Even though Duke, Michigan and Virginia all suffered recent losses, they each remain in the mix as favorites to cut down the nets in March.
Even though the Duke Blue Devils, Michigan Wolverines and Virginia Cavaliers all suffered losses as teams ranked in the top four since the previous AP college basketball poll was released, they each remain in the mix as favorites on the 2019 NCAA Tournament odds.
The second-ranked Blue Devils fell from the No. 1 spot in the polls after losing at home to the unranked Syracuse Orange in overtime on January 14, but they are still the best team in the country according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com at +175 (bet $100 to win $175) on the futures after bouncing back to defeat the Cavaliers 72-70 on Saturday.
Virginia was previously unbeaten at 16-0 and ranked No. 4 a week ago. Believe it or not, the Cavaliers actually moved up to No. 3 despite losing at Duke because the Wolverines suffered a worse setback on the road Saturday to the Wisconsin Badgers. Michigan fell 64-54 at Wisconsin as a 3.5-point favorite at sports betting sites following a 17-0 start.
The Wolverines are currently ranked fifth behind the fourth-ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs but ahead of them on the betting board as the +800 second choice to win the NCAA Tournament. Virginia is next in line at +850 with the newly top-ranked Tennessee Volunteers the fourth choice at +900 and Gonzaga coming in at +950.
The Volunteers jumped ahead of the Blue Devils thanks to a current 12-game winning streak since their lone loss to the Kansas Jayhawks 87-81 as 3.5-point underdogs back on November 23. Tennessee has gone 7-4-1 against the spread during that stretch, according to the OddsShark College Basketball Database, including 5-1 in the last six.
The ninth-ranked Jayhawks - winners of four of their past five heading into a Saturday showdown with the eighth-ranked Kentucky Wildcats - are listed at +1300 followed by the sixth-ranked Michigan State Spartans (+1400) and seventh-ranked Nevada Wolf Pack (+1800). The Wildcats close out the top nine teams on the board at +2000.
The 11th-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels are another team to watch at +2200 after reeling off wins in three straight games and seven of their last eight. The Tar Heels are coming off a 103-82 rout of the 10th-ranked Virginia Tech Hokies, who have lost two of three but might also be worth a wager as a longer shot at +5000 to cut down the nets.