Should You Bet on Baylor as a Longshot to Win the 2023 NCAA Tournament?

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Flo Thamba #0 and James Akinjo #11 of the Baylor Bears react in the second half of the game against the Norfolk State Spartans. Ron Jenkins/Getty Images/AFP.

The Big 12 has seen plenty of success in the world of college basketball. Last season, Kansas won the national title after a strong run through the NCAA Tournament. The year before that, Baylor upset undefeated Gonzaga to win the title. In the season interrupted by COVID, Kansas was one of the favorites to win it all.

The last two winners of the national title both bring back solid teams and coaching staffs this year, so it’s obvious why fans are excited. Specifically for Baylor, who has +1600 odds to win the title this year. That does not put them as one of the favorites, but it certainly brings value if the Bears can find a way to win it all.

So, can Baylor win the title in 2023? Here are some details to help make an informed decision regarding the Bears. We’ll start with the team before diving into the value of a futures bet on Baylor.

Baylor Bears’ 2023 Preview and Analysis

Baylor brings back practically every contributor from last year’s team, so chemistry and experience won’t be issues. That alone will put them near the top of the conference. After all, they were competitive despite the injuries last season.

An interesting contributor will be Langston Love. Love suffered an injury that kept him out last year, but he should be fully healthy. He may begin the year in the rotation, but don’t be surprised if he is a contributing starter once he gets his legs under him.

New Transfers

Baylor added some transfer players this offseason to bolster the frontcourt. Jalen Bridges and Jared Lohner will likely contribute this season.

In terms of recruits out of high school, look no further than Keyonte George. George will be one of the best shooters in the Big 12, and the five-star is easily going to contribute to Baylor this year.

Baylor Bears’ Competition

Still, there are plenty of challenges that come along with the format of college basketball. There is a reason why Baylor is not the favorite. Let’s take a look at the competition above them at the moment and see if they can overcome the obstacles at their feet.


Gonzaga is once again the favorite to win the national title, but they lose plenty of talent from last year’s team. At this point, it is more a matter of if Gonzaga will win as opposed to when.

If they failed to win it all with the talent from the past two seasons, it is hard to trust them with your money this year.

Houston, North Carolina, and Kentucky

Houston and North Carolina are next in line, with Kentucky behind them.

UNC and Kentucky are used to being near the top of the list, but Houston has higher odds than they usually see this early in the preseason. After a strong postseason and some roster additions, plenty expect Houston to be competitive this year.


Kansas is the only team in the Big 12 to be favored above Baylor, but the challenges of repeating as champs in college basketball are hard to describe.

It takes so much luck and persistence that you can’t realistically expect for the stars to align in repeating years.

Where is Baylor’s Value?

Picking a champion is hard enough to do when the postseason begins, so the likelihood of predicting the winner in June is incredibly low. Still, Baylor fans have a reason to be excited. The roster will be better on paper, so the only loss is to the coaching staff.

This team will want to beat Kansas in the Big 12, and they have a great chance of doing so. With top-level talent and depth across the board, I love the value of the Bears to win it all.

They should not be the favorites, but the value is hard to avoid. Small wagers will have big payouts, and that is what you’re looking for with any bet that will close in April. The potential returns have to be worth the wait, and that is the case here.