Michigan has third best odds to win 2022 NCAA National Championship
With March Madness now over, it’s time to turn to next season and examine who the favorites are to cut down the nets in 2022.
NCAAB Championship 2021/2022
Mon, April 4 2022, 10:00 PM
Ohio State Buckeyes
Alabama Crimson Tide
Illinois Fighting Illini
Gonzaga, fresh off its defeat in the title game, is the early favorite with its Final Four opponent, UCLA, close behind. They are followed by a trio of teams from the Big Ten, with Michigan, Purdue, and Ohio State all expected to be contenders again next season.
With so much still undetermined at the moment regarding transfers and NBA opt-ins, these lines will adjust constantly over the next few weeks. It's vital, therefore, that you pick the right team, at the right time, to maximize the value of your wager. The question is, who do you think will win it all next year?
The Wolverines will miss Wagner in 2022
Michigan poses one of the best risk vs. reward wagers on the board. The Wolverines suffered a heartbreaking defeat in the Elite Eight, falling to UCLA by two points after missing a last-second three pointer. However, a large portion of the Wolverine's attack will be returning for the 2021-22 season.
UCLA advances to the Final Four for the first time in over a decade!— CollegeBB News (@CollegeBBNCAA) March 31, 2021
The Bruins’ road there:
(11) Michigan State
(14) Abilene Christian
Let’s start with who won’t be coming back, before we dive into team additions. Obviously the loss of big man Franz Wagner will be a blow, especially inside. That is not counting the five seniors that are leaving the team, although there is a chance one or two of them might return for the extra year of eligibility being granted by the NCAA.
One of those seniors, Isaiah Livers, is expected to enter the draft, a year after he tested the NBA waters. While he could return due to his injury late in the season, his draft stock is fairly high and he will likely want to go while he’s still considered "young" by NBA executives.
Dickinson is a beast
With that much leaving, why would we be high on the Wolverines next year? It starts with what they have returning. Hunter Dickinson had a terrific freshman season, and should be the focal point of the team, much like Wagner was this year. The 7’1” big man averaged 14.1 points and 7.4 rebounds, while adding nearly a block and a half per game. He will come back as a sophomore and immediately be among the favorites for National Player of the Year.
Franz Wagner beautiful pocket pass to Hunter Dickinson. pic.twitter.com/3AGjA1ai8W— Aram Cannuscio (@AC__Hoops) March 28, 2021
Michigan's recruiting class is loaded with talent
Juwan Howard will be surrounding Dickinson with the top-ranked recruiting class in the nation. Five-star small forward Caleb Houstan is a top 10 player, and will immediately slot into the lineup, as will top 40 guard Frankie Collins. They will be joined by Moussa Diabate, the eighth-ranked player in the nation, who will partner with returning forward Brandon Johns. Kobe Bufkin, another top 50 guard, will also add to the team's backcourt depth.
2021 Michigan @umichbball signee Caleb Houstan came up HUGE for Montverde @MVABasketball in a championship win of the Geico Nationals.— Endless Motor Sports (@endless_motor) April 3, 2021
6’8 wing hit big shots from distance on the biggest stage when it mattered most.
Figures to make an early impact for Juwan Howard in Ann Arbor. pic.twitter.com/GZRtwZuWB6
Michigan will have questions in that backcourt, but their frontcourt will be one of the strongest in the nation. That's important in the notoriously physical Big Ten, and should keep the Wolverines in the national title conversation throughout the season.
If any of the seniors return, especially Livers, it elevates Michigan to an even higher level. At +1200 odds, the Wolverines represent terrific value to bettors looking ahead to next season.