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March Madness Betting: Coaches Impact Odds

Like it or not, there are those who can rattle off more of the high-profile coaches than the top players in this year’s March Madness bracket. The best-known coaches also happen to be among those with teams with the best Las Vegas odds to make deep runs in the March Madness bracket.

A potential Tom Izzo-Hubert Davis second-round matchup or a Bill Self vs Mark Few clash in the second round would certainly be fun to watch.

March Madness Trends: Coaches Impact Odds
Head coach Dan Hurley of the Connecticut Huskies celebrates with his players | Greg Fiume/Getty Images/AFP

When looking at our odds of winning March Madness, UConn (+400), Houston (+600) and Purdue (+700) lead the way in the odds to win the national title.

Let’s take a look at five intriguing coaches heading into the 2024 NCAA tournament.

Dan Hurley, UConn

Since the legendary John Wooden coached UCLA to an unthinkable seven consecutive national titles from 1967-73, only Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski and Florida’s Billy Donovan have been the head coaches on back-to-back men’s Division I national titles.

UConn’s Dan Hurley can join that fraternity if the Huskies win their next six games.

Despite losing its top two scorers and three players who have appeared in NBA games this season, the Huskies lead the way at +400 in the March Madness odds.

Big East officials have mostly turned a blind eye to Hurley’s sideline antics. It will be interesting to see what happens if UConn gets a crew that hasn’t seen the, shall we say, rather intense UConn coach.

The Huskies have all the pieces with an elite point guard (Tristen Newton), top-notch shooters (Cam Spencer and Alex Karaban), and a 7-foot-2 man in the middle in Donovan Clingan, so this is a team that can win it all, and win in a variety of ways.

UConn enters the tournament favored by the college basketball odds to win another title.

Matt Painter, Purdue

A loss in the Big Ten tournament only furthers the talk that Matt Painter’s Purdue teams come up short when the lights are the brightest.

Purdue has lost in the first round in two of the last three NCAA tournaments, with last year’s loss to the 16th-seeded Fairleigh Dickinson Knights likely to be remembered for years to come as one of the biggest upsets in March Madness history.

Purdue has 7-foot-4 Zach Edey, the front-runner to win the National Player of the Year award according to the NCAAB tournament odds.

There are concerns about the health of Braden Smith, one of four Purdue players with at least 45 3-pointers.

Tony Bennett, Virginia

If there is a team that received an at-large bid that will be under the microscope, it could be Tony Bennett’s Virginia Cavaliers.

Virginia was 54th in the NCAA NET rankings with just a 2-7 record in Quad 1 games.

The Cavaliers needed overtime just to reach the ACC semifinals before falling in overtime to the Cinderella North Carolina State Wolfpack.

The last time Virginia faced a ranked team, the Cavaliers fell 73-48 to Duke so there is very little about this Virginia team that screams “NCAAB Tournament squad“.

An early exit will only intensify the naysayers who suggest that the Cavaliers don’t belong in the March Madness bracket. Virginia is well back at +30000 in the March Madness odds.

Tom Izzo, Michigan State

It has been 24 years since Izzo’s Michigan State team won the national title. And while there have been some runs to the Final Four for Izzo and the Spartans, there have also been some early exits.

He joins Bill Self of Kansas, John Calipari of Kentucky, Virginia’s Bennett, Scott Drew of Baylor, and UConn’s Hurley as previous men’s Division I championship coaches who have their teams in the field of 68.

Izzo’s Michigan State teams are 3-3 in the last three NCAA tournaments and the Spartans are 2-5 over their last seven games.

There will be plenty of those who bet online who will go with Izzo to pull off some March Madness magic, but will that be more than just wishful thinking?

Dan Monson, Long Beach State

Depending on who you want to believe, Monson was either fired effective at the end of the season or mutually agreed to leave Long Beach State.

However, before heading elsewhere, he led Long Beach State to the Big West tournament title and a first-round matchup with Arizona.

It is one of the more intriguing storylines of this tournament as the school opted not to appoint an interim head coach before Long Beach State defeated UC Riverside, UC Irvine and UC Davis to win the conference tournament and secure a spot in the NCAA Tournament.

It will take quite the effort to upset Arizona in the NCAA Tournament but it is still one heck of a story.



Questions of the Day

How many national championship-winning coaches are in this year’s tournament?

John Calipari of Kentucky, Bill Self of Kansas, Scott Drew of Baylor, and Dan Hurley of UConn look to lead their teams to another national title.

Which college basketball team in the March Madness bracket has the best record in the nation against the spread?

South Carolina is 23-10 against the spread and Iowa State is 23-10-1 ATS. San Diego State is among the teams perfect against Las Vegas odds when facing ranked opponents.

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