purdue +1400
Duke +1400
Tennessee +1500
Villanova +1600
UCLA +2000
Texas Tech +2200
Houston +3000
Illinois +4000
Arkansas +5000
North Carolina +7000
Wisconsin +8000
Saint Mary’s +8000
Memphis +8000
Providence +8000
Michigan +8000
Murray State +10000
Ohio State +12500
Michigan State +12500
LSU +12500
Rutgers +15000
Seton Hall +15000
Miami FL +15000
Creighton +20000
Marquette +20000
Richmond +20000
Davidson +25000
TCU +25000
Iowa State +25000
New Mexico State +30000
Saint Peter’s +50000
UAB +75000
Chattanooga +100000
Wright State +100000
Cal State Fullerton +10000
Colgate +150000

Odds as of March 18th at Caesars Sportsbook. All available Caesars Sportsbook promos listed here.
See the college basketball odds page for individual game odds. 

One Is the Luckiest Number

All four #1 seeds are moving on to second-round action. In fact, Gonzaga was the one among the four that ended up enduring the scariest outcome. The Zags only led by two points at halftime.

Things got even more intense seven minutes into the second half when the Panthers briefly took the lead. At that point, Gonzaga found an extra gear and won 72-63. However, the Zags failed to cover the 26.5-point spread.

Nonetheless, oddsmakers remain enamored with the Bulldogs. Gonzaga’s betting line to win the championship has actually shortened from +275 to +260.

Likewise, the Arizona Wildcats, 87-70 winners over Wright State, saw their odds shorten from +600 to +550. On the other hand, evidently the 83-56 rout the Kansas Jayhawks achieved over Texas Southern wasn’t nearly as impressive. The betting line on Kansas lengthened from +600 to +750. The Baylor Bears, 85-49 winners over Norfolk State, remain at the same +1000 betting line they had when the tourney started.

The Long and Short of It

One of the more intriguing second-round matchups is in the South Region pitting #3 Tennessee Volunteers and the #11 Michigan Wolverines. The Vols have seen their tourney odds shorten from +2000 to +1500. Tennessee is also +355 in the Final Four odds.

The Villanova Wildcats can never be overlooked at March Madness time and already, they’re making inroads. The #2 seed in the South Region went from +2000 to +1600.

The North Carolina Tar Heels saw their odds lengthen from +5000 to +7000. That most likely is the result of them being 5.5-point underdogs to Baylor in the March Madness second-round odds. The Ohio State Buckeyes also find themselves facing longer odds. They’ve gone from +10000 to +12500 and get Villanova in the second round.

Better Luck Next Year

No less a source that ESPN college basketball guru Dick Vitale was touting the Kentucky Wildcats as the team to beat in the NCAA Tournament. The Saint Peter’s Peacocks took Vitale’s opinion to heart. The 15th-seeded Peacocks bounced #2 Kentucky 85-79. Kentucky was the +825 third betting choice at the outset of the tournament.

The UConn Huskies also have a March Madness resume and were the #5 seed in the West Region. But New Mexico State mushed the Huskies off into the wilderness by a 70-63 count.

Reigning Big Ten champion Iowa Hawkeyes came in as the #5 seed in the Midwest Region. However, they should’ve been afraid of the Spiders. Richmond sent Iowa packing by a 67-63 score.

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