The NCAA Tournament is right around the corner, which means wagering on college basketball is about to reach a fever pitch! In order to help bettors prepare for the postseason, we are making 2020 March Madness predictions based on futures odds offered at online betting sites.The category we are focusing on today involves No. 1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament bracket, which is unlike other markets in that it is only available until Selection Sunday.
2020 March Madness Predictions: Projecting No. 1 Seeds For NCAA Tournament
Throughout the regular season, several NJ betting sites provide odds for more than just the outright winner of the tournament and projecting which four teams will receive No. 1 seeds is a growing market at places like FanDuel and DraftKings.
Obviously only four teams can win the honor of being the top overall seed in a region during the NCAA Tournament. That said, there are more than four legitimate options and some pay better than others. Here, we'll briefly discuss the top eight options according to sites like FanDuel Sportsbook and find some betting value to make picks on No. 1 seeds!
NCAA Tournament Picks: Who Are The #1 Seeds In March Madness 2020?
At this point in the season, some teams have a much better shot than others and that is reflected in the lines, which oddsmakers have made pretty lopsided for the programs that are most likely to land on the top seed line. Still, the spots aren't yet accounted for and there is an opening to make some money if you can target the correct teams for your March Madness betting picks.
- Gonzaga Bulldogs (-400)
A No. 1 seed is all but guaranteed for Gonzaga (27-1), the West Coast Conference regular-season champion for the eighth time in nine years. This team has won 19 straight games and its only loss came on a neutral floor in the Bahamas right after Thanksgiving. There is no longer any betting value in the Bulldogs judging by the -400 line and in fact, the Zags are so likely to be a No. 1 that only direction it can go is down.
Last season, the Zags fell in the WCC title game to Saint Mary's and still managed to hold onto the last No. 1 seed, so even an unlikely defeat in this year's final likely won't change anything. Know that it's pretty much going to happen, but no need to put your money on it. In fact, there's much better value on taking the Gaels to pull another WCC tourney upset.
- Baylor Bears (-300)
Baylor is another dominant team without any betting value left since it hasn't lost since early November. The Bears are undefeated in Big 12 play, winners of 23 straight games and barring something unforeseen are definitely winning at least a share of the regular-season crown. Baylor has been seen as a bit of a shoo-in for weeks now, and the odds reflect that.
The reason we'd suggest laying off the Bears at this point is two-fold, beginning with the fact that a -300 line has no betting value and like Gonzaga, things can only get worse, not better. The other factor to consider is the game remaining against Kansas, which could alter the big picture.
Keep an eye on this matchup because if Baylor loses to Kansas and is forced to split the Big 12 regular-season crown going into the conference tournament, odds will be more manageable to use for March Madness predictions.
- San Diego State (-200)
San Diego State is the third amigo to Gonzaga and Baylor when it comes to programs very likely to wind up with No. 1 seeds. As the only undefeated team left in college basketball, the 26-0 (currently) Mountain West champion is positioned well for a top seed and oddsmakers know it.
Again, not much value here but definitely more than our previous two options. The issue is that the Aztecs don't have a high degree of difficulty on the schedule, so a loss in the conference tournament may put that top seed in serious jeopardy.
If you're convinced SDSU wins the rest of its games and sweeps the conference tournament, this isn't a bad bet since running the table obviously guarantees it.
- Dayton Flyers (+100)
If you're seeking under-the-radar teams with some actual value for your March Madness picks, consider the kings of the Atlantic 10. Dayton's last loss came to a ranked Colorado team before Christmas and it has locked up the regular-season title, but can it do enough to earn a No. 1 seed?
The Flyers first need to win the upcoming A10 tournament but may also need some help. Power conference schools like Kansas and Duke may not have undefeated records in their leagues, but those resumes are more impressive than a mid-major like Dayton.
For that reason, we are hesitant to put our money on the Flyers, even at an even +100 line. There is definitely value here for those who think the Flyers can outlast the competition but for us, there are too many openings for a bigger program to steal that spot.
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- Kansas Jayhawks (+110)
It isn't possible for a top-five team to be under-the-radar so we won't go that far, but somehow Bill Self's team isn't getting the attention nationally that it normally does. The fact that Baylor is having such an unbelievable season has overshadowed the Jayhawks just a little bit, but bettors should use that to their advantage when making these March Madness predictions.
Kansas is absolutely worth a bet to wind up on the top seed line, and even more so at plus-money (+110). The Jayhawks have a game remaining on the road against Baylor, which could help it split the Big 12 title and make its case even further.
From there, a win for Kansas or even Baylor in the conference tournament looks great for the Jayhawks to get a top seed since a road win over the Bears would carry weight. This is the only conference where multiple teams are capable of a No. 1 seed, so put Kansas on the shortlist and don't be surprised if it makes the Final Four.
- Duke Blue Devils (+170)
Two things can be true at once: The Atlantic Coast Conference isn't what it was in past years, and Duke is still one of the very best teams in the country. The strength of schedule isn't there like it has been before, leading to plus-money odds behind smaller programs, but Coach K's team is one that may get the benefit of the doubt from the committee.
Duke should run the table and finish 17-3 in conference play, which could earn it a share of the regular-season crown depending on Louisville and Florida State. Even with only an ACC tournament win, however, Duke could still be awarded a top seed so long as not every single team listed above achieves all of its goals.
Duke isn't a high-paying option but still a profitable one and you can rarely go wrong with blue-blood schools when making March Madness picks. Guarantee these odds by signing up with a FanDuel Sportsbook promo code, which can earn you a risk-free bet up to $500 as well!
- Maryland Terrapins (+310)
Maryland isn't a team with national prestige, but bettors are aware of this group because the Big Ten is one of the elite conferences in college basketball. These teams are notorious for beating up on one another, and this season hasn't been much different.
The Terps have won nine in a row at the time of this writing and are two games clear of the likes of Penn State, Iowa, and Michigan State to win the Big Ten title. The +310 odds indicate their chances aren't the best, but there is certainly a way in which Maryland finds its way to the top seed line by the time the bracket is released.
The conference tournament will be completely up for grabs but with a win there, who knows? It may take some help in the form of losses for San Diego State and Dayton but it's a lot like Duke where a regular-season and league tournament title in a power conference is hard to deny.
- Louisville Cardinals (+450)
The Cardinals currently lead the ACC with a 13-3 mark but aren't being shown the kind of love from oddsmakers and the public as we saw during the season. Part of that is the same thing that impacts Duke: lack of depth in the top-heavy ACC.
That said, Louisville is another team with excellent value at +450 odds. Louisville has beaten the Blue Devils already and a victory over Florida State paves the way for sole possession of the ACC regular-season title, which could very well lead to a No. 1 seed with a strong performance in the conference tournament.
Chris Mack's team may need some help to make this a reality for bettors, but the combination of overall team quality and odds combine to make Louisville an attractive option for those seeking a larger payout for their 2020 March Madness predictions.