The Wynn and Westgate SuperBook each installed Duke as the favorite at 5-1 on Sunday afternoon after the bracket was released. William Hill's Nevada sportsbook, however, lists North Carolinaas the favorite at 13-2, and MGM's sportsbook has Kansas as the favorite at 6-1.
At the Westgate, North Carolina is right behind Duke at 6-1, followed by Kansas, Kentuckyand Villanova, which are each listed at 8-1.Gonzaga, the No. 1 seed in the West Region, is 10-1.
Kansas, Villanova and North Carolina are the other No. 1 seeds. Duke is a No. 2 seed in the East Region.
The Blue Devils began the season as the consensus favorites to win the national championship but were hampered by injuries and suspensions to key players. They twice went through stretches of losing three of four games, including in the final two weeks of the regular season. Heading into the conference tournament, the Blue Devils were not listed as the national title favorites at any of six prominent Las Vegas sportsbooks.
But Duke's uneven season didn't deter the money on the Blue Devils. More money was bet on Duke to win the national title than any other team at the SuperBook, more than double the amount bet on Kentucky, which attracted the second-most money. The book at the South Point casino took two $10,000 bets on the Blue Devils from the same bettor in the past few weeks.
"They won't stop betting it," Ed Salmons, assistant manager at the SuperBook, said of the action on Duke.
Louisville, Arizonaand UCLAare each listed at 12-1 at the SuperBook, followed by Oregonat 25-1.
ESPN experts make their Final Four picks
Jay Bilas, Jay Williams, Seth Greenberg and Rece Davis make their picks for the Elite 8, Final Four and title game picks that features both shades of blue from Tobacco Road on numerous occasions.
Davis surprised Duke, Villanova in same region
Rece Davis is shocked to see Duke, which he feels is the strongest No. 2 seed, placed in the same region as defending national champion Villanova.