Sports Betting Picks & Predictions

Early 2022 March Madness Predictions

With March Madness still 4 and a half months away, there’s a long NCAAB season keeping us from the most exciting month in sports. While the wait is long, now is the best time to lock in your future bets for which team will cut down the net in this year’s March Madness finals.
Frank Weber
Frank Weber
23 November 2021
Table of Contents

    68 teams, 67 games, and only 1 winner; the truest tournament in all of sports. With March Madness still 4 and a half months away, there’s a long NCAAB season keeping us from the most exciting month in sports. While the wait is long, now is the best time to lock in your future bets for which team will cut down the net in this year’s March Madness finals. Here are some teams you should keep your eye on as the season unfolds:

    The Favorites

    Since real seeding began in 1979, the National Championship game has included at least one No. 1 seed 32 times, with 21 of those teams winning--so it’s probably not a bad idea to go chalk and lay some money on some of the favorites. As the rankings stand today, here are some of the top-ranked teams and some of the biggest favorites to take home the Ferris Mowers Trophy.

    Gonzaga (+600)

    At the time of this article, Gonzaga is ranked #1 in the nation with Vegas’ odds following suit. Last year’s runner-up to the title, Gonzaga remains set to win their first NCAAB championship in the school’s history. Led by Junior forward and Wooden Award hopeful Drew Timme, the Bulldogs are currently the 12th best scoring offense in the entire country. You also can’t talk Gonzaga without at least mentioning Freshman center Chet Holgrem, who many pundits rank to be the player with the most potential in the entire country.
    Where they may see trouble is on the defensive side of the ball, allowing over 61 points per game. They’ve also seen some trouble grabbing rebounds this season, and remain one of the teams with the most committed fouls in the country. At the time this is written, three of their next four games are against ranked opponents (UCLA, Duke, and Alabama) so we’ll get a better idea of what the Bulldogs are made of as the season goes on.

    Purdue (+1110)

    With two ranked wins already under their belt (against UNC and Villanova) Purdue are already making a strong case for their 2022 March Madness championship run. Led by sophomores Zach Edey and Jaden Ivey, the Purdue offense has looked unstoppable, scoring over 91 points per game. The aforementioned Edey is also one of the most dominant big men in the country right now, and nothing is scarier in March than a big man who can really control the game. Purdue also have some scary shooters that love to sit around the perimeter, so they can expect to be a nightmare matchup against any team down the line.

    Duke (+1100)

    Unfortunately, you can’t talk March Madness without Duke--so let’s get this over with. Can the Blue Devil’s pull it off in Coach K’s last season? What would be a storybook ending to an incredible career all boils down to whether or not Duke can perform to their full potential in the tournament itself. Not having made it past the Elite Eight since 2014 (and not even making the tournament last year) Duke looks to get back on the winning side of things this year, and they seem to have the right team to do it. Led by Freshman guards Paolo Banchero and Trevor Keels, the Duke offense seems to be back on the tracks after their bad season last year. Add in Junior forward Wendell Moore Jr, and we have ourselves a nightmare offensive trio. One downside to the Duke offense this year is their lack of three-point shooters, which tends to be a hindrance in high-intensity March Madness games.

    While 1-seeds are the most likely to win (63% of winners were 1-seeds since 1985) it would be arrogant to ignore some of the lower seeds, because March is truly the season of Cinderella stories. With that said, besides the 7-seed UCONN team winning in 2014, a team outside of a top-four seed hasn’t won since 1988. But when betting futures its always a decent idea to have all of your bases covered, so here are some of the teams with higher odds that could make a real run for the title.

    The Field:

    The University of Memphis (+2000)

    Currently the ninth-ranked team in the country, Memphis Basketball has seen a rebirth lately. Having not even sniffed the tournament in 7 years, Memphis is set to not only make the tournament but really make a run towards this year’s championship. Led by Freshmen Jalen Duren and Emoni Bates, the Tigers have all the makings of a great March team. Jalen Duren has been one of the best big men in the country so far, averaging a double/double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. To go along with that, fellow Freshman Emoni Bates is one of the most electric scorers in the entire country, and at only 17 years of age is among the top 15 favorites to win this year’s Wooden Award. I really love this Memphis team, and they are one of my best bets outside of the top 5 teams to win this year’s tournament.

    University of Connecticut (+5500)

    The Huskies are always in the conversation when it comes to March Madness, and I’m sure they’re a nightmare to go up against once the tournament really rolls around. Right now they are the fifth-best scoring defense as well as the sixth-best scoring offense in the entire country, and have five individual players averaging over 10 points per game. The Huskies have yet to see a real challenge this season, but once they play some ranked opponents and we get a better idea of how real this UCONN team is, they might not be a bad bet to go all the way.

    Seton Hall (+8000)

    After stunning number four ranked Michigan in an upset early in this season, The Seton Hall Pirates showed they were a team to be taken seriously. However, after quickly thereafter losing to unranked Ohio State, they proved why they are one of the bigger underdogs on this list. Seton Hall has it all--experience, scoring prowess, and defensive ability--but they have to prove to me that they can deliver in big moments consistently before I take them more seriously as a program. Still, they are a good idea to keep an eye on as they are led by two Senior guards (Jared Rhoden and Bryce Aiken) and experience never hurts come March.

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