Final Four: UConn's odds of winning back-to-back national championships are staggeringly low

It’s an understatement to call UConn an underwhelming national title favorite ahead of the Final Four.

After a dominating performance over its first four games of the 2024 NCAA tournament, the defending national champions are massive favorites to go back-to-back at BetMGM.

The Huskies are -225 to win the title ahead of the Final Four. If you bet $10 on UConn to win the title, you’ll win just $4.44 if UConn beats Alabama on Saturday and defeats the winner of Purdue vs. NC State on Monday.

UConn won every game in the 2023 NCAA tournament by 13 points or more and has continued that streak in 2024. The smallest margin of victory for UConn in this tournament so far is 17. The Huskies went on an amazing 30-0 run Saturday night against Illinois on the way to a 77-52 victory.

UConn opened the NCAA tournament at +400 to win the national title. Those odds look like extremely great value at this point.

If UConn doesn’t win the title, oddsmakers think Purdue (+600 before the tournament) is the most likely alternative. The Boilermakers are +190 to win the national title after beating Tennessee in the Elite Eight on Sunday. Purdue star Zach Edey scored 40 of Purdue’s 72 points in the Boilermakers’ six-point win. With Tennessee’s Dalton Knecht going for 37, Purdue’s Fletcher Loyer (14 points) was the only other player to score more than nine.

Alabama and NC State are at the other end of the odds spectrum. The Crimson Tide are +1700 to win the national title after they advanced to their first Final Four with a win over Clemson on Saturday. NC State, the sixth No. 11 seed to ever make the Final Four, is at +1800. The Wolfpack beat Duke on Sunday for their ninth consecutive win in an elimination game.

Alabama opened the tournament at +3500 to win the national title. NC State was at +20000.

Big Final Four point spreads

Oddsmakers aren’t optimistic that either Final Four game will be close on Saturday. That helps explain the astronomical title odds for both Alabama and NC State.

The Crimson Tide are 11.5-point underdogs against UConn. That’s a line that feels right given the way UConn is dominating opponents. The more eye-popping number is the over/under. The early total is at 161.5 points.

NC State, meanwhile, is a 9.5-point underdog to Purdue. It’s hard to go against the Wolfpack at this point, but Edey could be the antidote to the scoring success that DJ Burns is having and the rebounding success Mohamed Diarra is having.

If you want to back an upset, the odds are extremely profitable. Alabama is +550 to beat UConn and NC State is +350 to beat Purdue. UConn is a staggering -800 to win straight up, while Purdue is -450 to beat NC State.

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