College basketball odds: Breaking down the contenders to win the 2022 NCAA Tournament by tiers (2024)

The dog days of summer have come to an end for many across the college landscape as students are trickling back to campus for fall classes this month, meaning preparation for the 2021-22 college basketball season is already well underway. So with rosters mostly set for the upcoming season, it's time to reassess how best to spend some of your hard-earned cheddar with an updated look at college basketball futures bets to win the 2022 NCAA Tournament..

Sure, there are still months away until the season starts -- 84 days to be exact! -- but now's the time when real value can be extracted by digging deep on rosters and projecting ahead to the season. My best stab at that is below.

College basketball odds: Breaking down the contenders to win the 2022 NCAA Tournament by tiers (1)

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I've separated the teams I like most into tiers in descending order based on current odds from Caesars Sportsbook.

Tier 1: The Gonzaga tier

Team: Gonzaga (7-1)

Gonzaga went 30-0 last season before Baylor outclassed the Bulldogs in the national championship game. So I get the apprehension about the Zags entering the season, especially after losing Jalen Suggs, Corey Kispert and Joel Ayayi. But there's a very good chance next season it's Gonzaga, which is ranked No. 1 in the CBS Sports early preseason Top 25 And 1 vs. the field. They return mustached mega-star Drew Timme and a reliable backcourt presence in Andrew Nembhard while enrolling the No. 2 recruiting class in the country led by 7-footer Chet Holmgren, a contender to go No. 1 in the 2022 NBA Draft. It's hard to imagine any team in college hoops matching the Zags' talent next season.

Tier 2: The frontrunners

Teams: UCLA (12-1), Texas (15-1)

There's quite a contrast between these two teams. UCLA returns four of its top five scorers and adds a potential lottery pick in Peyton Watson to its roster while maintaining stability at the helm with Mick Cronin. Texas on the other hand returns Courtney Ramey and Andrew Jones but turns over most of its roster with a transfer-heavy class -- and also brings in a first-year coach in Chris Beard. Both are among the more fascinating teams to watch entering next season as likely frontrunners to win their respective leagues. Between the coaching acumen on both sidelines and the offseason momentum there's reason to buy stock here.

Tier 3: Contenders with value

Odds: Purdue (14-1), Alabama (20-1)

There's no team in the Big Ten I'm higher on next season than Purdue. Jaden Ivey and Trevion Williams are back, for starters. That's a 1-2 punch that might be as good as any in college hoops. But Zach Edey and Sasha Stefanovic are back, too, meaning the team has its top four scorers returning from last season and at 14-1 odds, that's better value than Michigan (12-1).

Alabama at 20-1 is juicy as well. After winning the SEC regular season and SEC Tournament, the Crimson Tide are primed to reload in 2021. Getting back their top two scorers from last season in Jaden Shackelford and Jahvon Quinerly should help on that front but Nate Oats has also accumulated real depth as well. Five-star point guard J.D. Davison and transfer guard Nimari Burnett factor in as day-one contributors.

Tier 4: Big brands with big value

Teams: Duke (16-1), Kansas (16-1), Kentucky (20-1)

Duke went 13-11 last season but has upgraded its talent in a meaningful way with the additions of Paolo Banchero, AJ Griffin, Trevor Keels and Theo John. Still, there's some uncertainty here about the Blue Devils -- likely in part because there's uncertainty about a lot of the 2022 draft class because of the pandemic and limited scouting opportunities. But if you're in on Banchero and Griffin being potential top-five guys -- which I very much am -- then I think at 16-1 there's some real value knowing you're gambling on a pair of players with All-American potential backed by a Hall of Fame coach. I try not to put much stock into narratives when considering futures bet, but Mike Krzyzewski entering his last season adds to the many reasons I like Duke. Everyone in that program is going to be pulling in the right direction for one last run to get him a championship and send him out on a high note.

Kansas and Kentucky at 16-1 and 20-1, respectively, are fliers I like quite a bit as well. Neither team is close to the most talented Bill Self or John Calipari has fielded but both are heavy on transfers and experience. In the case of KU, Self has a ton of guards who can score and create. With Kentucky, Calipari has addressed shooting and shot-creation and has talent inside and out to be one of the smartest, oldest teams he's had in Lexington.

Tier 5: My favorite values

Teams: Memphis (30-1), UNC (30-1)

Memphis at 30-1 is one of the true, "Wait, what?" numbers on the board to me. It just landed five-star Jalen Duren, a No. 1 pick candidate for 2022, and is one of the favorites to land five-star Emoni Bates, who just reclassified and could join Duren in a recruiting class that would rank No. 1 in 2021. The Tigers also bring in transfers Earl Timberlake, Chandler Lawson and Tyler Harris. And oh -- by the way -- they return their top two scorers in Landers Nolley and Deandre Williams, too. This team is just laughably loaded. If the Bates decision breaks right, they might have two future top-five picks on their roster. That's something no team outside of Duke could say with any level of confidence.

UNC at that same number is on my list here as well. Hubert Davis being in his first year on the job as coach is likely reason this is longer odds than normal in the preseason for UNC. But this Tar Heels team is nothing if not completely loaded with talent and between Caleb Love, Brady Manek, Armando Bacot and Dawson Garcia, it's a situation Davis might be able to thrive in right away.

Tier 6: Longshot to watch

Teams: Auburn (60-1), Iowa (100-1)

Look, if you're in Vegas, I'm not opposed to throwing down a Jackson on Auburn and just seeing what happens. Here's the pitch with Auburn:

  • Top-tier coach in Bruce Pearl
  • Top-tier recruit in five-star enrollee Jabari Smith
  • Top-tier transfers in Walker Kessler and K.D. Johnson
  • Top-tier NBA prospect in Allen Flanigan

So much talent and so much potential with this team. If it clicks into place -- which Pearl-coached teams often do -- then there's a not-insignificant chance this Tigers team is the best in the SEC.

2021 NCAA Tournament odds

Odds to win the 2022 NCAA Tournament from Caesars Sportsbook

Gonzaga Bulldogs+700
Michigan Wolverines+1200
Villanova Wildcats+1200
UCLA Bruins+1200
Purdue Boilermakers+1400
Texas Longhorns+1500
Ohio State Buckeyes+1600
Duke Blue Devils+1600
Kansas Jayhawks+1600
Baylor Bears+1800
Illinois Fighting Illini+2000
Florida State Seminoles+2000
Houston Cougars+2000
Alabama Crimson Tide+2000
Kentucky Wildcats+2000
Michigan State Spartans+3000
Memphis Tigers+3000
Maryland Terrapins+3000
North Carolina Tar Heels+3000
Arkansas Razorbacks+3000
Virginia Cavaliers+3500
Virginia Tech Hokies+4000
West Virginia Mountaineers+4000
Louisville Cardinals+4000
Tennessee Volunteers+5000
Wisconsin Badgers+5000
USC Trojans+5000
Arizona Wildcats+5000
Oregon Ducks+5000
LSU Tigers+5000
Texas Tech Red Raiders+5000
Creighton Bluejays+6000
Florida Gators+6000
Connecticut Huskies+6000
Auburn Tigers+6000
Indiana Hoosiers+7500
Oklahoma Sooners+7500
Oklahoma State Cowboys+7500
Syracuse Orange+7500
St. Bonaventure Bonnies+8000
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets+10000
Oregon State Beavers+10000
Iowa Hawkeyes+10000
Xavier Musketeers+10000
Loyola Ramblers+10000
San Diego State Aztecs+10000
Colorado Buffaloes+10000
Missouri Tigers+10000
Georgetown Hoyas+10000
Arizona State Sun Devils+10000
St. Johns Red Storm+15000
Mississippi State Bulldogs+15000
Saint Louis Billikens+15000
Clemson Tigers+15000
Wichita State Shockers+15000
Butler Bulldogs+15000
BYU Cougars+15000
Ole Miss Rebels+15000
North Carolina State Wolf Pack+15000
Stanford Cardinal+15000
Marquette Golden Eagles+20000
Minnesota Golden Gophers+20000
VCU Rams+20000
Richmond Spiders+20000
Notre Dame Fighting Irish+20000
Penn State Nittany Lions+20000
SMU Mustangs+20000
Belmont Bruins+20000
Colorado State Rams+25000
Cincinnati Bearcats+25000
Utah Utes+25000
Providence Friars+30000
Nevada Wolf Pack+30000
Iowa State Cyclones+30000
Georgia Bulldogs+30000
Drake Bulldogs+30000
Pittsburgh Panthers+30000
Boise State Broncos+30000
Miami Hurricanes+30000
Liberty Flames+50000
Dayton Flyers+50000
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs+50000
South Carolina Gameco*cks+100000
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers+100000
Buffalo Bulls+100000
Kansas State Wildcats+100000
UNLV Rebels+100000
TCU Horned Frogs+100000
Washington State Cougars+100000
Nebraska Cornhuskers+100000
Northwestern Wildcats+100000
Utah State Aggies+100000
UCF Knights+100000
Iona Gaels+100000
Rhode Island Rams+100000
Washington Huskies+100000
Davidson Wildcats+100000
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos+100000
North Texas Mean Green+150000
Marshall Thundering Herd+150000
St. Mary's Gaels+150000
Oral Roberts Golden Eagles+150000
UMass Minutemen+150000
UAB Blazers+200000
Ohio Bobcats+200000
George Mason Patriots+200000
South Florida Bulls+200000
New Mexico Lobos+200000
South Dakota State Jackrabbits+200000
Vermont Catamounts+200000
Abilene Christian Wildcats+200000
San Francisco Dons+200000
Colgate Raiders+200000
Kent State Golden Flashes+200000
Wake Forest Demon Deacons+200000
Wright State Raiders+200000
California Golden Bears+200000
Northern Iowa Panthers+200000
Texas State Bobcats+200000
Yale Bulldogs+200000
Duquesne Dukes+200000
Boston College Eagles+200000
Old Dominion Monarchs+200000
Vanderbilt Commodores+200000
Tulsa Golden Hurricanes+200000
Furman Paladins+200000
Wyoming Cowboys+200000
Indiana State Sycamores+250000
Akron Zips+250000
Cal Irvine Anteaters+250000
Drexel Dragons+250000
Southern Utah Thunderbirds+250000
Grand Canyon Antelopes+250000
UNC Greensboro Spartans+250000
Toledo Rockets+250000
James Madison Dukes+250000
Little Rock Trojans+250000
DePaul Blue Demons+250000
Stephen F Austin Lumberjacks+250000
Bradley Braves+250000
Coastal Carolina Chanticleers+250000
Charleston Cougars+250000
Hofstra Pride+250000
New Mexico State Aggies+250000
Winthrop Eagles+250000
Loyola Marymount Lions+250000
Eastern Kentucky Colonels+250000
Temple Owls+250000
Missouri State Bears+250000
ETSU Buccaneers+250000
Wofford Terriers+250000
Morehead State Eagles+250000
St. Josephs Hawks+250000
Georgia State Panthers+250000
Siena Saints+250000
Cleveland State Vikings+250000
Bowling Green Falcons+250000
Pacific Tigers+250000
Fresno State Bulldogs+250000
Tulane Green Wave+250000
Appalachian State Mountaineers+250000
Louisiana Ragin Cajuns+25000
College basketball odds: Breaking down the contenders to win the 2022 NCAA Tournament by tiers (2024)
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