Duke got a big scare against UCF on Sunday, but the Blue Devils still remain the betting favorite to cut down the nets.
The ACC has five teams left in the Sweet 16 of the 2019 NCAA tournament, including three of the four No. 1 seeds. And those three remaining top seeds from the conference are still among the favorites on the March Madness odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com even though they were tested in the first two rounds of the Big Dance.
The Duke Blue Devils got the biggest scare in the East Region on Sunday when they nearly lost to the ninth-seeded Central Florida Knights but held on for a 77-76 victory. The Blue Devils fell to 0-2 against the spread in the tournament after closing as 13-point favorites, and they have now failed to cover six of their last seven games dating back to the end of the regular season.
Regardless, Duke remains the +300 favorite (bet $100 to win $300) on the odds to win the NCAA tournament followed by two other fellow ACC schools in the South Region’s top-seeded Virginia Cavaliers (+425) and Midwest’s top-seeded North Carolina Tar Heels (+600). The Gonzaga Bulldogs are the top seed in the West and the +450 third choice.
The Cavaliers seem to have the easiest path to the Final Four right now with the 12th-seeded Oregon Ducks (+7000) advancing to meet them in the Sweet 16 rather than the fourth-seeded Kansas State Wildcats or fifth-seeded Wisconsin Badgers, who were both knocked out in first-round upsets. In the other part of the South bracket, the second-seeded Tennessee Volunteers (+1600) have also looked beatable and will be challenged by the third-seeded Purdue Boilermakers (+2000) in the Sweet 16.
The Tar Heels might have the toughest road to Minneapolis considering the second-seeded Kentucky Wildcats (+1200), third-seeded Houston Cougars (+3000) and fifth-seeded Auburn Tigers (+2800) are all Final Four-worthy as well. North Carolina’s Sweet 16 matchup with Auburn might be the most exciting game of the entire tournament.
While the Blue Devils could also have a difficult time versus the second-seeded Michigan State Spartans (+1000) or third-seeded LSU Tigers (+5000) in the East, the Bulldogs are the most vulnerable in the West considering the quality of opponents remaining. The second-seeded Michigan Wolverines (+1500), third-seeded Texas Tech Red Raiders (+2200) and fourth-seeded Florida State Seminoles (+4000) are all more than capable of upsetting Gonzaga to get to the Final Four.
Of that group, Texas Tech is the best bet to win it all based on odds and owning the nation’s top defense.