March Madness betting is America’s favorite pastime and this year’s NCAA Tournament field has a slew of intriguing Cinderella options.
The term Cinderella has come to represent a lower-seeded team that just makes a run deep into the tournament, but for the purposes of betting futures, you’d need to find one who could actually win it all. That pushes things towards longshot odds but for brave bettors, there are certainly teams in every region who could be worth taking a flyer on.
West Region — USC: The Trojans are one of the toughest regions of the entire bracket and a Final Four run could require wins over Kansas, Iowa and currently undefeated Gonzaga. But USC has a well-balanced attack and freshman Evan Mobley, a two-way star who is one of the most talented players in the entire tournament. Every Cinderella story needs a hero and Mobley could be special enough to make USC’s 60/1 championship odds a value.
East Region — Maryland: As a No. 10 seed, the Maryland Terrapins will theoretically be underdogs in every tournament game they play this year. But they have been strong on both sides of the ball and beat several top-25 teams including Purdue, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota. With 90/1 championship odds, they could be a nice balance between risk and reward.
South Region — Wisconsin: The Badgers have an incredibly difficult road in front of them, needing to beat North Carolina just to earn the right to face No. 1 seed Baylor in the second round. But, like Maryland, Wisconsin is a well-balanced team whose 17-12 record would have been a lot better in almost any conference other than the brutal Big 10. Their current 40/1 odds may be just another case of everyone underestimating the Badgers.
Midwest Region — Tennessee: Calling the Volunteers a Cinderella may be stretching things, seeing as how they’re a No. 5 seed. But their region also features Illinois and a slew of other tough teams. Luckily the Vols have two future NBA lottery picks in their backcourt, in Jaden Springer and Keon Johnson. They defend and make tough shots and could turn Tennessee’s 50/1 championship odds into a lightning strike.
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