The end of the last season of college hoops was scripted to perfection. We got to witness an all-blue-blood Final Four and a historic comeback victory by the Kansas Jayhawks in the championship game to secure the school’s fourth national title.
We’re only a couple of weeks into the 2022-23 college basketball season, and we’ve already seen a slight shift in NCAA national championship odds.
Gonzaga (priced between +850 and +1000) is the consensus betting favorite for the third straight year, followed by last season’s runner-up North Carolina (between +900 and +1000), Houston (between +850 and +1000), and Kentucky (between +900 and +1200).
Odds to Win 2023 March Madness Tournament
|Team||DraftKings||FanDuel||BetMGM Code TODAY||Caesars Code TODAYFULL|
|North Carolina Tar Heels||+900||+1000||+900||+900|
|Duke Blue Devils||+1600||+1300||+1600||+1800|
|Illinois Fighting Illini||+4000||+3500||+5000||+5000|
|Texas Tech Red Raiders||+4000||+4000||+3500||+4000|
|Alabama Crimson Tide||+5000||+5000||+4000||+5000|
|TCU Horned Frogs||+4500||+5500||+5000||+5000|
|San Diego State Aztecs||+6000||+7000||+6600||+6000|
|Michigan State Spartans||+6000||+7000||+5000||+8000|
As always, college basketball futures markets are among the most competitive in the industry. The last team standing is rarely the favorite, though that doesn’t mean you should take a stab at longshots with no realistic title aspirations.
Make sure to shop around different sportsbooks, as some books offer better odds than others for the same team.
NCAA National Champion Favorites
Gonzaga (+1000, Caesars)
Earning a top seed is low-hanging fruit for the Zags, but once it’s time for March Madness, that’s when the program finds itself in dire straits.
Is this the year Mark Few and the Bulldogs finally get over the hump and call themselves national champions? Well, Drew Timme surely thinks so, because he waved off entering the NBA Draft to return for a fifth and final season.
Joining Timme are returning starters Julian Strawther and Rasir Bolton, along with Chattanooga transfer Malachi Smith. Gonzaga has the talent and depth for another easy top-seeded berth and deep run.
College basketball futures betting bonus: Win a Free $1,250 First Bet With Caesars Promo Code ‘TODAYFULL’
North Carolina (+1000, FanDuel)
The No. 8 Tar Heels were seconds away from clinching their seventh national title in school history, if not for a blown 15-point halftime lead against Kansas on the biggest stage.
But there’s a lot to love about Hubert Davis’ squad this year, starting with the return of leading scorer and rebounder Armando Bacot and three other key starters. North Carolina should make some serious noise in the tournament.
Houston (+1000, BetMGM & Caesars)
After losing two of its best players in Marcus Sasser and Traon Mark to injury midseason, Houston surprisingly mopped the floor with No. 4 Illinois and No. 1 Arizona, before falling to Villanova in the Elite Eight of last season’s NCAA Tournament.
Sasser and Mark – as well as ESPN’s No. 10 high school recruit Jarace Walker – lead a tough, formidable group that deserves to be among the betting favorites.
The Cougs should be able to cruise past the AAC to pave a fairly easy path in the tournament en route to a potential first national championship in their own town, with the Final Four set for NRG Stadium in Houston.
Kentucky (+1200, FanDuel)
Kentucky lost to No. 15 Saint Peter’s in the first round of March Madness last season despite being favored by 17.5 points (-5000 on the moneyline). It’s now been 11 years since John Calipari’s Wildcats last cut down the nets, and fans in Lexington demand change.
Oscar Tshiebwe – the nation’s top rebounder last year – should be able to bring about that change. The 2021-22 Wooden Award winner led Kentucky to a No. 2 seed last year and helped the team in multiple areas on the floor, which is why he’s one of the favorites to win the award two years running.
Buy Stock Now.
Odds to Win the John Wooden Award:
Drew Timme +700
Armando Bacot +850
Oscar Tshiebwe +950
Marcus Sasser +1600
Caleb Love +1900
Jaime Jaquez Jr. +2800
Trayce Jackson-Davis +2800
Nick Smith +2800
Hunter Dickinson +2800
Adama Sanogo +3600
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) November 4, 2022
Add two five-star recruits in Chris Livingston and Cason Wallace into the mix, and the Wildcats are now poised to have a successful season that could potentially end with a ninth championship.
NCAA National Champion Sleepers
UCLA (+2000, FanDuel & BetMGM)
The Bruins got bounced in the Sweet 16 by North Carolina, and then lost Johnny Juzang, Peyton Watson, and Jules Bernard to the NBA Draft.
Those players will surely be missed, but the team retained much of its veteran leadership with the return of two-time All-Pac-12 selections Jaime Jaquez and Tyger Campbell, along with Pac-12 All-Defensive selection Jaylen Clark.
UCLA also recruited two Amari Bailey and Adem Bona to bolster the team’s young talent. Mick Cronin is working with a revamped roster, but not one he can’t coach to national glory. UCLA made a run to the Final Four just two years ago, and is 7-2 in the NCAA Tournament in Cronin’s last two seasons.
Creighton (+2500, all sportsbooks)
Creighton isn’t a program known for deep runs in March Madness, having appeared in the Elite Eight stage just once (1941) in its history.
Housing eight freshmen in 2022, the young unit suffered injuries to Big East Freshman of the Year Ryan Nembhard and Big East Defensive Player of the Year Ryan Kalkbrenner late last season, which proved to be costly in the team’s loss to Kansas in the second round.
However, the Bluejays are now one year more mature and experienced, and have gotten even stronger by bringing in Baylor Scheierman, the 2022 Summit League Player of the Year.
Of course, they’ll have to compete at the conference level first before talking about reaching national acclaim. But once they begin firing on all cylinders, Greg McDermott and company surely have the makeup to ruffle some feather come tournament play.
Also read: Largest upsets in March Madness history