Find updated College Basketball National Championship odds for the 2024 season below along with how they compare to various Kenpom metrics. Get March Madness odds and see the top teams and odds based on AdjO and AdjD.
College Basketball National Championship Odds 2024
Halfway into the season, multiple teams fit the mold as a potential National Champion per Kenpom metrics. Kenpom is a popular college basketball site that breaks down teams based on advanced metrics. Wholistically, these metrics can help predict which teams may cut down the nets come March.
The two metrics that are used to identify a potential champion are Adjusted Offensive Efficiency (AdjO) and Adjusted Defensive Efficiency (AdjD). AdjO is points scored per 100 possessions — adjusted for opponent — while AdjD is the same thing for points allowed.
How AdjO and AdjD are used to identify champs is as follows: a team must have an AdjO rank of 25 and an AdjD rank that — when added to their AdjO rank — equals 50 or less. Every team since 2002 has fit these parameters except one, the 2014 Connecticut Huskies.
Teams That Fit Kenpom National Title Metrics
- North Carolina
- Michigan State
*Best Available Odds
Now that we have narrowed the contender list down to 12 teams, let’s see where the value lies in this field.
Arizona looked like one of the best teams early in the year with non-conference victories against the Duke Blue Devils, Michigan State Spartans, and Wiscon Badgers. They are listed as one of the favorites to win it all, making their odds too short for a wager right now with too much uncertainty after some bad performances against Stanford and Washington State.
Houston spent a majority of last year atop the Kenpom metrics and are once again number one this year. They got off to a hot start, though they have suffered losses to Iowa State and TCU in two of their last three games. The issue as far as the tournament is concerned is Houston’s play style. Their near dead last tempo limits the number of possessions they get, leaving them prone to getting beat by anyone who has a hot shooting night in a single elimination format.
After an early loss to Baylor, and a bad loss to Appalachian State, the Auburn Tigers have found their groove and rattled off a ten-win streak. They boast impressive metrics in that span, though their quality of opponent gives little conviction that they are for real. Their schedule gets much tougher in the coming months, making them worth monitoring for a potential natty title addition to your portfolio.
Purdue shot right out of the gates with impressive wins over Gonzaga, Tennessee, Marquette, and Arizona. Question marks surround them, however, after head scratching losses to Northwestern and Nebraska. They look improved, yet concerns about Matt Painter loom large as he has routinely put-up duds in the tournament. Their odds are also way too short, limiting the amount of hedge opportunities to claw back a profit.
The Tar Heels have bounced back after last year’s disaster with an improved defense and new identity on offense. That bodes well for their fans as the state is going legal sometime in 2024, hopefully before March Madness so they can use the likes of BetMGM and Bet365.
This @UNC_Basketball ball movement is a thing of beauty 😮💨
Elliot Cadeau no-look ➡️ RJ Davis dime ➡️ Armando Bacot slam‼️ pic.twitter.com/LJREPVWFbP
— ACC Network (@accnetwork) January 13, 2024
The issue is that the defense has been a luck box as of late, allowing open perimeter looks at a high rate. Regression looms large, especially when the quality of the opponent increases.
Arguably the most surprising team on the list for many casual college basketball fans, BYU has been a force to be reckoned with since the start of the season. The issue is that their schedule has been rather underwhelming, only boasting wins over Baylor and Iowa State. They certainly have the metrics to make an FAU type run, and may be worth monitoring to see how they fare in the second half of the season against much tougher competition.
Tennessee once again entered the season with national title aspirations, yet their legitimacy has been in question since going on a three-game skid against Purdue, Kansas, and North Carolina. Their best win this season is over Illinois, not giving me enough conviction that they can make a run against stiffer competition. Like Purdue’s Matt Painter, the Vols’ Rick Barnes has also been in question for his underwhelming performances in the tournament.
Last year’s version of this article highlighted the UConn Huskies as a midseason addition to the portfolio and they rewarded our wallets by winning it all with a dominant run to the title. They are now once again looking like one of the best teams in the nation with an elite blend of size and tenacity towards the rim for high quality scoring opportunities. The issue this year is that markets wised up and shortened their odds, making them a pass for now.
The Fighting Illini enter the mix as a potential contender thanks to their top-10 offense, a unit that excels with spacing and attacking the glass for second chance opportunities. The issue for their post season outlook is that they have skated by with a relatively easy schedule. Their three most prolific games resulted in losses, losing to Marquette, Tennessee, and Purdue. In a weak conference, this is a hard team to peg and an instant pass in the futures market.
Since putting Jared McCain into the starting lineup, the Duke Blue Devils have looked every part of a national title contender.
Jared McCain just went off for a CAREER HIGH 21 PTS vs No. 10 Baylor 🔥
— Overtime (@overtime) December 21, 2023
With McCain’s perimeter shooting, opposing defenses have been forced to stretch out which gives more room for Filipowski to work with and allow for more consistent scoring. Factor in a respectable defense and Duke has all the tools to make a run for the title, making the Blue Devils one of our best bets.
Wisconsin had an interesting start to the year, losing to Tennessee out of the gate. They have made up for it, however, with wins over Michigan State and Marquette. They then got dismantled by Arizona, leaving question marks about the legitimacy of the Wisconsin Badgers as an actual contender. They also play at a near dead last tempo, leaving them prone to hot shooting teams in a single elimination format.
Michigan State may qualify as a potential contender, but they have struggled this season against tougher competition. The Spartans currently have losses to Duke, Arizona, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Northwestern, and Illinois. Other than Baylor, their next best win comes against either Penn State, Minnesota, or Rutgers.