Gonzaga No. 1, but Villanova NCAA Tournament betting favorite

Gonzaga and Baylor topped the first preseason Top 25 college basketball poll released Monday, but sportsbooks have installed No. 3 Villanova as the slight favorite to win the 2021 NCAA Tournament.

The 2018 champions were listed at +700 by sportsbooks including DraftKings and Barstool, while PointsBet was offering Villanova at +800. Baylor and Gonzaga are co-second favorites at all three books: +800 along with Iowa by DraftKings and Barstool, while PointsBet is offering Gonzaga and Baylor at +950 while Iowa has significantly longer odds at +1500.

Reigning champion Virginia, which won the title in 2019 and will continue to “defend” next year with the 2020 NCAA Tournament canceled due to the coronvirus pandemic, is listed at +1100 by PointsBet. The other two books are each offering Villanova at +900.

Five-time national champion Duke is listed at +1300 by all three sportsbooks.

‘Cats also top Final Four odds

Jay Wright
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Villanova also has the shortest odds to reach the Final Four: +100 by DraftKings and Barstool. Gonzaga, Baylor and Iowa are each +125 for the same prop bet at both books, with Virginia +150 and Kansas and Kentucky each offered at +200.

The NCAA season is set to tip off on Nov. 25, with players returning to the court for the first time since the pandemic shut down March Madness and forced the cancellation of the 2020 NCAA Tournament.

“It’s a great honor to be selected No. 1,” said Gonzaga coach Mark Few, whose team finished 31-2 last season. “We understand that it is more a reflection of what our program has accomplished over the years and hope to play up to that standard as we start our season.”

–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)