March Madness West Region Predictions | Odds & Best Bets
The first region of the NCAA Tournament announced on Selection Sunday was the West.
This region features the top overall seed in Gonzaga. After losing in the National Championship last season, the Bulldogs are back and better than ever and are better than the squad you remember from last season.
The second-seeded Duke Blue Devils are also in the West Region, fresh off a loss in the ACC Championship. Between that loss and dropping the final game of the regular season to North Carolina, Duke comes into the tournament with something to prove. They also would like to send off head coach Mike Krzyzewski the right way.
While those schools are the clear top two teams in West Region, it’s called March Madness for a reason. Let’s take a closer look at the West Region of the NCAA Tournament.
March Madness West Region Schedule
- Round 1: Thursday, March 17 – Friday, March 18
- Round 2: Saturday, March 19 – Sunday, March 20
- Sweet 16: Thursday, March 24 – Friday, March 25
- Elite 8: Saturday, March 26 – Sunday, March 27
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March Madness West Region Teams & Matchups
Each West Region team’s odds to reach the 2022 Final Four are provided by Caesars Sportsbook.
1. Gonzaga (-140)
16. Georgia State (+30000)
8. Boise State (+3300)
9. Memphis (+3000)
5. UConn (+1500)
12. New Mexico State (+7500)
4. Arkansas (+1200)
13. Vermont (+6000)
6. Alabama (+2200)
11. Rutgers (+5000)/Notre Dame (+4000)
3. Texas Tech (+550)
14. Montana State (+20000)
7. Michigan State (+3000)
10. Davidson (+5000)
2. Duke (+400)
15. CS Fullerton (+25000)
March Madness West Region: Top 4 Seeds
Not only is Gonzaga the top overall seed in the NCAA Tournament, they arguably have the easiest road to the Final Four. Yes, Duke is a tough out, but they have struggled in their past four games.
If you thought Gonzaga’s team last season was good, buckle up because this one is better. They still have arguably the top offense in the nation. The difference is that this team can play defense, and they have a solid rim protector in Chet Holmgren, who is also arguably the best player in the tournament.
Gonzaga can win in various ways, which has not always been the case.
Again, Duke has really struggled down the stretch, despite Paolo Banchero’s play. However, we have seen how terrific guard play can take a team deep into the tournament.
- Print your 2022 March Madness bracket.
Teams that are “on a mission” or playing for something above simply winning the championship can also lead to success. With this being Coach K’s final hurrah, the Blue Devils could play inspired basketball.
Duke has five projected first-round picks in their lineup, and this talent should be enough to keep them playing into the second weekend. However, it seems clear that a weak ACC hid some of Duke’s weaknesses.
(3) Texas Tech
While Chris Beard is no longer coaching at Texas Tech, this defense is still the identity of this program, much like it was when they won it all a few years ago.
This season, the Red Raiders recorded the best adjusted defensive efficiency on KenPom. They have big non-conference wins this season as well, so they have a stacked resume.
However, will Texas Tech have enough offense when it matters? They likely have to go through Gonzaga or Duke, so it’s questionable if Texas Tech has enough offense to reach the Final Four. If they give up 70 points, it will be tough for them to win.
This Razorbacks team is hot! Arkansas finished the regular season winning 13 of their last 15 games, including wins against Kentucky, Auburn, and LSU.
This is a high-tempo team that is strong on both ends of the floor. However, while we can expect their defense to show up, we have seen Arkansas play ice-cold basketball on offense at times this season.
For this reason, Arkansas is certainly a team that can win against everyone. However, we can’t expect them to play at their best the entire tournament and possibly not even the full 40 minutes of games.
When the Razorbacks are not at their best, they can be downright awful. This is shown by them losing five of six games a couple of months ago.
March Madness West Region: Round 1 Upset Pick
(11) Notre Dame/Rutgers over (6) Alabama
Regardless of which school makes it out of the play-in game, Alabama should be on upset alert. The Crimson Tide have struggled to win the turnover battle, and their three-point shot isn’t falling (No. 302 in the country in three-point shooting).
Notre Dame takes care of the basketball and has been efficient from downtown. Rutgers’ offense plays better inside the arc, so Alabama’s perimeter defense isn’t as much of a factor. The Scarlet Knights also have Ron Harper Jr., who could come alive and make a lot of noise in the Big Dance.
Other West Upsets To Consider
- (13) Vermont over (4) Arkansas: If Arkansas isn’t sharp, Vermont’s offense will make them pay.
- (10) Davidson over (7) Michigan State: The efficient Davidson offense is dangerous to any team that suffers from mental lapses.
- (9) Memphis over (8) Boise State: Is this even considered an upset?
March Madness West Region: Cinderella
(13) Vermont Catamounts
A Cinderella in the NCAA Tournament typically shows three characteristics: strong offense, winning the turnover battle, and they have experience.
Vermont ranks fifth in the nation in field goal percentage (49.35 percent), and they are 44th in adjusted offensive efficiency, per KenPom. In addition, they rank seventh in the country in turnovers per game (9.7). Vermont also has five seniors in their starting five.
The glass slipper fits.
Other West Cinderellas To Consider
- (11) Rutgers: They were giant killers in the regular season, and Ron Harper Jr. is a stud.
March Madness Region Predictions
March Madness West Region Prediction
West Region Winner Pick: (1) Gonzaga Over (3) Texas Tech
Again, this region looks to be the easiest for any one-seed. There isn’t a team on the top half of the bracket that should give the Bulldogs real trouble.
On the bottom, Duke looks rattled, and I’m unsure they have what it takes to get out of the first weekend. The old saying is defense travels, and Texas Tech has plenty of defense.
However, once Gonzaga and Texas Tech match up, it will be apparent that the Red Raiders don’t have enough offense to keep up with the Bulldogs for a full 40 minutes.
March Madness West Region: Best Bets
All March Madness betting odds are current as of 2 p.m. ET on Monday, March 14.
Gonzaga (-140) to win West Region at Caesars Sportsbook
This can also be phrased as Gonzaga to the Final Four. Not to sound like a broken record, but Gonzaga has the easiest route to the Final Four in the entire bracket. I also believe they are the best team in the dance.
Gonzaga combines the same level of offense they had last season with a strong defense. Drew Timme is no longer the one asked to be the rim protector, to put it in perspective how much they have improved.
Gonzaga: Win West Region
Bet $20, Payout $34
Memphis -2.5 (-110) vs. Boise State at Caesars Sportsbook
Memphis is a 9-seed because of the way they started the year. The Tigers won 10 of their final 11 regular-season games, then went to the AAC Championship game.
We shouldn’t ignore their turnover issues, which will bite them eventually. And yes, Boise State has been solid at forcing turnovers, but this is too big of a talent mismatch to ignore.
It may not be pretty, but the Tigers will win and cover purely based on talent alone.
Memphis: Cover -2.5 Spread vs Boise State
Bet $20, Payout $38
Vermont +5 (-110) vs. Arkansas at Caesars Sportsbook
We discussed above why Vermont has all of the makings to be a Cinderella this year. We also discussed how, while hot coming into the tournament, Arkansas can be inconsistent. That’s not a good thing when you’re facing one of the most efficient teams in the nation.
On top of that, 13-seeds are 41-38-1 ATS since 2001 in their first-round games. Look for Vermont to improve upon that record.
Vermont: Cover +5 Spread vs Arkansas
Bet $20, Payout $38
Gonzaga vs. Georgia State UNDER 149.5 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook
This game is shaping up to be a blowout, and unlike past years, Gonzaga has been able to step on the throat of their opponents when they’re up big. In addition, their defense continues to be sharp.
This is a big reason why the UNDER is 4-1 in their past five games. As for Georgia State, the UNDER is 3-2 in their past five games.
Gonzaga vs Georgia State: UNDER 149.5 Points
Bet $20, Payout $38