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When the 2020 NCAA Basketball March Madness was canceled due to COVID-19, people knew that this pandemic was going to be serious.

It took a force majeure to stop what has turned into a three week sprint to the title, and something sportsbooks have counted on for huge numbers after the National Football League season ends each February.

But the tournament was back in 2021, albeit in one place (Indianapolis), and for almost the entirety of the season, there were two teams that dominated the futures betting odds.

Baylor and Gonzaga.

They were so far ahead of the pack all season that sportsbooks started to offer crazy futures bets which you hardly ever see. You could have taken Gonzaga and/or Baylor to win the title, or the field, and that was offered at the same odds of -110. Think about that: you could have gotten two teams, or 348 teams, at the same price!

But the oddsmakers were dead on, as those two teams, which were one and two all season, did match up in the title game, with Scott Drew’s Baylor Bears winning their first title 86-70, and ruining Gonzaga’s chance at an unbeaten campaign in blowout fashion.

Well, we are a few weeks into the 2021-22 season, and there will be nothing like that this campaign. Yes, the Zags are the current favorites to win their first title (after title game losses in 2017 to UNC and last season), but they are only at odds of +650 right now.

After them, it is a large group of teams from +900 to +2000: from Kansas and Michigan all the way to Illinois and that Baylor team.

Basically, you aren’t getting any bets on the field this season.

But who is worth looking at on the futures odds this early in the new campaign? Well, here is a look at the top 10 odds to win NCAA March Madness in New Orleans:

Gonzaga, +650

Kansas, +900

Michigan, +900

Texas, +1000

UCLA, +1000

Villanova, +1000

Kentucky, +1300

Duke, +1400

Purdue, +1500

Memphis, +1800

You might even be able to go down the odds list even further this season and find some team that is worthy of playing.

If you are asking me who to play in late November, here is a list of a few teams to look at, with an argument for them.

UCLA: the Bruins are number 2 in the polls, and made a run all the way to the Final Four last year, before losing in overtime to Gonzaga in what was the best game of the tournament. But if you remember back, UCLA went to overtime in the First Four with Michigan State, and also had to get past Alabama in OT in the Sweet 16. They have a bulk of their roster back, and are valued at +1000.

Purdue: the Boilermakers would join Baylor and Virginia as first-time champions, continuing the trend. They have two big men that contribute, and good guard play: at +1500, they offer great early season value.

Gonzaga: sometimes, you just have to look at the favorites. The Zags are +650 as well, and already have a win over Texas. Gonzaga will face UCLA and Duke Thanksgiving week as well.

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