College Basketball Matchups Predictions: Crowded at the Top in Early National Title Odds

Gonzaga, North Carolina and Kentucky Currently Lead the Way Among Title Contenders

 

Is Houston Ready to Finish What Drexler, Olajuwon Started?

Teams are hitting the practice court and that means the college basketball season isn’t far away.

Blue Blood programs Kansas and North Carolina providing a fitting finale to a memorable 2021-22 season. So can the Jayhawks or Tar Heels make it back to the title game? Is this the year when Gonzaga finally breaks through? Maybe it is Houston that will be the last of the teams outside the Power-5 conferences to be standing in the NCAA tournament.

While some top talent went off to the NBA, there is still plenty of returning players to keep an eye on. From a team standpoint, it will be a familiar cast of characters vying for the national title.

Point Spreads is taking a look at the favorites as we are less than a month away from the games getting underway.

The NBA Will Have to Wait

Gonzaga, Kentucky and North Carolina all had key players opt to return to school rather than staying in the NBA Draft. According to the college basketball predictions, that makes them the current favorites to win it all during the 2022-23 season. They are all priced at +850 in the odds to win the national title.

Leading scorer Drew Timme is among the returnees for a veteran Gonzaga team. Julian Strawther and Rasir Bolton are all coming back for Gonzaga and they will be joined by transfers Malachi Smith and Efton Reid. Even with Chet Holmgren and Andrew Nembhard going in the first round, this Gonzaga team is loaded once again.

Kentucky’s list of returnees begins with double-double machine Oscar Tshiebwe and guard Sahvir Wheeler. There are currently some injury concerns with Tshiebwe so keep an eye on his status as the season opener approaches. Cason Wallace and Chris Livingston are the latest freshmen phenoms to play for John Calipari at Kentucky.

North Carolina will be led by Armando Bacot, R.J. Davis, Caleb Love and Leaky Black as the Tar Heels return three of their four double-digit scorers off a team that reached the national title game last season. This is going to be a tough team to knock off with nary a weakness to be found.

Texas-Size Expectations for Lone Star State Squads

Texas might be the place to be during the college basketball season.

A loaded Houston team adds Jarace Walker to a veteran nucleus as the Cougars are listed at +1000 in the national title odds. Texas Tech (+3300), Texas (+4000) and TCU (+6000) are other teams from Texas who could make some noise on the national title when looking at the college basketball predictions.

This could be the best Houston squad since those Akeem Olajuwon, Clyde Drexler teams of the early 1980s. Getting Marcus Sasser back after he was limited to 12 games in an injury-shortened season is a huge plus for one of the deepest teams in the country. After Houston, it will depend on the various college basketball betting systems for deciding which team is the second-best squad in the state of Texas.

Defending Champs Will Have a Different Look

Kansas is priced at +1200 to win it all. That might be a bit ambitious. However, it is always dangerous to sell the defending national champions short.

Many of the key figures who led Kansas back to the top of the college basketball world will be playing their basketball elsewhere this winter.

Ochai Agbaji, Christian Braun, Remy Martin and David McCormack have moved on so this will be a much different looking Kansas team.

Former Texas Tech star Kevin McCullar, one of the top transfers in the country, will be joined by a roster dominated by freshmen and sophomores. There could be some growing pains, but there is enough talent for the Jayhawks to be a factor on the national scene once again.

Kansas is priced at +1200 to win it all. That might be a bit ambitious. However, it is always dangerous to sell the defending national champions short.

Elite Recruiting Classes Powering Arkansas, Duke

Thanks to the 1-and-done era of college basketball, one of the best ways to gauge the top incoming talent is by looking at various NBA mock drafts.

The Arkansas duo of Nick Smith and  Anthony Black as well as Duke’s Tariq Whitehead joins Dereck Lively as potential top 10 selections in the 2023 draft. Naturally, their additions make the Razorbacks and Blue Devils among the other top contenders coming into the season. It will be interesting to see how Duke looks in the first season following the retirement of legendary head coach Mike Krzyzewski.

Along with UCLA, Arkansas and Duke have +1400 odds to win the national title. UCLA‘s Amari Bailey might not be getting the preseason hype of some of the players from Arkansas and Duke, but he is a newcomer to keep an eye on.

Keep it dialed in right here during the upcoming college basketball season for the most intriguing NCAAB matchups, the latest odds and the latest line movement.

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