NCAA Tournament betting: Kansas and Duke open as the early 2025 national title favorites

There’s a lot of change to come in the college basketball world over the next few months, but oddsmakers are optimistic about both Kansas and Duke.

The Jayhawks and Blue Devils open as the co-favorites at BetMGM to win the 2025 men’s NCAA tournament in the hours after UConn’s second straight national title. The Huskies beat Purdue 75-60 on Monday night to become the first team in 17 years to win consecutive titles. All 12 of UConn’s tournament wins in that two-year span have been by at least 13 points.

Kansas could bring back center Hunter Dickinson in 2024-25. The Michigan transfer just completed his first season with the Jayhawks and has another year of eligibility. He hasn’t publicly decided if he’s coming back to KU or heading to the NBA Draft. Forward KJ Adams has already said he'll be back for another season.

Duke could lose players like Kyle Filipowski and Jared McCain, along with Jeremy Roach to the NBA. But the Blue Devils have the No. 1 recruiting class in the country coming in, according to Rivals. That includes Cooper Flagg, the top recruit in the nation.

UConn is +1200 to win the title and will likely have a much different roster again as it goes for three consecutive championships. The Huskies lost their top two scorers from last season’s team and could lose Tristen Newton, Stephon Castle and others.

Houston is the No. 4 favorite at +1400 after it won the Big 12 in its first season. The Cougars should be well-equipped to contend in the conference once again and are just ahead of North Carolina at +1600.

The most fascinating favorite among the teams at better than 20-1 is Kentucky at +1800. The Wildcats are about to embark on a coaching search following John Calipari’s surprising move to Arkansas. Without Calipari, Kentucky could have a bunch of transfers and recruiting class defections. The Wildcats currently have the No. 2 recruiting class in the country. How many of those five players will actually be at Kentucky in the fall?

The most intriguing pick among teams outside the top group of favorites could be Iowa State at +3000. The Cyclones, No. 3 in the Yahoo Sports way-too-early top 25, are set to return guards Tamin Lipsey and Keshon Gilbert and have done good work in the transfer portal in recent years. If you’re feeling optimistic, a flier bet on the Cyclones may not be a bad investment ahead of what’s set to be a chaotic offseason.

2025 NCAA tournament favorites

  • Kansas (+1100)

  • Duke (+1100)

  • UConn (+1200)

  • Houston (+1400)

  • North Carolina (+1600)

  • Kentucky (+1800)

  • Baylor (+1800)

  • Alabama (+2000)

  • Arizona (+2000)

  • Gonzaga (+2000)

  • Tennessee (+2500)

  • Purdue (+2500)

  • Michigan State (+2500)

  • Iowa State (+3000)

  • Texas (+3000)

  • Auburn (+3000)

  • Marquette (+3500)

  • Creighton (+3500)