2019 NCAA Basketball Championship Futures

October 26, 1:03 PM EDT

The defending champion Philadelphia Eagles will be traveling to London to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars. Starting with the home team, the Jaguars are 3-4 on the season coming off their third straight loss against the Houston Texans 20-7. This now puts the Jaguars in third place in the AFC South with a 3-4 record and a bit of a quarterback controversy on their hands, but we’ll get to that eventually.

Another season of college basketball is right around the corner as the starting point for every team's quest to earn a spot in the 2019 NCAA Tournament in March. A few of the top teams in the nation have their sights set much higher; aiming for a national title.

Ahead of the start of a new college basketball season, 5Dimes online sportsbook has recently updated its futures odds to win the 2019 National Championship. Most of the usual contenders are at the top of the class with a few programs weighing in as possible overachievers.

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The Top of the Class

The ACC’s Duke Blue Devils and the SEC’s Kentucky Wildcats share top honor as +600 co-favorites to win it all this season. You can throw the West Coast Conference’s Gonzaga Bulldogs (+750) and the Big 12’s Kansas Jayhawks into the mix as the top of the 2019 class.

Going back to the 2008 NCAA Tournament, Duke has claimed two national titles with Kansas and Kentucky each winning one championship. The Jayhawks come into this season as the No.1-ranked team on both the AP Top 25 and the USA Today Coaches Poll. Kentucky is the consensus No. 2 team in the nation with Gonzaga and Duke rounding out the AP’s top four teams. The Blue Devils get the nod ahead of the Bulldogs in the Coaches Poll at No. 3.

Regardless of the futures odds as well as the national rankings, these four teams will start the new season as the top of the class.

The turnover at Duke includes the loss of Marvin Bagley III and Grayson Allen, but like all major programs, the new talent coming in might even be better than the exiting players. Names like Tre Jones, Cam Reddish, and RJ Barrett are poised to make their mark playing for Coach K’s fabled Blue Devils.

John Calipari's Kentucky Wildcats turn over most of their roster every season with the knack for recruiting one-and-done players. Their frontcourt does have some experience with the backcourt featuring some fresh faces. Look for Reid Travis and Immanuel Quickly to make an immediate impact as new faces in the starting five.

Gonzaga came as close as you can get to winning a national title with the loss to Villanova in last season's championship game. Josh Perkins, Zach Norvell Jr., and Corey Kispert are back from that team along with a solid core of new recruits.

The biggest task for the Jayhawks is replacing Devonte’ Graham’s impact in the starting lineup. Star recruits Devon Dotson, Quentin Grimes and Dedric Lawson will be a good start along with veteran players Marcus Garrett and Udoka Azubuike.

The Overachievers

Going back to 5Dimes’ futures board, the next wave of contenders include the ACC’s North Carolina Tar Heels and the Big East’s Villanova Wildcats at +1400 betting odds to win another national title. These two programs have combined to win the last three NCAA Tournaments, including the time they played each other in 2016. Since 2005, Roy Williams’ Tar Heels have brought home three national titles as compared to Jay Wright’s two titles in three years as coach of the Wildcats.

The AP Top 25 has North Carolina ranked No. 8 followed by Villanova. The coaches have given these teams a bit more love with the Tar Heels at No. 7 with the Wildcats next on the list.

North Carolina’s fortunes this season could depend heavily on the play of freshman Coby White and Nassir Little as highly touted recruits. Also in the mix is Luke Maye as one of the best players back from last year’s squad.

Villanova has always been one of the best team’s in the Big East under Wright, but more recently, he has been able to turn this program into a national power. A big chunk of last season’s championship lineup as moved on, but the addition of Jahvon Quinerly and Cole Swider along with veterans Eric Paschall and Phil Booth should keep things interesting for the defending champs.