College Basketball Expert Picks From ESPN, CBS and Sports Illustrated

Written By Drew Ellis on November 7, 2022

It’s hard to believe, but the 2022-23 College Basketball season tips off starting today.

Of all sports, college basketball may be the most unpredictable for Michigan sportsbooks.

When it comes to Michigan and Michigan State, the top CBB experts aren’t seeing either one in the mix for the national championship.

Just who are the top college basketball analysts picking to win it all this season?

2022-23 NCAA Basketball Championship Odds

To start the season, a couple of national powers find themselves as the favorites to win the NCAA Tournament in 2023.

Both Gonzaga and North Carolina are listed as top contenders at most Michigan sportsbooks. Both are hovering around +850 to +1000 in the latest College Basketball Odds.

Houston and Kentucky are also in the mix. Both sit around +1000 to +1200. Baylor, Duke, Kansas, UCLA and Arkansas aren’t much further behind.

When it comes to the in-state teams, Michigan has the better odds to win the national title. The Wolverines are listed at +3500 at most sportsbooks, while Michigan State is much further back at +7000.

MSU hasn’t won the national championship since 2000, while Michigan hasn’t won the title since 1989.

CBS Sports Final Four Picks

The home of the NCAA Tournament, CBS Sports and its variety of channels, weighed in with picks for the Final Four from their panel of experts.

The Wolverines and Spartans didn’t make the cut here.

  • Gary Parrish: Gonzaga (champ), UNC, Houston, Kentucky
  • Matt Norlander: Kentucky (champ), Gonzaga, UCLA, Baylor
  • Kyle Boone: Kentucky (champ), Houston, Creighton, Texas
  • David Cobb: UCLA (champ), Houston, Gonzaga, Baylor
  • Jerry Palm: Gonzaga (champ), Kentucky, Houston, Kansas

Sports Illustrated Final Four Picks has a panel of four making their Final Four picks for this season as well.

Of the four, three of them like North Carolina to hoist the national championship when all is said and done.

  • Pat Forde: UNC (champ), Gonzaga, Houston, Arkansas
  • Kevin Sweeney: UNC (champ), Gonzaga, Houston, Kentucky
  • Jason Jordan: UNC (champ), Houston, Kansas, Baylor
  • Jeremy Woo: Houston (champ), Baylor, Kentucky, Texas

ESPN Bracketology

ESPN’s Joe Lunardi is already busy at work putting together the field of 68 for the 2023 NCAA Tournament.

Lunardi lists Michigan as a No. 6 seed in the West Region, taking on No. 11 Oklahoma to open the tournament.

Michigan State is listed as a No. 7 seed in the Midwest Region, going up against No. 10 Memphis in the first round.

Lunardi lists Gonzaga, North Carolina, Kentucky and Houston as the No. 1 seeds currently.

Big Ten college basketball predictions

Michigan and MSU may not be in the national title picture in the experts’ eyes, but what about the Big Ten Conference?

The answer is: not really.

Nobody is picking the Wolverines or Spartans to win the conference. Michigan is given a little more respect, but the Spartans aren’t really in the mix according to most of the experts.


  • Consensus: 1. Illinois, 3. Michigan, 5. Michigan State
  • Garry Parrish: 1. Indiana, 2. Michigan, 5. Michigan State
  • Matt Norlander: 1. Illinois, 4. Michigan, 5. Michigan State
  • Kyle Boone: 1. Illinois, 2. Michigan State, 3. Michigan
  • David Cobb: 1. Indiana, 4. Michigan, 6. Michigan State
  • Jerry Palm: 1. Illinois, 4. Michigan State, 5. Michigan


  • Consensus: 1. Indiana, 3. Michigan, 6. Michigan State
  • Myron Medcalf: 1. Indiana, 3. Michigan, 6. Michigan State
  • Jeff Borzello: 1. Indiana, 3. Michigan, 6. Michigan State
  • John Gasaway: 1. Indiana, 5. Michigan, 6. Michigan State
  • Joe Lunardi: 1. Indiana, 3. Michigan, 4. Michigan State

Sports Illustrated

  • Consensus: 1. Illinois, 3. Michigan, 7. Michigan State
Photo by Eric Gay / Associated Press
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Drew Ellis

Drew Ellis is the Lead Writer of PlayMichigan, the No. 1 source for online gambling news in Michigan. A lifelong resident of the state, Ellis has been working in various forms of media since 1998, including more than a decade in the sports betting industry prior to transitioning into US casino markets in 2020.

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