Updated College Basketball Championship Odds (December 19)

Posted by Eric Williams on Monday,December 19, 2016 4:00, EDT in

The prohibitive odds-on- favorite Duke Blue Devils are looking pretty good after a month of college hoops action, but are they really the best pick to win the 2017 college basketball championship? Is there a ‘smarter’ pick on the board besides the Blue Devils and which longshot team appears to have the best chance of upsetting everyone en route to this year’s March Madness tourney win? Let’s find out the answers to those questions with these college basketball odds.

Updated College Basketball Championship Odds (December 19)

The Favorite

Duke 3/1

The Blue Devils (10-1 SU, 6-4 ATS) had the week off after pounding UNLV 94-45 on December 10 and rank a stellar 19th in scoring (86.2 ppg) and equally impressive 26th in points allowed (62.5 ppg) and still haven’t seen the nation’s top-ranked freshman Harry Giles, suit up for them yet.

Coach K has a boatload of talent on his roster starting with sweet-shooting guard Grayson Allen (17.7 ppg) and blossoming sophomore forward Luke Kennard, who averages a team-high 20.0 points per game. Senior forward Amile Jefferson (15.1 ppg) and freshman forward Jayson Tatum (15.0 ppg) combine to give the Blue Devils one of the most potent offenses in the nation.

The Smart Pick

Villanova 12/1

The defending national champion Wildcats (11-0 SU, 7-4 ATS) have a flat-out superstar in shooting guard Josh Hart (20.1 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 3.7 apg) and one of the nation’s best sweet-shooters in beloved hero Kris Jenkins (13.4 ppg). Villanova also have a blossoming point guard in Jalen Brunson (12.7 ppg) and a deep team where a whopping eight players all average 24.0 minutes per game or more.

Villanova averages a healthy 80.0 points per game to rank 63rd nationally in scoring and they shoot a stupendous 49.6 percent from the field collectively to ranks 20th in field goal shooting percentage.

The wildcats also play defense like it’s going out of style by limiting their opponents this season to an average of just 62.3 points per game to rank 20th nationally in points allowed.

Sure, there are a bunch of other teams with far more blue-chip talent, but when it comes to playing together and playing smart basketball, no team does it better than Jay Wright’s Villanova Wildcats.

Top Longshot

Gonzaga 28/1

Each and every year, head coach Mark Few has Gonzaga (10-0 SU, 5-2 ATS) inside the top 20 while giving them a great chance to beat a handful of teams with bigger name recognition and more elite high school talent.

Having said that, let me also say that right now, the Zags are a great longshot selection because of their smothering defense and the fact that they’ve got four double-digit scorers on the roster that all shoot 48.6 percent or better. Gonzaga is dangerous with a capital ‘D’ this season, making the Bulldogs a great longshot selection this season.