Bama, Purdue Lead Tournament Odds Change Since Season Start

  • Both Alabama and Purdue went from over +4000 odds to win March Madness when the season started to now top six.
  • Baylor entered the season as the second overall team in odds to win it all, but have actually seen their odds grow longer, now up to +1500 and in seventh place.
  • Tennessee is another team that was in the top seven but have now found themselves outside of the top 10 in odds, mainly due to a big Zakai Ziegler injury.

DAYTON, Ohio – As March Madness draws closer, a look back at what teams are winners and losers from the start of the season can help establish expectations as the conference tournaments continue. While the Houston Cougars have held onto the top spot all season long, the teams below them have shifted drastically.

A few teams even went from as long as over +4000 odds to now being shorter than +1000 on online gambling sites, while other faltered and stuck around their opening odds despite them naturally getting shorter as the season progresses and conferences shake out.

2023 Top 10 March Madness Odds

Team Opening Odds (11/08/2022) Current Odds (3/10/2023)
Houston Cougars +900 +600
Baylor Bears +1450 +1500
UCLA Bruins +1550 +850
Kansas Jayhawks +1620 +850
Arizona Wildcats +2250 +1200
Texas Longhorns +2400 +2500
Tennessee Volunteers +2450 +3500
Alabama Crimson Tide +4325 +750
Purdue Boilermakers +6375 +1200
Connecticut Huskies +7500 +2000

Biggest Winners This Season

By far the biggest winner of the college basketball season so far has been the Alabama Crimson Tide, who were largely counted out at the start of the season with massive +4325 odds. Fast forward five months and the Crimson Tide are indeed rolling, currently second in odds at +750 and set to face off with Mississippi St. in the SEC tournament quarterfinal.

The Crimson Tide have exceeded expectations largely on the back of star freshman Brandon Miller, who is unanimously considered a top prospect for the NBA, as well as junior guard Mark Sears averaging 13 points per game.

After a meteoric rise through the ranks, Bama is aiming to emulate their football counterparts and take home a national championship.

Another huge winner as the Purdue Boilermakers, who opened the year buried in the odds at +6375. Now, following a breakout season from junior center Zach Edey that saw him average nearly 22 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks, the Boilermakers are ready to make some waves in the brackets.

Now standing at sixth with +1200 odds, Purdue is poised to continue to impress and perhaps make a Cinderella run throughout March Madness. Fans that took them with their early odds on online sportsbooks are certainly excited at the season they have put together thus far.

Biggest Losers on the Year

While some teams skyrocketed up the ranks and proved to be incredible value picks early, others struggled and saw their odds get longer or hardly change. Among the biggest disappointments this year is the Baylor Bears.

Following the opening odds listing them as the second overall favorite behind Houston, their odds have gotten slightly longer when most odds get shorter as the tournament bracket shapes up. This has dropped them from the second overall favorite down to seventh.

While their deep guard lineup can certainly help them, the lack of a true center and big rebounding troubles throughout the year have proven that the Bears are not as dominant as they were once thought to be.

The other loser is clearly Tennessee, as they saw the biggest lengthening of odds of any team in the top 10, starting off at a decent +2450 but now hold less-than-ideal +3500 odds.

Similar to Baylor, their struggles can be partially chalked up to the lack of a true center as well as no real star players, with no one on the team averaging 13 or more points. The team also has no true rebounders, with a team-leading average of just five.

Lastly, the Volunteers lost their best distributor in Zakai Ziegler, who went down with a torn ACL in late February and will be unable to suit up for March Madness. This huge blow to the team is another big reason why their odds have gotten considerably longer, especially over the last month.

While there is still a chance for Baylor and Tennessee alike to boost their odds back up if they perform well in their respective conference tournaments, the trajectory of both of these teams since the start has been mostly downwards. By this point in the season, they are going to be on the outside looking in if they cannot put together a great run.