March Madness 2024 Winner Predictions: NCAA Tournament Men's Basketball National Champion Odds

Purdue Boilermakers center Zach Edey (15) and Purdue Boilermakers guard Lance Jones (55) celebrate against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024, at Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Indiana.
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Matt Marquart


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I'm a college basketball contributor here at Pickswise. I have been a longtime NCAAB fan and bettor, as I love to dive deep into every aspect of a particular matchup. In no other sport are there as many teams with different styles of play like college basketball, so I'm fortunate enough to share my thoughts at Pickswise. For Matt Marquart media enquiries, please email
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The bracket is set and it’s time to make your picks for the 2024 NCAA Tournament! It’s been an exciting year in college basketball and March Madness is the perfect culmination of the season. We’re bound to see upsets, buzzer-beaters and outstanding performances, all leading up to the crowning of a national champion. We’ll be taking a look at the National Championship odds and breaking down some of the favorites to cut down the nets this season. Once we’ve analyzed those odds, we’ll also have our prediction and best bet for who will win the 2024 NCAA Tournament and become kings of March Madness. Make sure you keep an eye on our college basketball picks as we deliver predictions for EVERY game throughout March Madness.

2024 NCAA Tournament odds

It’s been a season filled with parity in college basketball, as seemingly every single night we saw a ranked team go down. However, 3 teams have separated themselves as the favorites to cut down the nets on April 8: UConn, Houston and Purdue. For the purposes of this discussion, we will consider these the favorites, as all 3 have odds of less than 10/1 at FanDuel Sportsbook.

  • UConn +400
  • Houston +600
  • Purdue +700
  • Arizona +1500
  • North Carolina +1600
  • Tennessee +1600
  • Creighton +2000
  • Auburn +2000
  • Marquette +2100
  • Iowa State +2300
  • Kentucky +3000
  • Illinois +3000
  • Alabama +3500
  • Kansas +3500
  • Baylor +3500
  • Duke +4000
  • BYU +5000
  • Wisconsin +6000
  • Michigan State +6000
  • Gonzaga +6000
  • Saint Mary’s +6000
  • Florida +8000
  • San Diego State +8000
  • New Mexico +8000
  • Texas +10000
  • Texas Tech +10000
  • Nebraska +10000

Check out our Selection Sunday reaction and find out the 2024 NCAA Tournament schedule

March Madness 2024 predictions

UConn needs no introduction, as they are the defending champion. Yes, they lost several members of last year’s team to the NBA, but they reloaded and are currently the team with the shortest odds to win it all. However, the Huskies are in a very difficult region, filled with 3 teams ranked in the top 10 in KenPom’s efficiency rankings.  

Right behind UConn is Houston with +600 odds. Houston moved into the top spot in KenPom on November 27 and held that position all the way until the Big 12 Championship where the Cougars lost to Iowa State. Kelvin Sampson’s team is a #1 seed for the second straight year and is one of the stingiest defenses in the country. However, the injury bug has bitten the Cougars, as they have lost 3 players for the season due to injury, and starter J’Wan Roberts is playing at less than 100 percent.

Last but not least in the group of 2024 NCAA Tournament favorites is Purdue. The Boilermakers have odds of +700 at FanDuel and are the top seed in the Midwest Region. Purdue infamously lost to 16-seed Fairleigh Dickinson last season, but back-to-back Player of the Year Zach Edey has the team right back in the mix for a National Championship. Purdue seems to be set up better with a more experienced backcourt, led by First Team All-Big Ten point guard Braden Smith.

There is a precipitous drop-off in odds after the top 3, as Arizona at +1500 is next in line at FanDuel Sportsbook. There are a few notable teams whose odds stand out, the first being North Carolina (+1600). Despite being the fourth #1 seed, the Tar Heels are listed behind Arizona and Tennessee at FanDuel. UNC played in the National Championship just 2 seasons ago and is led by two members of that team, RJ Davis and Armando Bacot.

Another notable team in this grouping is Auburn (+1800). Auburn has the same odds as North Carolina, despite the Tigers being a #4 seed. The reason for this is that the Tigers are KenPom’s 4th-ranked team and are the only team in the field ranked in the top 10 in both adjusted offensive efficiency and adjusted defensive efficiency. However, they’d likely need to beat UConn in the Sweet 16 on their way to the Final Four.

There are a number of other teams that have various things to like about their chances. For example, Iowa State (+2300) just demolished Houston in the Big 12 Championship game and has the nation’s best defense according to KenPom. Duke has +4000 odds and the Blue Devils are KenPom’s 8th-ranked team in the tournament but sit 16th in odds.

We also have our Final Four predictions for the NCAA Tournament, including picks at +750 and +1200

2024 NCAA Tournament best bet: Purdue (+700)

For my March Madness winner prediction, I am picking Purdue at +700 odds. The Boilermakers are not without reason for concern, as we have already seen them at their worst in the NCAA Tournament. However, the starting backcourt for Purdue in their shocking loss to Fairleigh Dickinson was made up of freshmen. Braden Smith and Fletcher Loyer shot a combined 6-of-20 from the field and committed 10 turnovers in that loss. Smith has not only improved from last year, but he has been incredible. He ranks 13th nationally in assist rate, shoots over 44 percent from three, and was named First Team All-Big Ten. Zach Edey gets all the headlines and rightfully so, but Smith’s emergence and the addition of Lance Jones has Purdue poised to erase the embarrassment of last season in a big way.

In addition, Purdue has a very favorable pathway to the National Championship. Three of the #4 seeds in the field rank in KenPom’s top 13 teams. The one that does not is Kansas, which is in Purdue’s region. Anything can happen in March, but if Purdue can make it to the Elite Eight, they would possibly face a Tennessee team that they already beat earlier this year in the Maui Invitational. I believe that UConn is the best team, but the difficulty of their region and the better odds for Purdue have me picking the Boilermakers to win it all this year.

I would also bet a longshot of Duke at +4000 odds, given how solid the Blue Devils have been this season and that they went 15-5 in conference play. Those odds feel too high for me given Duke’s pedigree in the NCAA Tournament.

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