The 2022-23 college basketball will be here before you know it. Even this early, the NCAA Tournament is worth taking a shot at regarding team futures. We’ve hand-picked longshot programs — not top-5-ranked schools — that could make a run come March Madness. Read this to get our under-the-radar plays before they start winning and become favorites (with far less value-rich odds).
Speaking of the odds, we should start there. The best NCAA basketball betting sites posted 2023 title odds as soon as the 2022 game ended. They’ve shifted in the months since after accounting for transfers and freshman recruiting classes. Right now, amid the preseason, the following teams are most favored to win the NCAA championship come March 2023:
Best Underdog Bets To Win 2023 College Basketball Championship
Before we dole out our betting advice, we need to clarify one thing: our picks are underdog bets to win the college championship. The keyword in the last sentence is underdog. We’re not concerned with the runaway favorites — programs like Gonzaga, Houston, or North Carolina. This bet is about finding value where bettors aren’t looking. The teams chosen are ranked but aren’t drawing heavy action to win the whole thing. With that said, here’s where the hidden value lies:
Alright, calling UCLA underdogs feels off — this is UCLA, after all, one of the most prestigious programs in college basketball history. But that prestige is from when John Wooden was atop the program. The Bruins in the 21st century are a program that usually underperforms — until this year.
UCLA are the favorites in the Pac-12 and perhaps a fringe top-10 squad once preseason rankings are released. But at +1800 odds, they’re in that second tier of betting contenders. That price is absolute value based on this team’s talent level.
For one, they have NBA-caliber players in Amari Bailey, Adem Bona, and Mac Etienne. The freshmen Bailey and Bona were top-16 players in ESPN 100 recurring class rankings. To go with that youth, UCLA has a good group of veterans, including two from the Final Four team from 2021. That roster balance makes UCLA a solid betting pick here.
Nova is another decorated program, with actual recent success, unlike UCLA. However, many fans and bettors are writing them off due to head coach Jay Wright’s shocking decision to step down over the offseason after 21 stellar years. Over the long term, Wright’s loss is a net loss, but he’s left enough talent on the team that the Wildcats could be a huge surprise come March.
Three starters, Caleb Daniels, Brandon Slater, and Eric Dixon from last year’s squad return to the mix. Not only that, but the freshmen will also be immediate impact players — none bigger than five-star Cameron Whitmore, who has NBA lottery pick potential. Fellow freshman Mark Armstrong, the No. 61 recruit on ESPN’s board, is another penciled-in starter.
An X-factor for Villanova will be Justin Moore. He tore his Achilles during the Elite 8 but is expected to rejoin the team at some point — when and at what capacity is the real question? If Moore returns and looks like his former self (14.8 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 2.3 APG), then Villanova is an absolute steal of a betting pick. For that reason, we’re taking a chance on them.
Are the defending SEC regular-season champions as long as +6600? That seems steep. Look, we get it, Auburn lost the core of its team from a year ago. Replacing first-round NBA picks Jabari Smith and Walker Kessler sure won’t be easy. But head coach Bruce Pearl did an amazing job last year, who’s to say he can’t have a repeat performance this season?
Plus, it’s not like the Tigers are bare on talent. Production should be picked up by two new program additions — top-30 freshman recruit Yohan Traore and Morehead State transfer Johni Broome, who averaged 16.8 points a game last year. Another freshman, Chance Westry has also gotten buzz after a strong training camp and preseason.
The Tigers are the longest of our longshot bets, but regardless, we have the utmost faith in Pearl. If any coach can outplay their preseason hype, then surely Pearl is atop the list or very close to it.
How To Bet On 2023 March Madness Futures?
Whether you agree with our longshot bets to win the title or not, you can make your March Madness futures bets at one of the bookmakers listed underneath. Any sites will have updated Vegas odds on the bet — whether it’s right now, mid-season, or when the NCAA Tournament starts.
Know what else these sites have aside from the odds? Big-money betting bonuses. By big money, we’re talking deals that range from $500 to $2500 in free play. The below table lists the best deals currently available to new players. Redeem a deal and your NCAA bets could be completely “on the house.”
Eric has had a deep love for sports since the age of 10. This love has driven him to choose a career in sports journalism, where he covered different sporting events, from high school games to professional leagues, over the course of several years. Today, Eric channels his sports passion into betting and when not sharing his betting expertise here, you can find him at a sportsbook.