Michigan State favored in Vegas to win title

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Three blue bloods and an upstart have the best odds to win the national championship as the college basketball season tips off.

Michigan State is the consensus national title favorite. The Spartans are 11-2 at Caesars Sportsbook, followed by Kansas and Kentucky at 6-1, and Memphis at 8-1. Duke and Louisville are 10-1, and North Carolina is 13-1.

No. 1 Michigan State opens its season Tuesday against No. 2 Kentucky in the second game of a doubleheader in the Champions Classic at Madison Square Garden (9:30 p.m. ET, ESPN). The Spartans are 2.5-point favorites. No. 3 Kansas and No. 4 Duke collide in the first game (7 p.m. ET, ESPN). The Jayhawks are 2-point favorites.

More money has been bet on Michigan State to win the national championship than on any other team at Caesars Sportsbook.

Memphis, however, has seen its odds improve the most during the offseason. The Tigers, coached by former NBA star Penny Hardaway, were 40-1 in May. Now, only Michigan State, Kansas and Kentucky have better odds than Memphis.

Louisville also has seen their odds improve significantly. The Cardinals were 30-1 in May and are now 10-1.

Virginia, last season's national champion, is 25-1 to repeat. Among other notable teams, Florida is 16-1; Villanova is 22-1, and Gonzaga is 25-1. Texas Tech, which lost to Virginia in last season's championship game, is 28-1.

Teams that have attracted most money to win national championship (Caesars Sportsbook, Nov. 5):

  1. Michigan State

  2. Kansas

  3. Kentucky

  4. Duke

  5. Louisville

  6. Memphis

  7. North Carolina