In just six short weeks, college basketball betting returns in full — and this time, with fans! Last year’s college hoops season was indeed wacky with little to no student sections and empty March Madness crowds. However, things will likely be back to normal in 2021-22 and we’re here for it. Ahead of the season opener, we wanted to make our best bets to win conference titles across the country.
Unfortunately, conference championship odds aren’t online quite yet. At the moment, only betting lines for the eventual March Madness winner are up. However, we do expect that to change once the season approaches and more futures become readily available on betting sites. Once that happens, you’ll be ready to make bets based on our own research.
Betting Pick — NCAAB SEC Winner
Who says the SEC is just a football conference? Last season, six different SEC teams qualified for the Big Dance. Both Arkansas and Alabama advanced to the Elite 8 and not surprisingly, the two schools (alongside Kentucky) are front-runners to dominate the division once again this upcoming year.
Arkansas is indeed our bet to make. In college hoops, recruiting is everything and the Hogs Eric Musselman has proven himself just as caliber of a recruiter as John Calipari. His 2021 class includes a bunchy of ready-to-play transfers and his 2022 class now features No. 4 ESPN 100 recruit Nick Smith. We’ll salivate about Arkansas’ 2022-23 potential later on, but this year’s roster is ready for another deep run in the SEC and NCAA tourney.
This will be Musselman’s third year at the helm of the program. It might be worth remembering how Year 3 went at Musselman’s previous coaching stop at mid-major Nevada. That school, also led by a number of transfers, went to the Sweet 16 out of the lowly Mountain West Conference. Of course, the SEC is much stiffer than the MWC, but Musselman’s talent is also deeper. We’re all aboard the “Muss Buss” and believe the Hogs will once again take another big step forward this season.
Betting Pick — NCAA Big Ten Winner
No doubt about it, Juwan Howard’s Michigan will be a popular betting pick here. A year ago, Big Blue won its first conference championship since 2014 before bowing out in the Elite 8. But you know what, we’re bucking popular opinion and going a different direction in the nation’s most competitive division.
Instead, we’re riding with Purdue. Look, we get it, “but the Boilermakers busted brackets everywhere with a first-round tourney loss.” Yes, that was a bad exit for Purdue, but the disappointment will make them better a la Virginia a few years back. Revenge is a dish best served cold, as they say.
What we like about the Boilermakers is their sheer experience. The core of the team that earned a No. 4 seed a year ago returns to the mix again. We expect that core to improve — especially Jaden Ivey — which will vault Purdue up the conference pecking order.
Betting Pick — NCAA Big 12 Winner
Baylor will face an insurmountable task to win back-to-back NCAA titles — something that hasn’t been done since Florida in 2006 and 2007. The Bears lost a lot of talent in the offseason and it’ll face an uphill climb just to win the conference, which we’re betting against.
Rather than the Bears, our pick to take the Big 12 is another familiar face, Kansas. Like the Boilermakers, the Jayhawks have an experienced roster. It will return four of five starters from last season. As for new faces, Kansas landed arguably the No. 1 transfer available in Remy Martin. The former Arizona State standout averaged just under 20 points with the Sun Devils.
Martin is one of eight new players on the Jayhawks. Bill Self has the perfect blend of experience and new additions, which spells trouble for the rest of the Big 12.
Betting Pick — ACC Winner
It’s Mike Krzyzewski’s swan song and as usual, expectations are sky-high for Duke. The program has largely failed to deliver on those expectations in recent years, but with Krzyzewski heading toward retirement, you have to sense this group of players will be extra motivated on the court.
The Blue Devils had a rare down year in 2020-21, however, some of that was due to the pandemic. With a roster made up of one-and-done players, the lack of preseason and practice hurt them greatly. That hurdle should now be a distant memory.
Beyond the Coach K retirement factor, this Duke team is just flat-out talented. It’s once again made up of several players that could be NBA lottery picks and it just feels like the stars will align for the coach’s final season.
How To Bet College Basketball In 2021-2022
If you’re looking for a one-stop shop to bet on college basketball this season — from November through March Madness — then you’ll find it with one of the betting sites we’ve listed below. These online sportsbooks offer bettor-friendly prices on NCAA basketball and a ton of variety, too. Spreads, props, futures, you name it, it’s likely bettable on these bookmakers.
One more thing: if you’ve never wagered on these sites before, you could earn a sign-up bonus off the bat worth hundreds to thousands of dollars in free play! The table underneath has details on what offers are currently available. If you want to lay free bets on NCAAB, consider leveraging the bonus!