The latest odds to win the NCAA national championship

John Calipari
John Calipari has led the Wildcats to 173 victories at Rupp Arena since he took over the program more than a decade ago. (Kentucky Today/Tammie Brown)

The preseason No. 1 Michigan State Spartans have already lost two games, one to unranked Virginia Tech. Kentucky had an embarrassing loss to Evansville, only to be topped by Duke losing at home to Stephen F. Austin.

Given all of the chaos, you would think Vegas’ preseason odds at winning the national title would be completely shaken up. Not so much.

Despite the early season losses, the top of the chart stays mostly the same. Kentucky’s odds dropped from 8/1 to 10/1 with the Evansville loss. Duke’s chances dropped from 9/1 to 10/1 after losing to Stephen F. Austin. Kansas stands pat at 10/1 despite their loss to Duke.

And preseason favorite Michigan State is somehow still the favorite, although their odds did drop from 7/1 to 9/1. The Oregon Ducks have seen the biggest jump in the rankings from 28/1 to 14/1. So if you put money on the Ducks this summer, you are in pretty good shape.

Louisville, the new No. 1 team in the country, jumped from 16/1 to 12/1. However, the Cardinals will face the red hot Michigan Wolverines tonight. That will be a great test for Chris Mack’s team. Also, Michigan State will host Duke tonight. So there is a great opportunity for more chaos in this early season.

So what does all this mean? In case you are not a degenerate gambler, let me briefly explain. At 10/1, if you bet $10 on Kentucky to win the national championships, you would get $100 back when they cut down the nets. Had you bet that same $10 this summer when the odds were 8/1, then you would only return $80.

It is somewhat telling that the odds have changed so little. The guys in Las Vegas are really good at what they do, and they seem to think the struggles of these teams early in the season is no big deal. They still expect the four teams from the Champions Classic to have the best chance to win the title in April.

What do you make of Kentucky’s odds?