2022-2023 NCAA Mens Basketball Betting Preview

2022-2023 NCAA Mens Basketball Betting Preview

Jordan Knabb
1 year ago
4 min read
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November, in my humble opinion, is one of the greatest sports months of the year. We’ve got NFL, NCAAF, NBA, NHL, Premier League, and this year the World Cup. But most importantly, NCAA basketball tips off November 7 with every single top-25 team in action.

Taking a look at the AP pre-season polls, we have the usual blue blood programs at the top (UNC #1, Gonzaga #2, Kentucky #4, Kansas #5). These teams, with no surprise at all, have the talent, depth and coaching to make a post-season run. 

But, as the great Lee Corso once (or many times) said “Not so fast, my friend”. We’re going to highlight three teams that provide both great betting value and have the talent to cut down the nets on April 3, 2023, in Houston, Texas. As you’ll often hear in the sports betting world, bet the number and not the team. In this preview, we’re doing both.

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Arkansas (+1600)

The No. 10 ranked Arkansas Razorbacks open the season at home in Fayetteville against the North Dakota State Bison. This Arkansas team, fresh off back-to-back Elite 8 appearances, is loaded with elite talent and have two lottery picks leading the way in 6’4” freshman Nick Smith and 6’7” freshman Anthony Black. The Razorbacks will certainly be battle tested going on the road at #5 Baylor in late January and will face a difficult SEC conference schedule against #4 Kentucky, #11 Tennessee and #15 Auburn. 

These tough matchups will help prepare a team like Arkansas to make a deep run in this year’s march madness.

Head Coach Eric Musselman lost a number of key players to the NBA and transfer portal but reloaded with the No. 2 recruiting class (and No. 6 transfer class) in the country. Over the past few seasons, Musselman has had a knack for bringing in versatile players with length who can play multiple positions. With only one returning starter, we’ll have to keep an eye on the chemistry of this team in the early part of the season, but I expect this team to be a one or two seed come March. 

At (+1600), I like the value this talented Arkansas team offers at this part of the year. Side note, this is the exact number (+1600) that we hit Kansas on last season at the start of the tourney. Let’s run it back, give me the Razorbacks to be the last team standing.

Texas (+2000)

While I’m a leading advocate for the notion that Texas is NOT back in football, basketball is a completely different story. The No. 12 ranked Texas Longhorns are poised to have one of their best seasons in recent memory. 

Arguably one of the best coaches in basketball, Chris Beard, will be returning for his second season in Austin along with his top 2 scorers in forward Timmy Allen and guard Marcus Carr. Joining Allen and Carr will be the sixth best recruiting class in the nation, led by 5-stars Dillon Mitchell and Arterio Morris. Not to mention, Texas landed the 2021-2022 Big 12 freshman of the year in Iowa State transfer Tyreese Hunter. 

There is a lot of expectation for the Longhorns this season who are coming off their first NCAA tournament win in eight years. The statistical guru, Ken Pomeroy, has Texas at #9 in his adjusted offensive efficiency rankings and #1 in adjusted defensive efficiency ratings, projecting them as one of the most complete, balanced teams in the country.

At (+2000), this Texas Longhorns team presents great value. They will have a couple of tough tests in Gonzaga and Creighton early on but give me the Horns and give them to me now. I highly doubt we’ll see a better price as the season gets in full swing. Texas (basketball) is back!

Virginia (+5000)

Unlike Arkansas and Texas, No. 18 ranked Virginia is not the type of program to bring in a glamorous cast of five-star recruits and blow you away with pure athleticism. On the other hand, few teams play more efficient and pure basketball than UVA. Head Coach Tony Bennett is one of the best "X’s and O’s guys" in all of college basketball. 

It’s not always flashy, but Virginia likes to move the ball around, often using the entire shot clock, and find the highest percentage opportunity to score. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more efficient team than this one. In fact, Pomeroy has UVA rated #5 in his adjusted efficiency margin ratings (offense #14 / defense #4).

Led by veteran point guard Kihei Clark, the Cavaliers are an experienced team who will start two graduate students in Clark and Jayden Gardner; one senior (Armaan Franklin); and two juniors (Reece Beekman and Kadin Shedrick). 

UVA will open their regular season on November 7 with a non-conference matchup against North Carolina Central. It will be interesting to see if this Cavaliers squad who returns the fifth highest number of minutes from last season (87.8 percent) can take the next step and elevate themselves into true championship contenders.

Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but…. yes, this Virginia team provides great value. At (+5000), many would consider this to be somewhat of a lottery ticket longshot and you wouldn’t necessarily be wrong for thinking that. 

However, with an experienced roster, top tier head coach and metrics that measure UVA as one of the top teams in the country, you could certainly find a worse flyer than this. Crazier things have happened, like UVA losing by 20 as a number one seed to UMBC in 2018. Give me UVA at (+5000).

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