When to Bet On or Against the Top 5 Favorites for the National Title
College Basketball Odds: The Top 5 Favorites To Win in 2021 fared very poorly against the spread as a favorite last season, but these five teams went for a combined 18-6-1 ATS when lined as the betting underdog. While there will surely be less chances to get points on these top five national title contenders, here’s the top five favorites for 2021, and when you should tail or fade them as dogs or favorites.
Top 5 Pre-Season Championship Favorites
- Odds via Bet365: Updated Dec. 16th
Gonzaga was in 1st place of their division and had a record of 15-1 before the season was cancelled last year. They had an ATS record of 17-16 overall, going 16-16-0 as a favorite and 1-0 ATS as an underdog. Mark Few remains the head coach of this team and has a record of 599-124 with the team and also has a record of 31-20 in the NCAA tournament.
In the past five years Gonzaga has done well in the NCAA tournament making it to at least the Sweet 16 each year with one title game in that span that they did not win. That is also the only year they have made it to the Final 4 in school history. Gonzaga has been a really good team consistently for years but have failed to perform up to standard in the tournament.
The Zags are a little overrated to be the favorites to win the tournament when they do not have a good track record. This might be a team to avoid when placing futures as there is much more value on some of the other teams.
Baylor was in 2nd place of their division with a record of 15-3 before the season was cancelled last year. They had an ATS record of 18-12-0 overall. They also had an ATS record of 14-11 as a favorite and an ATS record of 4-1 as an underdog. Scott Drew remains the head coach of this team and has a record of 344-213 with the team overall and a record of 11-8 in the NCAA tournament.
Scott Drew has never taken Baylor to the Championship or even the Final 4 for that matter. In the last five years, they have only made it to the Sweet 16 once, failing to get out of the first round twice and missing the tournament altogether in 2018. Again, this is a team that performs well during the regular season and within the division but, is not battle-tested in making long runs in the tournament.
Baylor is one of the favorites to win the tournament but, has not performed well in the past and has never won a championship in their school history. They seem a little overrated to be favorites here when there is better value on battle-tested teams.
Villanova was in 3rd place of their division with a record of 13-5 before the season was cancelled last year. They had an ATS record of 14-15-2 overall. They also had an ATS record of 10-14-1 as a favorite and an ATS record of 4-1-1 as an underdog. Jay Wright remains the head coach of this team and has a record of 472-182 overall with a 28-14 record in the NCAA tournament.
Wright has taken Villanova to 2 Championships in his tenure there and won both times. In the last 5 years, they have won 2 national championships and have failed to make it past the second round the other 3 times. In the last 15 years, they have only failed to make the tournament 1 time.
The Wildcats are a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to performance in the tournament but, they have proven themselves in the last few years that they can make the long run. At these odds, Villanova is a solid play to take a shot at the title once again.
Virginia was in 4th place of their division with a record of 15-5 before the season was cancelled last year. They had an ATS record of 12-16-2 overall. They also had an ATS record of 9-14-2 as a favorite and an ATS record of 4-2 as an underdog. Tony Bennett remains the head coach of this team and has a record of 277-96 with a record of 16-8 in the NCAA tournament.
Bennett has led the team to 1 championship in his tenure at Virginia winning the title just that 1 time. In the last 5 years, they have struggled to get past the second round but, they have made the tournament the last 6 years straight and are the last team to win the tournament.
The Cavaliers are another team that has been really good during the season but, struggles when it comes to making a long run in the tournament. Considering they are defending the title still, there is some good value on them to put together a good run.
Kentucky was in 1st place of their division with a record of 15-3 before the season was cancelled last year. They had an ATS record of 17-14 overall. They also had an ATS record of 12-12-0 as a favorite and an ATS record of 5-2-0 as an underdog.
John Calipari remains the head coach of this team and has a record of 330-77 with a 56-19 record in the NCAA tournament. In the last decade, Kentucky has made it to at least the Elite 8 every time except twice, once was the Sweet 16 and once they failed to make the tournament.
Kentucky have won 2 championships in the last decade and have proven year after year that they can make the long run in the tournament. Kentucky is an underrated team this year that performs well during the season and in the tournament. There is a lot of value on them at the price they are at to win the whole thing.
FAQ: College Basketball Betting
Who is the favorite to win the 2021 NCAA Basketball National Championship?
Gonzaga and Villanova are the two favorites, both at odds of 10-1. (Odds via Bet365, as of Tuesday, November 24th)