March Madness Odds 2022

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Betting on the NCAA Tournament is generally an edge-of-your-seat event, but the 2021 March Madness Tournament let to surprise winners and upsets. This all means that the 2022 March Madness Odds will be even more fun to follow.

The 2021 Tourname was interesting. Not Baylor winning the national title, or the way in which the Bears mauled a Gonzaga program desperate for its first NCAA college hoops championship—the Zags are now 0-for-2 in title tilts.

No, it is UCLA that still resonates with us. Gonzaga proved to be too much for the Bruins, but it took an overtime session for the Bulldogs to finally eliminate UCLA from the Final Four.

It is uncommon to name a team that did not win it all as the one that made the biggest splash from the previous season. But that’s UCLA, the bellwether basketball program that keeps a record 11 national championship trophies in its Westwood cabinets.

It has claimed only one over the past 46 seasons, but that dearth is over.

With so much talent returning and a couple of ballyhooed newcomers, expect the Bruins in the next Final Four in New Orleans.

Title No. 12? Over the next several seasons, that seems to be low-balling what UCLA will accomplish.

Odds To Win 2022 March Madneess – NCAA Tournament Championship 

Gonzaga has played in the past 22 NCAA Tournaments. It has reached the final twice, losing both, to North Carolina in 2017 and to Baylor, to cap 2020-21.

The Zags are no longer a minnow swimming upstream, battling to compete with the elite, as the early title odds (recent DraftKings figures) on ’21-20 suggest:

  • Villanova +900
  • Gonzaga 10/1
  • Michigan 12/1
  • Purdue 13/1
  • UCLA 13/1
  • Alabama 14/1

ZOOM: BOOK:

TEAMODDSCHANGE
GNZG Gonzaga12.50%3.41%
VILL Villanova10.00%
MICH Michigan7.69%
PUR Purdue7.14%
UCLA UCLA7.14%
ALA Alabama6.67%
OSU Ohio State6.67%
BAYL Baylor5.56%
DUKE Duke5.26%
FSU Florida State4.76%

Implied probabilities are calculated using odds offered by DraftKings.
Last Updated: 2021-04-23 00:00:00 PDT.

 
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+100000 +100000 0.10% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%

2022 Final Four Odds

Villanova (+900)

Collin Gillespie is back to run the show after left-knee surgery derailed him and the Wildcats in early March.

Without Gillespie, the Wildcats pushed and prodded Baylor before losing, 62-51, in a Sweet 16 game. Nova figures to play for much greater stakes when the next tourney rolls around.

I feel fortunate to have nabbed a 22/1 ticket on the Wildcats at William Hill soon after the title game in Indianapolis. Many other like-minded individuals have driven that figure down.

All Nova coach Jay Wright did was call Gillespie “the heart and soul” of the program. Wright expected the player to be at full strength for summer workouts, since he tore the MCL—not the ACL—in that knee.

“In that case,” Wright said of the ACL, a main knee stabilizer, “it would have been a different story.”

With two of the past five NCAA championships on his résumé, Wright is in an exclusive fraternity of current coaches with multiple national titles—Mike Krzyzewski of Duke is the only other member.

Nova had the most efficient offense in the 11-team Big East Conference and sixth-best in the country.

Moreover, it took care of the ball better than any other Big East squad and was fourth in the nation with a paltry turnover rate of 13.7%.

Gillespie’s options in 2021-22 will be many, highlighted by 6-foot-9 super junior Jeremiah Robinson-Earl and 6-7 senior Jermaine Samuels, who chose to return for another virus-created senior season.

Moreover, fellow guards Justin Moore and Caleb Daniels are back to run what promises to be a dynamic Villanova team.

Samuels and Gillespie had planned to announce their returns simultaneously, via social media, but Samuels got distracted. Gillespie sent his note into the ether, and Samuels followed suit three minutes later.

Their on-court timing, thankfully for Nova supporters, is much crisper. It was soon after their twin announcements that the odds on the Wildcats began shortening, due to many smart shoppers.

“Obviously, having guys that are experienced in the program and playing with these guys for two years now was something that was intriguing, but it’s not something that we ever talk about going into a season,” Gillespie told reporters.

“We never talk about winning championships, it’s always about just becoming the best Villanova basketball team we could be by the end of the season. I think these guys did an amazing job of just finishing out the stretch of the year after I went down. They did an incredible job.”

UCLA (13/1)

A doctor pal, who did his undergraduate work at Arizona State, has for decades boasted about the Pac-12 being a “meat grinder,” that its constituents routinely beat on each other to their own detriment.

I stopped eye-rolling in March, when it ran roughshod in the NCAAs, easily becoming the story of the tourney. And THE story was UCLA, which won six in a row only to lose that overtime thriller to Gonzaga in a national semifinal.

The great debate ensued—had the Bruins conquered the Zags, how would they have fared against Baylor? I say UCLA would have won, would have been an unstoppable locomotive in claiming national trophy No. 12.

That’s all speculation, of course. In 2021-22, however, the Bruins will not slow down. This time, they will surprise nobody.

Mick Cronin’s third season in Westwood could be scary. The spitfire coach’s charges are listening, playing stout defense, running when dared, playing lethal, deliberate offense.

And the Bruins are very deep, even if 6-9 guard Chris Smith (torn ACL) departs. Tyger Campbell is the floor general, and two premier options are Johnny Juzang—the star of the 2021 NCAAs with 137 points in six games—and Jaime Jazquez Jr.

Their returning complements are stellar, or did someone miss power forward Cody Riley’s near-perfect impersonation of Ed O’Bannon down the stretch?

Five-star 6-7 wing Peyton Watson and top-50 shooting guard Will McClendon add to the nation’s premier roster. Center Myles Johnson left Rutgers to join the powerhouse in Westwood.

Cronin keeps looking ahead, too, and has inked Top-100 recruit Dylan Andrews, a point guard from Los Angeles, for 2022-23. UCLA has “hit the jackpot,” noted one recruiting service of Andrews, who chose the Bruins over Arizona, Kansas, and North Carolina.

Its fantastic 2021 NCAA Tournament simply served notice that no Pac-12 squad grinds meat like UCLA.

Duke (18/1)

No program felt the pandemic pinch more than the Blue Devils. Anyone disagreeing has never been inside Cameron Indoor Stadium, which holds about 10,000 but, to enemies, must feel as if 30,000 are within arm’s reach.

With no fans in the stands, Duke dropped an unheard-of five games on its own court. Their hopeful return will give the Devils, a 4-1 shot to get to the Final Four, an adrenaline boost it sorely missed last season.

Without those rabid fans, Duke’s “home-court advantage,” according to stat guru Ken Pomeroy’s metrics, rated 71st last season. Look for that to return to top-five status, if not No. 1, next season with that exceptional fan base.

Others who will most benefit from having their supporters back include Colorado, West Virginia, Memphis, Iowa, and Utah, just to name a few.

Alabama (14/1)

We cannot get enough of Bama boss Nate Oats, in what he says, how he says it, and the way his charges respond to him. They will run, opponents know it and had better keep up; many can’t.

His top four guards—Jahvon Quinerly, Jaden Shackelford, Josh Primo, and Keon Ellis—return, and five-star recruit JD Davison will only push that unit. Nimari Burnett, who left Texas Tech, gives the Tide the nation’s best backcourt unit.

Power forward Noah Gurley(15.4 ppg, 5.8 rpg), a Furman transfer who picked Alabama over seven other programs, will bolster the frontline.

Next Four For The Final Four

Gonzaga (10/1)

There they are, among the best in the land. The Zags are not going anywhere off that perch, not so long as Mark Few is running the show.

Dan Monson once told me how he’d never chase the big bucks, before he chased the big bucks and left Spokane for Minnesota … and oblivion. Few is there to stay, and the elusive crown will be his one day.

Ohio State (14/1)

Jamari Wheeler leaving Penn State for Columbus gives Ohio State a steady backcourt rudder that adds to coach Chris Holtmann’s arsenal.

The Buckeyes received excellent news in mid-April, when Kyle Young (8.6 ppg, 5.5 rpg) announced he’d return. He’s the forward who suffered a concussion late this past season and whose effects kept him from playing in the NCAAs.

EJ Liddell (16.2 ppg, 6.7 rpg) is a first-team All-Big Ten selection and the favorite for league player of the year as a junior, and point guard Duane Washington Jr. (16.4 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 2.9 apg) makes the Buckeyes formidable.

Holtmann awaits news on CJ Walker (9.5 ppg, 4.4 apg, 3.2 rpg), which will likely determine if the Bucks remain in this spot.

Texas (14/1)

Shaka Smart’s shift to Marquette opened the doors for Chris Beard’s coaching transfer from Texas Tech, and the burnt-orange base of alums and fans could not be more excited.

Andrew Jones and Jase Febres are staying, Devin Askew transfers in from Kentucky and Timmy Allen (15.6 ppg) left Utah for Austin.

Jones (14.6 ppg), the dynamic guard who has battled leukemia, only turned in his best season in ’20-21.

Syracuse (33/1)

Orange foes will now see Boeheims in triplicate. Fitting, since Buddy and newcomer/brother Jimmy, who transferred home from Cornell, should terrorize opponents from 3-point land.

Their innate knowledge of that pesky, dastardly 2-3 zone defense will only improve Syracuse and further confound the other guys.

In a stretch of seven of nine games, including two in the NCAAs, Buddy canned 41 of 75 attempts (54.7%) from distance. Then he and his Cuse mates ran into Houston, which allowed him to sink only one of nine from beyond the arc.

As a sophomore at Cornell, Jimmy made 35.1% of his bombs, and he played largely out of position in the Ivy League. Now, he’s back on very familiar—and familial—turf. Cuse, by the way, is +700 to get to the Final Four.

Transfers Affecting March Madness Odds

 Arizona State coach Bobby Hurley added nearly 70 points of offense when a sterling quartet transferred to the Sun Devils, whose odds are 100-1 to win it all.

AJ Bramah (21.0 ppg, Robert Morris), Jay Heath (14.5, Boston College), marksman DJ Horne (15.1, Illinois State) and Marreon Jackson (18.1, Toledo) will greatly improve a team that was eighth in its league in adjusted offensive efficiency.

The Devils also were third from the bottom in defensive efficiency and weaklings on the boards. They did suffer many injuries, but the new infusion figures to infuse the program. At 100-1, an investment might be wise.

A year ago, I nabbed an exceptional 80-1 ticket on Texas, with the sole purpose of doubling my investment, on PropSwap, when the Horns won a few in a row. That’s precisely what I did, and this ASU ticket could serve the exact same purpose.

Indiana State – Chapel Hill?

That was our first thought when forward Brady Manek (10.8 ppg, 5 rpg) decided to leave Oklahoma for North Carolina (33-1 odds) and help new boss Hubert Davis in his big reconstruction efforts.

A pal who is a huge Larry Bird fan and I have kidded about Manek’s close resemblance to Larry Legend, and now Manek will don a soft-blue uniform. Powder blue. Carolina blue. Call it whatever you like.

But now it’ll be downright eerie, impossible to see that kid playing for the Tar Heels and not think of the Sycamores of yore.

Porter In Norman

We were hoping Manek would stick around at Oklahoma and help new coach Porter Moser, hired from Loyola Chicago after Lon Kruger retired from a sensational career.

Instead, Moser, who turned the Ramblers into such a magnificent national story, has quite a challenge ahead of him as not just Manek has flown the Sooners’ coop.

Still, they’re 25-1 shots, which Loyola could dream about in its best seasons. Oklahoma is only one of the intriguing storylines we’re monitoring closely.

Take the Under in the two Sooners-Longhorns games next season

A Familiar Face In The NCAA

The last time Kevin Kruger was in control inside the Thomas & Mack Center, UNLV experienced its lone blip of success since Jerry Tarkanian’s vaunted run ended in 1991.

In 2007, with Kevin at the point and pop Lon as boss, the Rebels went to the Sweet 16. Now Kevin is the boss, obtaining his first top post after TJ Otzelberger left for Iowa State.

It’s unlikely that UNLV brass even rang Stacey Augmon, a longtime NBA assistant and onetime Rebels lieutenant. Quite a slap, but just the latest, to the program’s greatest class.

As it turns out, Kevin gets his first shot at running a program. The Rebels (80-1 to win the crown, 18-1 to reach the Final Four) require a complete overhaul. With his pedigree and tenacity, however, do not expect Kevin to fail.

Well-traveled, he has considered Vegas his home ever since that spirited season, which could be the invaluable intangible to bring excitement back to the Thomas & Mack Center.

Sportsbooks With The Best NCAA Bracket Odds

The online marketplace for NCAA Tournament bracket odds vary, sometimes wildly, and fluctuate regularly, putting those who have done their homework in the best positions to capitalize.

Fifteen states currently allow online sports betting, and FanDuel and DraftKings are in 10 jurisdictions, BetMGM is in nine, William Hill eight, and BetRivers seven. Those are the biggest shops, but many smaller operations contribute to providing customers with deep menus.

Incentives are aplenty, too. In Colorado, Indiana, Michigan, and Virginia, William Hill Sportsbook has a $2,021 risk-free bet incentive, while in Illinois it’s $300. PointsBet offers $2,000 in risk-free bets in the Land of Lincoln. BetMGM has an initial risk-free amount of $600 in its nine states, and BetRivers has a $250 match. 

FanDuel sponsors a $1,000 risk-free bet, and DraftKings promotes a $1,000 deposit match. In New Jersey, WynnBET and FOX Bet offer $500 in risk-free wagers. Some sites accept Bitcoin, allow PayPal deposits and withdrawals, and offer parlay boosts and other incentives, and all are subject to change.

It always pays to shop, as shown in a review of random odds on Michigan, Iowa, Texas, and San Diego State at BetMGM, William Hill, and FanDuel.

The Wolverines, when we surveyed the charts, checked in at +700 at the first two, +600 at FanDuel. Recreational players might not regard such a difference, but that slim disparity is invaluable to the professional bettor over the long haul.

Iowa was +1800 at BetMGM, +1600 at both William Hill and FanDuel. The Longhorns were +1400 at BetMGM, +2500 at William Hill, +2300 at FanDuel.

The Aztecs checked in at +5000 at BetMGM, +7500 at both William Hill and FanDuel. Wager $100 to win $5,000, or $7,500? Makes a difference, which is why shopping is so important.

Best Bonus Offers For New Bettors On NCAA March Madness

How To Bet On March Madness

To show how to weigh in on March Madness point spreads, we offer as an example perhaps the most infamous betting line in college hoops history, Maryland-Baltimore County’s epic upset of Virginia in Charlotte, NC, on March 16, 2018.

The Retrievers won, 74-54, becoming the first 16-seeded squad to upend a top-seeded team. That an underdog of more than 20 points could outright beat such a perceived powerhouse by that margin seemed pure fiction, until the nightmare materialized for the Cavaliers.

William Hill SportsbookPoint SpreadMoneylineTotals
Virginia-20½ (-110)-4500O 119 (+110)
UMBC+20½ (-110)+2500U 119 (-110)

Odds bounced around at many books through the run-up to the game, so for our purposes, we will use William Hill’s numbers.

Wagering on the spread and total are termed “side” bets, which carry a 10% vigorish, or vig, price. Taking Virginia and giving the 20.5 points to win $200, say, would cost $220. If the Cavaliers win by at least 21 points, that ticket cashes.

If someone lays $220, to win $200, on Under 119, the ticket wins if both teams tally 118 or fewer points. If it finishes at 119, it’s a push and the principle is returned. A wager on Over 119 means both teams must combine to score at least 120 points for it to win.

Those side bets can be parlayed—say, Virginia to the Under—with a payoff of about 3.6 times the investment if it hits. The vigorish only applies to side bets, so a winning $100 two-way parlay would return about $360, or a net win of $260.

The more legs to a parlay, the higher rate of return. Professional bettors avoid parlays like the plague, though, since it’s such a challenge to simply win a single side wager. They abhor complicating the task of making this venture profitable over the long haul.

UMBC’s moneyline price, at 25-to-1 odds, against Virginia made it salacious, and 134 people at William Hill’s Nevada outlets put money on that bet. Six risked $100, receiving $2,600 (the winnings plus the principle) in return. One person at the Venetian made an $800 wager, at +2000, which returned $16,800.

A professional handicapper informed us of his penchant to back Nos. 1 and 2 seeds when they’re favored by fewer than 20 points against 16 and 15 seeds, respectively, in first-round matchups. He says, “It isn’t that rare, and [the higher seeds] always seem to want to prove something.”

Another pro conveyed backing an underdog team that is lethal from 3-point range against a superior opponent. “The great equalizer in college basketball,” he called the 3-point shot.

Programs that fit that label include South Dakota State, Cal Baptist, and Bryant, and such minnows riding a hot recent streak from distance include Cal State Fullerton, Texas State, Louisiana, and the College of Charleston.

NCAA Final Four Odds

Oddsmakers at sportsbooks establish futures figures in the preseason, applying their experience and power ratings for initial numbers that will get massaged— increase or decrease—according to the amounts of money they attract. Those figures could change daily, multiple times an hour, or not budge for a month.

Statistical guru Ken Pomeroy (KenPom), who issues a wealth of online information, is an established and experienced source that many oddsmakers will admit tapping in their quests to provide accurate information for games and futures options.

A flow of money coming in on one program at one book will result in a lowering of its odds, and the likely raising of other teams, all of which wouldn’t necessarily occur at competitors’ shops. Therefore, keeping regular tabs on odds everywhere can benefit in snatching value and, in the long term, making a profit.

What Affects March Madness Predictions And Odds

In March 2000, Cincinnati was soaring with Kenyon Martin, widely regarded as the game’s best player. A No. 1 seed in the NCAAs seemed an afterthought, a third national championship trophy for the Bearcats a strong likelihood.

Instead, Martin suffered a broken leg in the Conference USA tournament in Memphis. The Bearcats were dealt a No. 2 seed, and they were beaten by coach Bill Self and Tulsa in the second round of the NCAAs.

Anyone holding a futures ticket on that Cincinnati team probably still feels the sting. That’s Exhibit A of what can affect a team’s odds, point spread, and totals.

Injuries, transfer defections, and opt-outs all affect those numbers. When Duke lost talented freshman Jalen Johnson—who left to prepare for the NBA draft—in mid-February, its odds to win the whole thing varied between 60-1 and 150-1.

The Blue Devils, many believed, responded by playing better without Johnson. Their backers probably salivated about getting triple digits on Duke to win it all, if they moved fast.

Then there’s North Carolina State, which squeaked into the 1983 NCAAs by winning the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament. Then it won six and the national title. March Madness betting coups don’t come any better than Maryland-Baltimore County in 2018 or NC State in 1983.

NCAA Basketball Game Odds

If a team goes on a winning streak, it becomes an attractive futures bet and those corresponding odds will likely lessen as that team attracts attention and money.

That’s what I banked on when I bought an 80-to-1 ticket on Texas, in the preseason, to win it all. The Longhorns have an experienced cast, and my sole aim was to make a profit on the secondary ticket site PropSwap, hoping to double my investment.

The Horns complied. After a big win, I got a big nibble and indeed more than doubled my principle. A win for me and a win for the buyer, who obtained much better odds on Texas than were available at that time.

Restrictions On College Betting Online

The minimum age requirement is 21 in every legalized jurisdiction except Montana, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Washington, DC, where anyone 18 and older can make a wager. Rules vary among each jurisdiction.

Many states with legal sports betting place restrictions on college sports betting. This is to protect the players, who are often quite young. For example, states like New Jersey and Virginia place restrictions on betting on in-state college teams. Virginia does permit betting on in-state teams during March Madness, though. Many states, including Iowa and Tennesse, prohibit prop bets on March Madness and all college games.  Oregon prohibits all wagering on college sports at its retail sportsbook locations.

NCAA Basketball And March Madness Odds FAQs

Is It Legal To Be On March Madness Online?

Yes. Sports betting is legal in some form in almost two dozen states. Online sports betting is also legal in about a dozen states, including Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, DC.

Who Sets March Madness Betting Odds?

Bookmakers concoct their own futures, and game spreads and totals odds, then adjust those figures according to the market. If a flow of limit wagers comes in heavy on one team, expect the odds on that team to decrease and odds on other teams to increase, to attract money elsewhere, and, ultimately, to limit the book’s exposure and liability.

KenPom serves as the odds foundation for many sportsbooks, to which they themselves will admit, but they also factor their own oddsmakers’ power ratings and experiences, and an innate feel for the games and public appetite.

Where Can I Find March Madness Vegas Odds?

March Madness odds can be found on websites for many of the Vegas retail sportsbooks. Plus, online sportsbook apps that are legal in Nevada also carry odds. 

Where Can I Find The Best March Madness Picks?

Handicappers, and some of their ideas and selections, can be found on social media, and there are some very wise voices on other platforms, like the Vegas Stats and Information Network (VSiN) whose flagship voice is of the legendary broadcaster, Brent Musburger.

Although it requires many years to perfect, it is rewarding to do your own homework. Excellent resources include teamrankings.com and KenPom’s excellent databases, whose annual fee of $20 is a pittance. Those can be invaluable in helping bettors form their own power ratings and edges, leading to anomalies that can sometimes be glaring when comparing what a line should be to what’s on the big board in the books.

What Are The Odds Of A Perfect Bracket For March Madness?

The NCAA pegs the odds of picking all 63 games of the NCAA Tournament correctly at 1 in 9.223 quintillion, a quintillion being one billion billion—a number requiring six commas. The debate, though, is ongoing, as a Duke professor says it’s closer to 1 in 1.4 trillion, and one at DePaul pins it at 1 in 128 billion. Hey, what’s a comma or two?

Do The Sportsbooks Offer Live, In-game Betting For March Madness And The Final Four?

Many do, but each property’s offerings can vary. In many physical books in Vegas, adjusted in-game odds are available during the two or three minutes of commercial breaks—better wear your track shoes—and at the longer halftime breaks. Online offerings can be instantaneous, but a poor internet connection and heavy traffic can affect those transactions.

Does DraftKings Offer March Madness And Final Four Odds?

Yes. Those numbers are available at the company’s online site.

About the Author

Rob Miech

Veteran sportswriter Rob Miech covers soccer and does features for Gaming Today. He has written about college hoops for the Las Vegas Sun, CBS SportsLine and the Pasadena Star-News. He is the author of four books, including Sports Betting for Winners.

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