It is never too early to start thinking about the next college basketball season. There is more turnover at the university level each year compared to the NBA, not to mention plenty of more teams to consider. That's why we're bringing our 2022 NCAA college basketball championship odds and predictions to the table right now!
Like always, we will begin by taking a look at the latest NCAA basketball betting lines. Because we're so early into the process, the top online sportsbooks are giving odds for hundreds of schools at a time. To winnow down the field, we've built a list of every college laying 100-to-1 championship odds or better over at BetOnline:
|National Championship PIck|
|San Diego State||+5000|
As you can tell, even if you limit yourself to schools with a +10000 outrights or better, you still have more than 70 options from which to choose. Our goal, as always, is to streamline the college basketball betting process for you. Just make sure to confirm these NCAA odds before deciding on any wagers, as they will move between now and the start of the regular season.
2022 College Basketball Betting Breakdown
Obviously, we don't have room to cover all 70-something schools we've billed as legitimate title possibilities. So, we're instead going to cover the most pressing aspects of betting on this year's college basketball national championship.
Can Baylor Repeat As Champs?
Even though there has been just one team to repeat as national champions over roughly the past three decades—Florida in 2006 and 2007—the reigning winner tends to get favorable treatment unless their core is being gutted something awful. Baylor (+1800) currently lies somewhere in between. They're not quite favorites, but they're not heavy underdogs, either.
The primary concern lies with their outbound talent. Davion Mitchell and Jared Butler are both headed to the NBA, so they're losing two of their biggest offensive weapons.
Baylor is still returning a core of Adam Flagler, Matthew Mayer and Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua, and they're inbound recruiting class grades out in the top 10. They're not our favorite bet, but they're among the most solid repeat hopefuls in recent memory.
Should Gonzaga Really Be The Favorite?
Anyone remembering how thoroughly Baylor picked apart Gonzaga (+600) in last year's national title tilt won't feel great about the Zags once again being the odds-on favorite, let alone such a heavy odds-on favorite. But it's important not to read too much into one game.
Yes, the Zags disappointed by scoring just 70 points and flashing an inability to effectively attack the basket or knock down jumpers. Still, they were first in the nation in points scored per 100 possessions. That firepower doesn't just go away unless the nucleus of your roster is leaving
In Gonzaga's case, it's not. They might actually have gotten better. Drew Timme and Andrew Nembhard are both coming back, and they started for last year's 31-1 squad. They also enjoy one of the better-recruiting classes, one that welcomes two five-star freshmen in Chet Holmgren and Hunter Sallis.
Taking Stock Of National Championship Favorites
It's a little surprising to us that UCLA (+1400) is paying out 14-to-1 right now. They are returning every key player that helped them get to the Final Four last year. They definitely deserve some betting run at anything above a +1000.
On the flip side, be wary of Kentucky (+1200) laying top-three odds.
Head coach John Calipari plugged their gaping point guard void by bagging five-star prospect TyTy Washington and transfer Sahvir Wheeler. Kentucky also nabbed Kellan Grady, Oscar Tshiewbe, and CJ Frederick on the transfer market.
This is all a huge deal coming off their first losing season in approximately forever. But the offense will still struggle to carve out pristine spacing, and if you peruse preseason previews, you'll be hard-pressed to find anyone ranking them as a top-10 team right now, never mind a top-three title candidate.
Kansas (+1600) is probably slightly undervalued at their current price. They disappointed offensively last season, but they're returning four of their top-five scorers. That type of continuity is invaluable—particularly when paired with the additions of two high-level transfers in Remy Martin and Joseph Yesefu.
To the surprise of no one, Villanova (+1200) is hanging out near the top of the national championship pecking order. They are also returning four of their top-five scorers after Collin Gillispie and Jermaine Samuels both decided to come back. Without any real key losses, they have a chance to build off last year's top-10 offensive finish.
We don't mind Michigan (+1400) at their present price. They're getting back enough talent from last year back. Duke (+1400) for the same payout, on the other hand, leaves us leery.
They're adding three five-star prospects, the only team in the nation to do so. But they're all one-and-done candidates, which always has a chance of going awry when they're playing to build up their draft status. In his last season at the helm, Coach K has his work cut out for him.
2022 National Champion Prediction
And our 2022 college basketball national championship prediction is...Texas (+1800).
To be sure, this is subject to change as the season goes on. (Note: We gave serious consideration to Purdue (+2000)). But Texas has the makings of a sleeping giant in their first year under Chris Beard.
Last year's bland offensive attack is getting a huge infusion of talent after poaching four players from the transfer portal who averaged double figures in 2020-21: Tre Mitchell, Timmy Allen, Christian Bishop, and Dylan Disu.
With a much-improved offense and plenty of built-in defensive talent, Texas is a team worth your attention.
Check out this list of the top online sportsbooks so you can decide which to use for all your college basketball betting: