Duke and Gonzaga neck and neck in NCAA Championship odds

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January 17th, 2020

After leading for much of the season, Louisville’s odds to win the NCAA National Championship in men's basketball have dropped to +1100, which makes room for two new co-leaders.

Duke and Gonzaga now lead all teams with the lowest odds to win it all at +1000. Which is the better bet? Let’s take a look at their individual seasons and how that sets up for a run in the tournament.

Odds to win the NCAA National Championship 

Team2020 NCAAB Championship Odds
Gonzaga Bulldogs
Duke Blue Devils
Louisville Cardinals
Baylor Bears
Kansas Jayhawks

Perennial mid-major powerhouse

Gonzaga is once again a force in the West. The Bulldogs sport an 18-1 record and are ranked No. 1 in both major polls.

Gonzaga’s one loss came to No. 19 Michigan in November, and the Bulldogs have racked up signature wins over Oregon (in overtime), Washington, and Arizona—all on the road.

The Bulldogs now enter the heart of West Coast Conference play, where they have a 31-game win streak. Two more conference wins and they’ll set a new WCC record.

Gonzaga's schedule leaves something to be desired

The knock against Gonzaga is its weaker conference schedule, with just a few tests in matchups against BYU and St. Mary’s down the road. But the Zags' wins in a pretty hefty non-conference schedule, combined with their offensive firepower, makes them a title contender.

Sophomore Filip Petrusev is averaging 16.6 points and 7.9 rebounds per game, while Corey Kispert contributes 14.1 PPG, and both have added to Gonzaga’s average of 87.8 points per outing.

Duke distraction

When Duke lost to Stephen F. Austin in November, it shocked the sports world and dropped Duke’s odds to win the national championship significantly.

Head coach Mike Krzyzewski appeared to right the ship, as the Blue Devils won nine straight games after the Stephen F. Austin loss, including a victory over No. 15 Michigan State in East Lansing.

While Duke lost its most recent game to a tough Clemson team, many around the country still consider the Blue Devils a lock for No. 1 seed come tournament time.

That’s partly because Duke is one of the only teams in the country with a top ten offensive and defensive ranking, according to the Pomeroy College Basketball Ratings, where they’re also ranked second overall.

Duke has been tested week in and week out

I’m of the school of thought that iron sharpens iron. I’d rather take a Duke team that has faced some of the toughest competition during conference play, than a Gonzaga team that puts up big numbers against overmatched opponents.

If you're looking for a longer shot in college basketball futures, check out the whole list at BetAmerica!