College Basketball Power Rankings: Here Comes Kentucky

Jan 29, 2022; Lawrence, Kansas, USA; Kentucky Wildcats forward Keion Brooks Jr. (12) dunks the ball vs. Kansas Jayhawks
Jan 29, 2022; Lawrence, Kansas, USA; Kentucky Wildcats forward Keion Brooks Jr. (12) dunks the ball vs. Kansas Jayhawks / Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The college basketball world is about to hit its busy season with conference play starting across the country on a nightly basis. While we are still sifting through the contenders at the top of the rankings, sports bettors always have an eye on the NCAA Tournament and some valuable bets to make in the Futures market.

Every week here at BetSided, we will be power ranking the top 25 teams relative to their futures odds.

Here's how things stand as conference play enters full swing. All odds listed are via WynnBET.

Tier 1: Cut Above the Rest

1. Auburn (+1200)

2. Gonzaga (+500)

Tier 2: The Contenders

3. Kentucky (+1200)

Kentucky climbed several spots in this weeks rankings after putting up one of the most impressive results of the season, beating Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse 80-62.

The win was so impressive Kentucky also jumped to No. 3 in KenPom's rankings, placing inside the top 20 on both sides of the ball. Big Blue Nation travels to face Alabama this Saturday in another marquee matchup.

4. Villanova (+1500)

Outside of a loss in the final seconds to Marquette, Jay Wright's Wildcats have won 9 of 10, including Saturday when they handled St. John's in a wire-to-wire 11 point victory.

The team is set for a tough stretch this week, traveling to Marquette with revenge on their mind and then home for Big East contender UConn, but are firmly in the Final Four conversation.

5. Baylor (+1200)

The Bears lost on the road at Alabama as short favorites as injuries continue to be the massive talking point with this team.

James Akinjo has been battling a tailbone injury while Jeremy Sochan and now LJ Cryer have missed time over the past month. The backcourt is a short-term concern, but this team is still in the mix for a Big 12 title with their top five offensive rebounding marks.

The team hits the road to face Kansas on Saturday.

6. Arizona (+1000)

7. Duke (+1000)

8. Purdue (+1000)

9. Texas Tech (+3000)

Texas Tech may be the Final Four contender nobody is talking about. The team nearly won at Kansas before falling in double overtime during the week, then took out their frustrations on a solid Mississippi State team at home, winning by 26 points.

The offense is a concern for the Red Raiders, 59th per KenPom, but other sites such as ShotQuality look favorably on Mark Adam's offense, ranking them 12th.

TTU has an easy stretch coming up before playing Baylor at home in a few weeks to continue rising up the odds board, we'll see if the offense can round into form.

10. Houston (+3000)

11. UCLA (+2000)

UCLA notched a signature victory at home against Arizona on Tuesday, 75-59. However, the Wildcats had a surprising poor shooting night in the loss, shooting 34% on two-point shots and 25% from beyond the arc. The Bruins allowed 21 offensive rebounds as well.

I'm still not a believer in the Bruins long term, but that was a big win for a team trying to reestablish themselves as National Championship contenders.

The team will look to backup their performance against Zona when they travel to Tucson on Thursday night.

12. Kansas (+1100)

Tier 3: Flashes of Contenders

13. Connecticut (+5000)

14. Wisconsin (+5000)

15. Alabama (+3000)

Find me a team with a stranger resume than Alabama?

The team now has wins over Gonzaga, Houston and Baylor, but also has lost to Iona, Missouri and Georgia.

We will see if the Crimson Tide can follow up the Baylor win with a road game at Auburn and home game vs. Kentucky this week.

16. Michigan State (+3000)

17. Illinois (+2000)

Illinois was able to split their games without Kofi Cockburn, the victory being a home one against Michigan State who is slightly ahead of the mercurial Illini. In Cockburn's first game back from a concussion on Saturday, the team struggled to put away Northwestern.

I'm in wait-and-see mode on this club until everyone is healthy and they can establish a true identity.

18. Providence (+10000)

Is it time to put some respect on Providence's name? The team is 18-2 with a lone Big East loss to their name.

However, many are questioning if Ed Cooley's team is worth the hype given the amount of close games they have pulled out, namely in the past week, beating Xavier and Marquette in the final seconds to win by a combined five points.

For reference, KenPom still has the Friars ranked No. 43.

19. Boise State (+50000)

Another team that is winning every game close, Boise State is undefeated in the Mountain West and hasn't lost since the calendar flipped to December.

Paced by the sixth best defensive in KenPom's database, the Broncos figure to be on a NCAA Tournament trajectory, erasing a 3-4 start to the year.

However, keep an eye on if they can keep it up with a road game at Wyoming on Thursday. The Broncos have won their last five games by an average of 4.4 points.

Tier 4: Honorable Mention

20. Marquette (+10000)

21. TCU (+50000)

TCU came away with an impressive result in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge on Saturday, beating LSU at home as 3-point underdogs.

Jamie Dixon's team is trending towards clinching his first NCAA Tournament berth in Fort Worth and has his team playing lights out defense, No. 20 in KenPom's defensive efficiency metric.

22. Ohio State (+7500)

23. USC (+5000)

24. Xavier (+10000)

25. Arkansas (+7500)

Arkansas has erased a slow start to the season and starting to look like the SEC contender they were expected to be. The Razoerbacks have won six straight and are top 50 on both sides of the ball.

The team is still waiting to get hot from three-point range, sub-30% on the year as a team, but they are adept at getting to the free throw line (top 15 nationally) and cleaning the defensive glass (top 20).

All of Reed's college basketball plays can be tracked here, his best bets column for college basketball is 35-37-3 for -4.58 units.