Villanova, Virginia installed as Las Vegas favorites to win NCAA

Wright: 'The biggest challenge is the first game' (2:32)

Villanova head coach Jay Wright says that he and his team just want to take it one game at a time. (2:32)

Virginia is the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament, but the Cavaliers are not the clear-cut betting favorites in Las Vegas.

At the Westgate SuperBook, Villanova is the favorite at 7-2 to win its second national championship in the past three seasons. Duke is next, at 5-1, followed by Virginia and Michigan State, which are each 6-1.

William Hill's Nevada sportsbook has Virginia and Villanova listed as co-favorites at 6-1.

No. 1 seeds Kansas and Xavier are 18-1 and 20-1, respectively, at the Westgate. Both have longer odds than No. 4 seed Arizona (15-1) and No. 3 seed Michigan (10-1).

William Hill's Nevada sportsbook on Feb. 24 took a $3,000 bet on the Wolverines to win the championship at 50-1 odds. The bettor would net $150,000 with a Michigan title.

Top-ranked Virginia began the season as a 100-1 long shot to win the national championship but went on to win the ACC regular-season and tournament titles. The Westgate took five bets on the Cavs when they were 100-1.

Five teams garnered more betting support than Virginia at William Hill U.S., Nevada's largest sportsbook by volume, including Michigan State.

The Spartans have seen the most betting support in Las Vegas throughout the season. Heading into tournament week, more money has been wagered on the Spartans to win the championship than has been bet on any other team at the Westgate and William Hill.

No. 2 seed Purdue is 12-1, and defending-champion North Carolina is 18-1. Kentucky, fresh off winning its fourth straight SEC tournament, is 25-1, along with Gonzaga, last year's runner-up.

NC-Greensboro, Penn and NC Central are 5,000-1, the longest long shots of any teams listed at the Westgate SuperBook.

Last March, $429.4 million was bet on basketball -- both the NBA and NCAA -- at Nevada sportsbooks. The books won $41.2 million on basketball in March 2017, making it the most costly basketball month ever for bettors.

Odds to win the NCAA tournament

(Courtesy of the Westgate SuperBook, as of Sunday night)

  • Villanova 7-2

  • Duke 5-1

  • Virginia 6-1

  • Michigan State 6-1

  • Michigan 10-1

  • Purdue 12-1

  • Arizona 15-1

  • Kansas 18-1

  • North Carolina 18-1

  • Xavier 20-1

  • Cincinnati 20-1

  • Kentucky 25-1

  • Gonzaga 25-1

  • West Virginia 40-1

  • Texas Tech 40-1

  • Wichita State 40-1