Duke opens as Las Vegas favorite to win 2019 NCAA tournament

ByDavid Purdum ESPN logo
Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Dukeheads into the offseason as the favorite to win the 2019 men's basketball national championship at the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas.

The sportsbook on Monday installed the Blue Devils as the favorites at 5-1, ahead of new national champion Villanova.

The Wildcats, who took down Michiganon Monday to win their second national title in three years, opened at 8-1 for next season's championship, along with Kansas and Kentucky.

North Carolina is 12-1, followed by Michigan State, Gonzaga and Virginia, which are each 15-1.

Duke is expected to lose several key players to the NBA draft, but it is bringing in another stellar recruiting class. The Blue Devils reached the Elite Eight of this year's NCAA tournament before falling to Kansas in overtime. Duke starsMarvin Bagley III,Wendell Carter Jr.and Trevon Duval are considered potential NBA lottery picks, and senior guard Grayson Allen will not be back for coach Mike Krzyzewski.

Duke will reload with the nation's No. 1 recruiting class. Krzyzewski has received commitments from the top three prospects in the 2018 class inR.J. Barrett, Zion Williamson and Cam Reddish.

Michigan opened at 20-1 for next season's title, along with Oregon. West Virginia, UCLA and Auburn are 30-1.

Loyola-Chicago, which reached this season's Final Four as an 11-seed, opened at 500-1 to win next year's tournament at the SuperBook.

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