UConn, Duke installed as '25 NCAA title favorites - 2 minutes read

Apr 9, 2024, 12:29 AM ET

A heavy betting favorite -- both in the odds and for the public -- throughout March Madness, UConn is the first back-to-back NCAA men's basketball champion since Florida in 2007. But it's uncertain if the Huskies can make it three in a row in a highly volatile college basketball landscape.

UConn is the favorite to win the 2025 national championship at ESPN BET and Caesars Sportsbook, opening with +900 and 10-1 odds, respectively. However, DraftKings (10-1) and FanDuel (11-1) have Duke favored to take home the top prize next season, with the Huskies coming in at second (14-1) and sixth (18-1) on those respective odds boards. BetMGM has Kansas and Duke tied at the top (11-1), with UConn right behind (12-1).

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The long odds at the top speak to the difficulty of winning the tournament, as well as the highly dynamic nature of modern men's college basketball, especially in the era of NIL and unlimited transfers.

"It really is tough with the transfer portal these days. Guys move schools like the wind blows," Caesars college basketball trader Grant Tucker told ESPN. "This landscape is totally different than anyone could've ever imagined even three, four or five years ago. The amount of money, the amount of pull that these athletes have or maybe think they have, it really is a totally different world."

"We'll see who goes and stays," DraftKings director of race and sportsbook operations Johnny Avello said. "I don't think college basketball is a runaway sport like Connecticut's doing this year. It normally hasn't been that way where there's just one dominant team. To me, it's been a wide-open affair for the last quite a few years now."

While there's a high degree of variance across the market, Houston (10-1), Alabama (13-1), Arizona (15-1), North Carolina (15-1) and Kentucky (18-1) are consensus top-10 teams on odds boards (odds shown via ESPN BET).

NC State, whose run to the Final Four was the feel-good story of March Madness, is a long shot for 2025, with ESPN BET's 80-1 odds actually representing the shortest across major sportsbooks.

Source: ESPN

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