Odds to win March Madness: Houston maintains lead as favourite
The Houston Cougars look to get back to the Final Four for the second time in three seasons. Photo by David J. Phillip/AP.

We're past the halfway point of the college basketball season, with conference play underway in earnest around the country.

The latest: Houston's hot start carried into conference play, but the March Madness favourite isn't without its faults. The unpredictability of a 68-team, single-elimination tournament makes for a wide-open field.

Check out the latest March Madness odds.

March Madness odds

Check out the latest odds to win March Madness. Click linked odds to add selection to your betslip.

TeamOdds (Jan. 26)Odds (Jan. 16)Odds (preseason)
Houston Cougars+550+550+1,100
Kansas Jayhawks+850+750+1,400
Alabama Crimson TIde+900+1,000N/A
Purdue Boilermakers+900+1,000N/A
UCLA Bruins+1,100+1,200+1,700
Tennessee Volunteers+1,400+1,700+2,000
Arizona Wildcats+1,500+2,000+3,000
TCU Horned Frogs+1,700+3,800N/A
Virginia Cavaliers+2,000+2,500N/A
Baylor Bears+2,500+3,800+1,600
Xavier Musketeers+2,500+5,000N/A
Gonzaga Bulldogs+3,000+2,200+900
Texas Longhorns+3,000+2,500+2,000
UConn Huskies+3,500+2,200N/A
Kansas State Wildcats+3,500N/AN/A
UNC Tar Heels+4,000+4,500+900
Iowa State Cyclones+4,000N/AN/A
Marquette Golden Eagles+4,000N/AN/A
Arkansas Razorbacks+5,000+3,800+1,600
Kentucky Wildcats+5,000+4,500+1,000
Duke Blue Devils+5,000+4,500+1,600

Odds as of 1:55 p.m. on 01/26/2023.

Best odds to win March Madness

The favourite: Houston Cougars (+550)

The Cougars were an absolute wrecking ball to open the season, but even they are susceptible to a slip-up here and there.

Houston (18-2) recently lost at home to unranked Temple, causing the Cougars to slip to No. 3 in the latest AP poll. In a weak American Athletic Conference, they might have to run the table to have a shot at climbing to the top of the rankings again.

Last year's Elite Eight squad has plenty of experience steering the ship, with senior Marcus Sasser and junior Jamal Shead in the backcourt. Houston has 60 wins over the last two seasons and is looking for another deep tourney run.

With +1,100 odds in the preseason, Houston was expected to be a top contender. But the current price is difficult to bite on when you think about how perilous a March Madness run can be. And we're especially wary about Houston's current odds to make the Final Four (+115).

Other March Madness choices

Best value: Iowa State Cyclones (+4,000)

The Big 12 is a cream-of-the-crop conference in college basketball, and so far Iowa State is holding its own.

The Cyclones are 6-2 in the conference — and 14-4 overall — moving themselves into the 12-seed in the national rankings. Since Dec. 31, they've beaten four top-20 schools (Baylor, Texas, TCU and Kansas State) while losing by one bucket against No. 2 Kansas.

A whopping six seniors contribute to their regulation rotation, and that kind of experience could show up on the March Madness stage.

Last year's Cyclones squad earned a pair of upset wins as an 11-seed in the tournament.

Team to watch: Xavier Musketeers (+2,500)

Xavier whiffed on three early opportunities to make a splash this season, dropping a trio of matchups against teams ranked inside the top 15 at the time:

  • 81-79 L vs. No. 12 Indiana
  • 71-64 L vs. No. 8 Duke
  • 88-84 L vs. No. 6 Gonzaga

Since the Gonzaga loss, though, the Musketeers have gone 13-1 and look like a team that could make some serious noise in the tourney.

No. 13 Xavier ranks first in the country in assists per game (21.0) and third in 3-point percentage (40.3%). With five players averaging double-digit points, this is a team that shares the ball well and scores plenty.

NorthStar Bets editorial Insiders have no influence, direct or otherwise, over the setting of odds advertised on our platforms.