The Gonzaga Bulldogs: they are inevitable. Taking a page out of Thanos' book may be a bit extreme, but there is no question as to who will once again be the betting favorite in college basketball for what seems like a half decade now. This offseason has been one of the more wild ones in recent memory across the sport, but certainly at Gonzaga. After last season's disappointing loss in the Sweet 16 to the Arkansas Razorbacks, the literal entire starting five declared for the NBA Draft almost immediately. Chet Holmgren and Andrew Nembhard put their names in right away to be called to the pros, while others like Julian Strawther, Drew Timme, and Rasir Bolton chose to do it the more traditional way. It didn't matter in the end for Bolton, Strawther, and Timme, as they all announced they will be returning to the program next season. That is massive for a team that was facing a huge roster turnover, and now they will once again be favored to win the championship.
The Zags are absolutely loaded, there are no questions about that. They not only bring back those three star players, but also added reigning Southern Conference Player of the Year Malachi Smith and LSU transfer Efton Reid. When you combine all of this, you get why the Bulldogs remain the favorite at sportsbooks to cut down the nets. Gonzaga is currently listed at +1000 at most books, which is tied with the Kentucky Wildcats for the No. 1 spot on the odds board. You could make the argument that this is the deepest Gonzaga team that has ever been assembled. Maybe not the best, and maybe it doesn't have the same top-end talent that the teams of the previous few years had, but it is incredibly deep. There are probably close to 10 guys on this squad that could start for most teams in college basketball, and the only position that doesn't have a ridiculous amount of depth is point guard.
The loss of a player like Nembhard is always going to hurt, and now it leaves Gonzaga with just one true point guard on the team in Nolan Hickman. That could be a potential problem, as there is no one that currently can back him up and do what he does. I doubt Hickman will see close to 40 minutes on the floor like the veteran Nembhard did in his final season, so someone will have to step up. Still, everywhere else on the roster is stacked. Timme was the preseason favorite for the Wooden Award last season, and while his star faded a bit after last season, he should still be among the top players in the nation.
At +1000, you can get 10/1 odds on one of the deepest teams in college. Or, you can wait and see if you can get a better number than chalk. I don't like to bet heavy favorites, so I passed, but perhaps you might like that number with a great team.