March Madness Betting Preview: The Favourites
It’s so close we can almost taste the sweat! March Madness tips off this week with the First Four matches taking place on March 15-16. Millions of basketball fans from around the world will be glued to their televisions for the next month as the 68 best college teams in the US compete for the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball National Championship.
14 different venues will host March Madness games this year, including the AT&T Center, United Center, and Moda Center, with matches continuing into early April, when the Final Four and National Championship games will be played at Tulane University’s Caesars Superdome. It will be here, on April 4, that the March Madness winner will be decided.
Here at Bodog Casino, we’ve been following all the teams closely in the run-up to the tournament to help us see which ones look like strong March Madness betting picks.
The Gonzaga Bulldogs have been favourites to win the tournament for much of the last year, and that position doesn’t seem to have wavered. The team recently demolished the Saint Mary’s Gaels 82-69 in the West Coast Tournament final, so they’ll be riding high heading into the First Round of March Madness.
Gonzaga topped their conference this year with a 13-1 conference record, and a 26-3 record overall. That the sort of performance that inevitably stands out among the entire standing of collegiate basketball this season, and affords them a top spot as contenders for the NCAA National Championship in 2022.
The Bulldogs have a solid all-round team, with Drew Timmie leading the way on 17.5 points per game, Chet Holmgren with 9.6 rebounds and 3.6 blocks per game, and Andrew Nembhard with a respectable average of 5.7 assists per outing.
Put it all together and you can see why the Bulldogs currently have March Madness betting odds of +300.
The Arizona Wildcats are a team on the prowl. They might be the #2 seed for this year’s NCAA Tournament, but consider that they had March Madness betting futures odds in the thousands just a couple of months ago.
After topping the Pac-12 conference with an 18-2 record and 30-3 overall, the team has emerged much stronger than most initially projected. That’s allowed them to rise up to second favourite in Bodog’s March Madness betting picks with odds of +600.
The Wildcats don’t enter the competition with a top-10 NBA Draft prospect, as many of the other top-seeded teams do, but small forward Bennedict Mathurin is still a whisker behind, and one to watch, in 11th spot. He’s certainly not out on the team’s limb in terms of on-court prowess, though, with the Wildcats bringing a good, balanced selection of ballers across positions, giving them plenty of depth.
Weigh up all these variable, and you can see why the Wildcats have become one of the top teams to watch in this year’s March Madness bracket betting.
Close behind Arizona with March Madness betting odds of +800 are the other Wildcats: this time, from Kentucky. Their odds have also shortened several times over recent months, helped by their record in the Southeastern Conference where they finished second with a 14-4 record and 26-6 overall.
However, unlike Arizona and Gorganza, Kentucky hasn’t done as well while playing on the road this year, winning just 6 of its 11 away matches. That doesn’t bode too well for its prospects in the tournament and early NCAA March Madness betting lines reflect this.
So why are those odds still strong for the Kentucky? Well, in short, they have two top-10 NBA Draft prospects. The first is Shaedon Sharpe, a Canadian shooting guard with incredible shooting skills. He’s yet to play a game for the team after joining in January, though he’s likely to feature in March Madness.
The second is TyTy Washington Jr, a freshman guard who has managed 12.6 points per game this season, helping the team to become one of the best offensive squads in college basketball.
Joining them is Oscar Tshiebwe, a one-man army who leads the team on points per game, rebounds per game, steals per game, and blocks per game. He’s a force that no team will want to face this March Madness.
The Baylor Bears are the #3 seed for this year’s competition, but as time has gone on, they’ve looked less and less likely to make it all the way to the end of the 2022 March Madness bracket.
The Big 12 team finished second in the conference with a 14-4 record and 27-6 overall. Unlike Kentucky, the Bears have fared better while on the road, which could make them a bigger threat in the tournament.
The team have been a strong contenders for much of the last year, but have slid down Bodog’s list of March Madness picks in recent months as Arizona and Kentucky have managed an impressive climb upwards.
Baylor has no top-10 draft contenders, with its two best prospects being Jeremy Sochan and Kendall Brown who are ranked 17th and 18th respectively.
The Duke Blue Devils have March Madness odds from Bodog of +1600. The #7-seed team has had a strong showing on the Atlantic Coast this season, with a 16-4 record and 28-5 overall.
The Blue Devils have won all but two of their 11 away-games, a feature likely to serve them well throughout March Madness.
In Paolo Banchero and A.J. Griffin, Duke has two top-10 NBA Draft prospects. Banchero is a notably versatile power forward who has barely put a foot wrong this season, earning him 3rd in the player rankings. Meanwhile, Griffin is a small forward with a 5th overall ranking in the NCAA for his catch and shoot efficiency.
Alongside them are other key talents, including Wendell Moore, Mark Williams, and Trevor Keels, all of whom have double-digit points per game averages this season.
With so many teams looking neck-and-neck in a competition renowned for upsets and unexpected rises and falls, March Madness betting at Bodog is going to be incredibly intense this year, as is its very nature. You won’t want to miss a single second, so prepare your March Madness betting strategy and get ready for the whirlwind to sweep through the country.