Ole Miss v Kentucky
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A new college basketball season tips off on Monday, Nov. 7, and thus begins the race to Houston for the 2023 Final Four where a national champion will be crowned. Kansas has a shot at becoming the first repeat champion since Florida in 2006-07, but there are 362 other Division I teams who will be in pursuit of the trophy as well.

From a betting standpoint, the breadth of college basketball brings unique opportunities to find value. Because of the unpredictability of March Madness and its single-elimination bracket, college basketball is structured to produce unexpected champions. Plenty of No. 1 seeds have won it all, but No. 7 seed UConn (2014), No. 6 seed Kansas (1988) and No. 8 seed Villanova (1985) have shown how teams can surprise us and win championships.

Recent titles for Baylor (2021) and Virginia (2019) also prove how conditions in the sport are ripe for programs to break through for their first titles. So as the new season approaches, let's look at the college basketball national championship odds sheet and break it down by contender tiers. 

All odds from Caesars Sportsbook.

Tier 1: Steady as ever

Team: North Carolina (8-1), Kentucky (9-1), Baylor (18-1), Kansas (20-1)

You know what to expect from these guys. All have won national titles at some point in the past 12 years, and all have longstanding continuity within their coaching staffs. Though it's just Hubert Davis' second season as North Carolina's head coach, he was on staff for a decade under Roy Williams and part of the 2017 national title team. That experience appeared to serve him well as he rallied the Tar Heels and led them on a run to the national title game in his first season.

Even Kansas, which replaces stars like Ochai Agbaji and Christian Braun from its national championship run, is a trusty pick. The Jayhawks have never missed an NCAA Tournament under 20th-year coach Bill Self and have never been worse than a No. 4 seed in his tenure. If you're holding a card with 20-1 odds on the Jayhawks and they wind up as a No. 1 or No. 2 seed in the 2023 Big Dance, you'll be feeling good

Tier 2: Breakthrough candidates

Teams: Gonzaga (9-1), Houston (12-1), UCLA (12-1)

Each of these three have been to Final Fours over the past two seasons but didn't break through and win it all. Gonzaga and Houston have never won national titles, and the last time UCLA cut down the nets came in 1995. But all three are in excellent shape entering the season with the coaches and rosters to compete for it all.

Of the trio, UCLA is arguably the team with the highest upside. The Bruins bring in five-star prospects Amari Bailey and Adem Bona to pair with the elite duo of Tyger Campbell and Jaime Jaquez Jr. If one or both freshmen hit and Jaylen Clark takes a step forward, this UCLA team will be better than the Sweet 16 and Final Four teams that preceded it the past two seasons.

Tier 3: Betting on talent

Odds: Arkansas (15-1), Duke (18-1)

If raw talent decided the national champion, these two would be excellent picks. Duke's seven-man freshmen class ranked No. 1 in the 247Sports Team Rankings, and Arkansas' six-man group ranked No. 2. Both programs are oozing with potential future NBA Draft picks and the talent to win it all. Both are also incredibly young and sorely lacking in returning production; most of the complementary pieces surrounding the elite freshmen in both rotations will be transfers.

Arkansas coach Eric Musselman is used to blending new players together and creating winning teams. Jon Scheyer is not. Duke's first-year coach is just 35 years old and tasked with following the legendary Mike Krzyzewski. Having a handful of veterans in the rotation would be nice. Instead, Scheyer has a blank canvas on which he can begin painting his own legacy. Point guard Jeremy Roach returns, but everyone else in this rotation will be new. Though it may not always be pretty for Arkansas and Duke as they acclimate their freshmen to the college game, they should only improve as the season progresses.

Tier 4: Leap of faith

Teams: Arizona (22-1), Tennessee (30-1), Creighton (30-1), Indiana (30-1)

Can Arizona go deeper than the Sweet 16 this season after losing three NBA Draft picks? Do we trust Rick Barnes to get past the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament for just the second time since 2008? If you can get past these types of roadblocks, then these teams in the Leap of Faith category are worth a look.

Creighton is the preseason pick to win the Big East, but the BlueJays haven't been to an Elite Eight since 1941. Indiana has the historical pedigree and an excellent roster, but the Hoosiers haven't made an Elite Eight since 2002. They also have a second-year coach in Mike Woodson who is still adjusting to college basketball after spending four decades as an NBA player and coach. There's a lot to like about these four, but it's easy to find their flaws as well.

Tier 5: Value plays

Teams: UConn (60-1), Virginia (60-1), Florida State (80-1)

Virginia has already moved up the odds sheet from 80-1 after landing at third in the ACC preseason poll and coming in at No. 5 in Ken Pomeroy's first rankings at kenpom.com. But there is still good value in the Cavaliers. As for UConn, the Huskies have the Big East Preseason Player of the Year in Adama Sanogo and the motivation of consecutive first-round NCAA Tournament losses. Florida State has a potential first-round pick in Matthew Cleveland and a roster ready to bounce back from last season's injury-plagued fiasco. All are worth a flyer at these prices.

Tier 6: Longshots

Teams: Iowa (200-1), Notre Dame (250-1), Stanford (300-1)

All three have potential first-round NBA Draft picks, and both Iowa and Notre Dame are returning multiple key contributors from NCAA Tournament teams. Notre Dame stands out as a particularly great value since the Fighting Irish are coming off a second-round NCAA Tournament appearance. Though they lose double-digit scorers Blake Wesley and Paul Atkinson, five-star freshman guard JJ Starling is poised to be a star, and this rotation will otherwise be full of super seniors.

2023 NCAA Tournament odds

Odds to win the 2023 NCAA Tournament from Caesars Sportsbook

North Carolina Tar Heels+800
Gonzaga Bulldogs+900
Kentucky Wildcats+900
UCLA Bruins+1200
Houston Cougars+1200
Arkansas Razorbacks+1500
Duke Blue Devils+1800
Baylor Bears+1800
Kansas Jayhawks+2000
Arizona Wildcats+2200
Creighton Bluejays+3000
Michigan Wolverines+3000
Texas Longhorns+3000
Indiana Hoosiers+3000
Tennessee Volunteers+3000
Texas Tech Red Raiders+4000
Illinois Fighting Illini+5000
TCU Horned Frogs+5000
Alabama Crimson Tide+5000
Auburn Tigers+6000
Connecticut Huskies+6000
Michigan State Spartans+6000
Villanova Wildcats+6000
Oregon Ducks+6000
Virginia Cavaliers+6000
San Diego State Aztecs+7000
Florida State Seminoles+8000
Florida Gators+8000
Purdue Boilermakers+10000
Dayton Flyers+10000
Seton Hall Pirates+10000
Xavier Musketeers+10000
Texas A&M Aggies+10000
Memphis Tigers+10000
Miami (FL) Hurricanes+12500
St. John's Red Storm+12500
Oklahoma Sooners+12500
Louisville Cardinals+12500
Ohio State Buckeyes+12500
USC Trojans+12500
Syracuse Orange+15000
Virginia Tech Hokies+15000
Wisconsin Badgers+20000
Oklahoma State Cowboys+20000
Saint Mary's Gaels+20000
Iowa Hawkeyes+20000
Utah Utes+20000
Colorado Buffaloes+20000
Minnesota Golden Gophers+20000
Arizona State Sun Devils+20000
Clemson Tigers+20000
Providence Friars+20000
Wake Forest Demon Deacons+20000
Saint Louis Billikens+20000
Marquette Golden Eagles+20000
Butler Bulldogs+25000
Ole Miss Rebels+25000
Missouri Tigers+25000
LSU Tigers+25000
Richmond Spiders+25000
Loyola Ramblers+25000
Vanderbilt Commodores+25000
Rutgers Scarlet Knights+25000
Notre Dame Fighting Irish+25000
Maryland Terrapins+30000
NC State Wolfpack+30000
Cincinnati Bearcats+30000
Stanford Cardinal+30000
New Mexico Lobos+30000
Boston College Eagles+30000
Iowa State Cyclones+30000
New Mexico State Aggies+50000
Massachusetts Minutemen+50000
South Carolina Gamecocks+50000
UAB Blazers+50000
Wyoming Cowboys+50000
SMU Mustangs+50000
West Virginia Mountaineers+50000
Nebraska Cornhuskers+50000
UCF Knights+50000
Kansas State Wildcats+50000
VCU Rams+50000
Washington Huskies+50000
Mississippi State Bulldogs+50000
Iona Gaels+50000
Utah State Aggies+50000
Colorado State Rams+50000
Davidson Wildcats+50000
Tulane Green Wave+50000
Eastern Michigan Eagles+50000
Drake Bulldogs+50000
Murray State Racers+50000
Boise State Broncos+75000
Buffalo Bulls+75000
San Francisco Dons+75000
Temple Owls+75000
DePaul Blue Demons+75000
Wichita State Shockers+75000
Georgetown Hoyas+75000
California Golden Bears+75000
St. Bonaventure Bonnies+75000
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets+75000
BYU Cougars+75000
Penn State Nittany Lions+75000
Oregon State Beavers+100000
Northern Iowa Panthers+100000
Washington State Cougars+100000
Toledo Rockets+100000
North Texas Mean Green+100000
Ohio Bobcats+100000
Georgia Bulldogs+100000
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers+100000
Northwestern Wildcats+100000
Saint Joseph's Hawks+100000
UNLV Rebels+100000
St. Peter's Peacocks+100000
UTEP Miners+100000
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs+100000
Pittsburgh Panthers+100000
Furman Paladins+100000
Kent State Golden Flashes+100000
South Dakota State Jackrabbits+100000
Fresno State Bulldogs+100000
Rhode Island Rams+100000
Hofstra Pride+150000
Montana State Bobcats+150000
Missouri State Bears+150000
Liberty Flames+150000
Montana Grizzlies+150000
Chattanooga Mocs+150000
Belmont Bruins+150000
Tulsa Golden Hurricane+150000
Colgate Raiders+150000
Charlotte 49ers+150000
Texas Southern Tigers+200000
Boston University Terriers+200000
Coastal Carolina Chanticleers+200000
Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders+200000
Northeastern Huskies+200000
UC Irvine Anteaters+200000
Nevada Wolf Pack+200000
Eastern Kentucky Colonels+200000
Akron Zips+200000
Yale Bulldogs+200000
Bradley Braves+200000
Oral Roberts Golden Eagles+200000
UNC Wilmington Seahawks+200000
Towson Tigers+200000
Charleston Cougars+200000
Delaware Fightin' Blue Hens+200000
East Tennessee State Buccaneers+200000
Cleveland State Vikings+200000
Monmouth Hawks+200000
Siena Saints+200000
Cal State Fullerton Titans+200000
Texas State Bobcats+200000
Grand Canyon Antelopes+250000
Ball State Cardinals+250000
Hawaii Rainbow Warriors+250000
Detroit Mercy Titans+250000
South Florida Bulls+250000
Illinois State Redbirds+250000
UIC Flames+250000
Pacific Tigers+250000
East Carolina Pirates+250000
Jacksonville State Gamecocks+250000
Bryant Bulldogs+250000
FGCU Eagles+250000
Bowling Green Falcons+250000
Santa Clara Broncos+250000
Harvard Crimson+250000
Drexel Dragons+250000
Princeton Tigers+250000
Vermont Catamounts+250000
James Madison Dukes+250000
Morehead State Eagles+250000
Wright State Raiders+250000
Appalachian State Mountaineers+250000
Georgia State Panthers+250000
Marshall Thundering Herd+250000
George Mason Patriots+250000
Florida Atlantic Owls+250000
North Carolina Central Eagles+500000
Niagara Purple Eagles+500000
Little Rock Trojans+500000
La Salle Explorers+500000
UNC Greensboro Spartans+500000
Air Force Falcons+500000
George Washington Colonials+500000
Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks+500000
Duquesne Dukes+500000
South Alabama Jaguars+500000
Abilene Christian Wildcats+500000
Wofford Terriers+500000
Southern Illinois Salukis+500000
Oakland Golden Grizzlies+500000
Arkansas State Red Wolves+500000
Old Dominion Monarchs+500000
Winthrop Eagles+500000
Longwood Lancers+500000
Rice Owls+500000
Portland Pilots+500000
UTSA Roadrunners+500000
Loyola Marymount Lions+500000
Northern Kentucky Norse+500000
Pennsylvania Quakers+500000
Seattle Redhawks+500000
Eastern Washington Eagles+500000
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos+500000
North Dakota State Bison+500000
Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns+500000
Troy Trojans+500000
Wagner Seahawks+500000
UT Arlington Mavericks+500000
Indiana State Sycamores+500000
Southern Utah Thunderbirds+500000
Weber State Wildcats+500000
Nicholls Colonels+500000
UMBC Retrievers+500000
Central Michigan Chippewas+500000
Fordham Rams+500000