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NCAA Basketball Odds – Choose No. 1 seeds wisely

Posted by Washington Tucker on 2/2/2014 10:09:58 PM

a href="" title="March Madness betting">March Madness betting: Logically, NCAA basketball odds will surely favor the top teams in your offshore sportsbook, and those teams probably have the inside track on being a No. 1 seed in the March Madness tournament. However, those who are betting on sports know about the unpredictability of March Madness, and they’re well aware that a Cinderella team can emerge out of nowhere. Because of that, you’ll want to be particularly careful about choosing among the top teams.

NCAA basketball odds: betting on the No. 1 seeds

  • Being a top seed doesn’t guarantee March success
  • Carolina king of the No. 1 seeds
  • Be careful of an “Arizona in 1997” repeat

The NCAA started seeding their teams in 1979 and, since then, only once have all four No. 1 seeds reached the Final Four (it happened last year with Kansas, Memphis, North Carolina and UCLA). The No. 1 team in the rankings heading into the Tournament has won at the “Big Dance” only six times: North Carolina in 1982, Duke in 1992 and 2001, UCLA in 1995, Michigan State in 2000, and Florida in 2007.

NCAA basketball odds - potential No. 1 seeds

  • North Carolina -150
  • Pittsburgh +400
  • Connecticut +600
  • Louisville +700
  • Oklahoma +800
  • Wake Forest +1000
  • Memphis +1500
  • Duke +2000
  • Kansas +2000
  • Michigan State +2500
  • Gonzaga +3000
  • Missouri +3000
  • UCLA +3000
  • Villanova +3000

Last season was the second straight year that two No. 1 seeds landed in the National Championship Game, when Kansas edged Memphis in an overtime thriller. The previous year, Florida won the second of back-to-back titles when it dropped Ohio State. At least one No. 1 seed has reached the Final Four in every Tournament, except in 1980 and 2006.

Two No.1 seeds have been in the title game six times, and three of those games have involved the college basketball power of North Carolina. The Tar Heels, who have enjoyed favorable NCAA basketball odds all season, dropped Georgetown in 1982 behind a late game-winning shot by a freshman who would go on to have a pretty good pro career, Michael Jordan.

Then UNC beat Michigan on Chris Webber’s infamous “timeout” in 1993, sending the Wolverines’ “Fab Five” home once again without a title. Finally, the Sean May-led Tar Heels defeated Illinois in 2005.

Finally, those who bet sports and are looking at the No. 1 seeds must consider the Cinderella teams. The best example of a bracketbusting team is the 1997 Arizona squad, led by Miles Simon and then-freshman Mike Bibby. The Wildcats roared to the national title by beating three No. 1 seeds, taking down Kansas, North Carolina and Kentucky along the way. This is definitely a rarity, as it hadn’t happened before and hasn’t since but, if you’re going to take your NCAA basketball odds seriously, you need to cover all your bases.

For more NCAA basketball odds and sports betting lines as we head towards the “Big Dance”, bookmark the Betting Edge at

Washington Tucker was practically raised at Rucker Park. Though a freak knee injury cost him a major college basketball scholarship, his “sixth-sense” on the hardwood has translated into a spectacular career in basketball handicapping.



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