Kentucky is one of our favorite future bets for the 2024 NCAA Tournament.
Kentucky is one of our favorite future bets for the 2024 NCAA Tournament.

Our 4 Favorite Futures Bets for March Madness

We take a look at futures wagers available for Arizona, Purdue, Kentucky and Creighton that offer great value as we approach the start of March Madness.

Congratulations, college hoops fans! The wait is finally over! March Madness has finally arrived and we’re on the cusp of the 2024 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. Millions of fans and bettors around the globe will be busy filling out brackets and getting some bets down over the next few days.

Want a little extra skin in the game for this year’s Big Dance? While analyzing the entire board this morning, we found 4 futures bets that caught our eye. We’re playing each of the following selections to win one unit and sprinkling small bets on each team to win the whole enchilada.

Arizona to Make the Elite Eight: +108 at FanDuel

We just can’t resist this plus-money price on the Wildcats over at FanDuel. Sure, this Arizona team has some holes, as evidenced by their concerning losses to Stanford, Oregon, and USC. That being said, Caleb Love (18.1 points per game) and Oumar Bello (10.1 rebounds per game) make for a deadly 1-2 punch.

Love and Bello aren’t the only ones on this ‘Zona squad that can wreak havoc. Pelle Larsson and Keshad Johnson are both averaging in double figures for the Wildcats, even though neither gets as much hype as Love or Bello.

Arizona ranks 3rd in the nation in points per game and their defense isn’t too shabby either (57th in defensive efficiency). They shouldn’t have any trouble vs. Long Beach State and they’ll likely be double-digit favorites over either Dayton or Nevada in Round 2. I’m playing a full unit on the Wildcats to make the Elite 8 and sprinkling +1600 for them to win the title over at Bet365.

Purdue to Make the Elite Eight: -115 at FanDuel

I have to believe that Purdue will be out for blood after last year’s embarrassing loss to Fairleigh Dickinson in the opening round. The Boilers lost a shocker to Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game, but it’s hard to pass up Zach Edey. The reigning Player of the Year is averaging 24.4 points and 11.7 rebounds per game this season.

Contrary to popular belief, Purdue isn’t just a one-trick pony with Edey on offense. Braden Smith, Lance Jones, and Fletcher Loyer all average at least 10.4 points per outing. This means that double-teaming Edey may not work out as well as opponents think.

The Midwest isn’t the easiest region on the bracket, but Purdue should have an easy time in their first two games before facing either Kansas or Gonzaga in the Sweet 16. My numbers have the Boilers pegged as around a 6.5-point favorite in either of those matchups. A small sprinkle on Purdue +750 at Caesars to win the natty isn’t a bad play either.

Kentucky to Make the Sweet 16: -125 at DraftKings

This Kentucky team is super frustrating to watch, but they have more potential NBA players on their roster than any other collegiate squad. The Wildcats got a great big taste of humble pie after getting bounced out of the SEC Tournament in Round 1 by Texas A&M.

That loss may have been a blessing in disguise because now Coach Cal will have a few extra days to fire up his Big Blue crew for the Big Dance. It’s no secret that defense is the Achilles heel of this Kentucky team. The Cats rank 340th in points allowed and just 146th in defensive efficiency.

As bad as the defense has been, this Kentucky team is electric on offense. Antonio Reeves leads the Cats in scoring with 20 points per game, but Rob Dillingham (15.4 ppg) and Reed Sheppard (12.8 ppg) are both significant contributors off the bench. Coach Cal’s last few March Madness appearances haven’t been great, but we’ll roll the dice that he wins at least 2 games this time around. We also took a small taste of Kentucky to win the tourney at +3000 at FanDuel.

Creighton to Make the Elite 8: +205 at DraftKings (½ unit)

I’m only playing this one for half a unit because Creighton will probably draw a tough Sweet 16 game against either Texas or Tennessee. I have the Vols as a couple of points better than Creighton, but there’s still plenty to like about this Bluejays team.

Creighton has a ton of tournament experience, as all of their Top 4 scorers are upperclassmen (3 seniors). Baylor Scheierman is the engine that makes this offense click, as he leads the team in both points (18.4) and rebounds (9.0). Center Ryan Kalkbrenner is 7’1” and 270 pounds, so he’ll pose matchup problems for just about any opponent.

Another thing I like about this Bluejays team is that they’re battle-tested. They racked up huge wins against No.1 UConn and No. 5 Marquette during the regular season, so we know that they can hang with the big boys. Caesars is offering up +3000 on Creighton’s title odds and I put a peanut on that for my futures portfolio as well.

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