Gonzaga and Baylor separated themselves from the college basketball pack this season, and Las Vegas oddsmakers expect them to do so again next season.
Baylor dominated Gonzaga — and spoiled the Bulldogs’ bid for a perfect season — in an 86-70 win in Monday’s national championship game. But William Hill sportsbook made the Bulldogs the +550 favorites to win the 2022 national title and the Bears the +850 second choice.
“Gonzaga figures to reload a little faster than Baylor,” William Hill sportsbook director Nick Bogdanovich said. “Even though there’s really no difference between +550 and +850 when you’re talking a year away.”
UCLA, after its surprising run from the First Four to the Final Four, is the 12-1 third favorite.
“This deep run has got to help them recruitingwise,” Bogdanovich said. “UCLA is a brand name, and who wouldn’t want to play on that campus?”
The Westgate made Gonzaga the clear 5-1 favorite to win the title, followed by Michigan at 12-1 and Baylor, UCLA, Duke and Ohio State at 16-1.
Michigan is 14-1 at William Hill and Duke is 15-1, followed by Kentucky, Kansas and Florida State at 18-1.
But odds are subject to change more than usual because of the rule expected to be passed by the NCAA that will allow transfers to play immediately next season without having to sit out a year.
“The transfer portal this year is going to be so much more important than years past,” Bogdanovich said. “There’s just hundreds and hundreds of quality players in this portal. Whoever strikes gold in this portal can flip a switch real fast.
“Any 50-1 or 60-1 shot might be too high because teams can flip it faster than they normally could. Duke and Kentucky are teams that didn’t make (the NCAA Tournament), and they’ve already got stacked teams. That just goes to show you how quickly it can be done.”
2022 NCAA Tournament odds
At William Hill
Up to 60-1
Florida State 18-1
Ohio State 22-1
North Carolina 28-1
Michigan State 30-1
West Virginia 40-1
Texas Tech 50-1
Louisiana State 50-1