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2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Betting Update for February

| February 4, 2022 12:20 pm PDT

Last season, everyone knew Gonzaga and Baylor were far and away the best teams in the country. This season, we’ve seen a lot more parity.

Multiple teams have taken their spot as the No. 1 team in the country. Auburn currently holds the top spot, but I don’t think anyone thinks they’re unbeatable. We still have February and the first week of March before March Madness.

This seems like an optimal time to check out the updated odds for March Madness. BetOnline gives us the best odds for the 2022 NCAA Men’s Tournament.

Odds for the 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament

Gonzaga+525
Auburn+800
Kentucky+850
Duke+1000
Kansas+1200
Baylor+1200
Purdue+1200
Arizona+1200
UCLA+1600
Villanova+1800

Gonzaga might not be No. 1 in the AP Poll, but they have the best odds to win the championship for the first time in school. No. 1 Auburn and No. 5 Kentucky aren’t far behind. They’ll both have something to say about Gonzaga’s National Championship hopes.

Duke is in their own tier, but we have many teams with (+1200) odds. That includes last year’s National Championship winning Baylor Bears. Baylor held the No. 1 spot for a few weeks, but they’ve fallen down the rankings after a few recent losses.

Villanova is the lone team on this list that isn’t in the top 10 of the AP Poll. They had a rough 7-4 start, but they’ve won nine of their last ten games. It won’t be long before they return to the top 10.

We could be in store for a wide-open NCAA Men’s Tournament. Let’s go over the contenders and sleepers.

Top Contenders for the 2022 Men’s Basketball Tournament

Gonzaga, Auburn, and Kentucky are ahead of the pack with their odds. Let’s see why they are the top contenders to win the National Championship.

Gonzaga (+525)

Gonzaga lost multiple key pieces from their National Championship Game run last season, but they retooled for the 2021-22 season, entering as the No. 1 team. It looked like that was the right choice, as they beat two top-five teams in their first six games.

From there, we began to see Gonzaga struggle. In a three-game stretch, they lost to No. 5 Duke and No. 16 Alabama. The losses dropped them to No. 5 in the AP Poll.

We’ve seen Gonzaga dominate conference play following a victory over No. 25 Texas Tech. They haven’t been challenged, winning each game by 15+ points. Their dominant offense has been the key to success.

Gonzaga leads the country with 90.8 points per game. They’ve scored at least 89 points in seven of their last eight games.

They have a lot of heavy hitters, but we know everything runs through Drew Timme. Timme entered the season as the favorite to win the Wooden Award. His best performance came in Gonzaga’s second game of the season against Texas.

We didn’t see many big performances like that in December, but Timme had a pair of 30+ point games in January. His play will be crucial towards Gonzaga making another final four run.

I think the big question is, can anyone on Gonzaga match Timme’s production? Freshman Chet Holmgren was among the preseason contenders for the Wooden Award, but we haven’t seen him put up elite numbers.

Lately, Andrew Nembhard has been acting as Gonzaga’s second-best player. He averages 10.2 points, but he has scored 19+ points in three of his last five games. His biggest issue this season has been consistency.

If he can consistently put up those numbers, he, Timme, and Holmgren will be tough to stop in March.

Auburn (+800)

The parity in college basketball this season has led to an unexpected team claiming the No. 1 spot in the AP Poll. Auburn opened No. 22, and they quickly moved up to No. 19. A few games into the season, Auburn lost to No. 22 UConn.

Since then, we’ve seen Auburn dominate college basketball. They’ve gone on an 18-game win streak, picking up big wins along the way.

  • No. 16 LSU: 70-55
  • @ No. 24 Alabama: 81-77
  • No. 12 Kentucky: 80-71

Auburn is the only team in the country with one loss. They hold the No. 1 spot in the AP Poll and could stay there for a while, considering they only play one top 25 team in the regular season.

We know anything can change, especially with five road games, but things are looking up for Auburn. Their success led to locking down Bruce Pearl on a lifetime contract. He has done an excellent job with this team, but we should give the players some credit.

Auburn has four players averaging over 11 points. Freshman Jabari Smith leads the way with 15.7 points per game on 40.5 percent three-point shooting. Smith was a lottery pick before the season. Now, he is in the conversation for the No. 1 pick.

As with most great teams, it’s more than one player. Lately, we’ve seen Walker Kessler putting up good numbers.

Kessler is averaging 17.0 points and 9.3 rebounds in his last six games. The 7’ 1” forward is second with 4.2 blocks per game. On December 29, he recorded a triple-double with 11 blocks.

Throw in a recent surge from K.D. Johnson, and Auburn has a serious argument for the National Championship. This next month will tell a lot about their chances.

Kentucky (+850)

Auburn might be the top dog in the SEC, but Kentucky isn’t far behind. Last season, Kentucky had high expectations, but they failed to make the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the 2012-13 season.

It’s so weird to see a powerhouse like Kentucky miss the tournament, but they’ve bounced back in a big way.

Kentucky retooled their roster with a top recruiting class and used the transfer portal. Kentucky opened No. 10 in the AP Poll but dropped an early-season game against No. 9 Duke. They were starting to move back into contention, but a loss to Notre Dame dropped them out of the top 20.

We’ve seen them scuffle on the road against No. 21 LSU and No. 2 Auburn, but Kentucky vaulted into National Championship contention with a dominant road victory over No. 5 Kansas.

That victory moved them to No. 5 in the AP Poll. It has a lot of people talking about Kentucky as a National Championship contender. Every contending team needs a superstar, and Kentucky has one in Oscar Tshiebwe.

Tshiebwe might be the most dominant player in the country. The West Virginia transfer kicked off the season with back-to-back 20-rebound games.

He has cleared that mark three times since, including this insane performance against Western Kentucky.

  • 14 points
  • 28 rebounds
  • 6-12 field goal shooting

What’s crazy is that it might not be his best game of the season. Tshiebwe had 21 points and 22 rebounds against Mississippi State. Tshiebwe is one of the top contenders for the Wooden Award.

Kentucky will need to clean up their inconsistencies, but their victory over Kansas shows they can compete with anyone. It’ll be fun to watch them battle Auburn for the SEC Championship. The winner could earn a No. 1 spot in March Madness.

Top Sleepers for the 2022 Men’s Basketball Tournament

Could we see a surprise National Champion this season? Let’s check out a pair of sleepers.

Kansas (+1200)

Like Kentucky, Kansas is consistently one of the best teams in the country. They haven’t missed the NCAA Tournament since the 1980s, but they also haven’t made it past the first weekend since 2018.

Kansas entered this season with high expectations. Ochai Agbaji and David McCormack returned, while Remy Martin transferred from Arizona State. They opened No. 3 in the AP Poll.

They picked up an early-season victory over Michigan State, but suffered a letdown in a loss to Dayton. Kansas slowly began to rise back up in the rankings, but they suffered a road loss to No. 25 Texas A&M.

From there, Kansas flexed their muscle with wins over No. 15 Iowa State and No. 13 Texas Tech. Agbaji looked like a top contender for the Wooden Award, but then came a home matchup with Kentucky. Kentucky embarrassed Kansas in an 80-62 loss.

Kansas dropped from No. 5 to No. 10, but they picked up a road victory over Iowa State. The loss to Kentucky might have some worried about Kansas’ National Championship hopes, but I like their value.

There have been a few issues for Kansas, but the biggest is their defense.

  • Points Per Game: 68.2 (162nd of 358)
  • Defensive Rating: 96.0 (103rd of 358)

Martin is dealing with a foot injury, and Agbaji will miss time with COVID. Kansas showed they can compete without him, picking up a crucial road victory over Iowa State. It was a team effort with four players scoring 13-14 points.

McCormack and Martin will need to improve before March, but I have confidence in them. Agbaji should be 100 percent by then, so Kansas could peak at the right time.

They have four games remaining against Baylor and Texas. That’ll tell us a lot about their National Championship hopes.

UCLA (+1600)

I hope everyone didn’t forget about UCLA. They surprised everyone last season by going from the First Four to the Final Four. UCLA came up short after a miraculous game-winning half-court shot by Gonzaga.

That Tournament run put them on people’s radar for the 2021-22 season. They opened the season No. 2 in the AP Poll, and they flexed their muscle with an early-season victory over No. 4 Villanova.

A few games later, it was a rematch of last year’s Final Four thriller. This time, it wasn’t as close, with UCLA losing 83-63 to Gonzaga. UCLA had a COVID outbreak that took away most of their December games.

They returned at the beginning of January with a pair of wins, but the hype train came to a halt with an overtime loss to Oregon. They dropped to No. 9 in the AP Poll, but a victory over No. 3 Arizona has them back among the National Champion contenders.

A big reason for UCLA’s success is they returned nearly their entire roster. Johnny Juzang and Jaime Jaquez Jr. made the preseason All-American list. What makes UCLA so dangerous is they have four elite scorers.

  • Johnny Juzang: 18.1 points per game
  • Jules Bernard: 13.2 points per game
  • Jaime Jaquez Jr.: 12.3 points per game
  • Tyger Campbell: 11.1 points per game

Juzang missed some time with COVID, but he has been on a tear lately. UCLA needs him to play at a high level if they want to make another Final Four run.

It won’t take long to realize if UCLA is a serious contender. They have four straight road games, including a rematch against Arizona. If they make it through that stretch 4-0, we might be talking about the National Championship favorite.

Betting on the 2022 Men’s Basketball Tournament

This season, we’ve seen a lot of moving parts at the top of the AP Poll. A few teams like Gonzaga, UCLA, and Baylor have remained near the top, but Auburn started the season outside the top 20.

It wouldn’t surprise me if a team outside the top 10 made a National Championship run. The parity trend will likely continue through February and into March. It might be stressful for teams, but bettors will love the action.

The top college basketball betting sites will allow you to cash in on March Madness. Make sure you place your bets before the madness.

Nicholas Sterling

Nicholas has been a Sports Writer with GamblingSites.com since May 2021. He has a rich sports background, writing about NASCAR, NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, Golf, etc. Nick is always ready for a new challenge.

He enjoys rooting on D.C. sports teams, including the Commanders, Wizards, and Capitals.

More Posts by Nicholas Contact Nicholas

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