Arizona basketball has 3rd-best odds to win Pac-12; ASU a longshot

Nov 9, 2021, 8:53 AM
University of Arizona Wildcat head coach Tommy Lloyd during the second half of a basketball game be...
University of Arizona Wildcat head coach Tommy Lloyd during the second half of a basketball game between the Eastern New Mexico University Greyhounds and the University of Arizona Wildcats on November 1, 2021 at the McKale Center in Tucson, AZ. (Photo by Christopher Hook/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
(Photo by Christopher Hook/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

College basketball opens the 2021-22 season with the same team from a year ago in its own tier.

The Gonzaga Bulldogs won their first 31 games before falling in the NCAA Championship to Baylor last season, but they reloaded with a top-five recruiting class headlined by top prospect Chet Holmgren. Gonzaga is the favorite at +650 to win the NCAA title, according to the FanDuel Sportsbook.

What the Bulldogs lost, however, could be the Arizona Wildcats’ gain. Former Gonzaga assistant Tommy Lloyd embarks on his first season as a head coach at Arizona having taken ownership of a roster with enough returning talent to put the Wildcats in contention for the Pac-12 crown.

FanDuel has UA with the third-best odds (+600) to win the Pac-12 regular season crown. Arizona, which opens the year against Northern Arizona on Tuesday, sits behind UCLA (+115) and Oregon (+300) in odds.

The rival Arizona State Sun Devils sit back at 10th, with +6500 odds to win the conference. ASU hosts Portland at 5 p.m. Tuesday for an opener that will air on ESPN 620 AM and 98.7 FM HD-2.

The Pac-12 odds are a bit higher on the Wildcats and lower on the Sun Devils compared to the media preseason poll, which picked Arizona tied for fourth-best in the conference and had ASU at seventh.

Looking at bigger picture this college hoops season, Gonzaga is again a favorite. But after the Bulldogs, there’s a dropoff with Michigan (+1200), Texas (+1200), Kansas (+1300) and Purdue (+1300) rounding out a top-five.

Arizona has reasonable odds at +6000 to be the 2022 champion, while Arizona State sits at +15000, according to FanDuel.

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