College Basketball Power Rankings: Who Can Catch Gonzaga?

Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Drew Timme.
Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Drew Timme. / James Snook-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: The National Championship Favorite

1. Gonzaga (+500)

Gonzaga's season long profile is starting to look similar, and possibly better soon enough, than last season when the team was the prohibitive National Championship favorite.

This iteration of the Zags has the third highest adjusted efficiency margin in KenPom's database, behind last season's team and the 2015 Kentucky team.

The Bulldogs handled KenPom's 20th ranked team St. Mary's with ease on Saturday night at home, 74-58.

Tier 2: Dangerous Contenders

2. Arizona (+1000)

Arizona is the only other team in the top 10 on both sides of the ball, per KenPom. The Wildcats sit 22-2 and are capable of beating you in a myriad of ways, both inside (top 10 in two-point percentage) and beating you from the perimeter (84th in the nation in three-point percentage).

The team is a bit streaky, but they are a worthy foe that can match Gonzaga's speed and size.

3. Kentucky (+1000)

4. Auburn (+800)

We have been hinting that Auburn may be in line for a loss and they had their 19 game winning streak snapped in an emotional overtime contest at Arkansas.

The team bounced back thought and disposed of Texas A&M. The team is hoping to find it's 3-point shot before March as the Tigers are now shooting 27% from beyond the arc in SEC play.

5. Baylor (+1200)

Baylor has been up-and-down this season as the Bears battle injuries, and they suffered another tough one on Saturday.

Big man Jonathan Tchamwa will miss the rest of the season after suffering a serious knee injury. The team has been playing short handed for most of conference play and will look to adjust on the fly after losing another key contributor.

Tier 3: Next Team Up

6. Villanova (+2000)

The Villanova Wildcats are playing for their Big East regular season title lives on Tuesday on the road against Providence. The Wildcats have won three physical battles over the past week dating back to the UConn win and then took care of St. John's and Seton Hall to get ready for Nate Watson and the Friars.

7. Purdue (+800)

Purdue's incredible offense took over in the second half against Illinois, but the team had no answers for Hunter Dickinson and Michigan on Thursday.

The Boilermakers remain outside the top 100 of KenPom's defensive efficiency metric, making me question their legitimacy in the National Championship race, but their offense keeps them in the second tier.

A near loss at home to lowly Maryland would've been a catastrophic loss and shows how vulnerable this team is.

8. Duke (+1200)

Like Purdue, Duke also found itself exposed for being a vulnerable contender, losing to Virginia at home. The Blue Devils defensive metrics look nice but they profile as a team that struggles to adjust in-game and can be on the wrong side of opponent shooting regression.

Read more about my thoughts on Duke from last week here.

9. Houston (+1500)

Houston lost two straight games to the two contenders for the AAC Championship in SMU and Memphis.

The Cougars still profile as a difficult NCAA Tournament foe, inside the top 20 on both sides of the ball, so I won't knock them too far as they were in the midst of a 12 game winning streak before that.

10. Kansas (+1500)

11. Illinois (+2000)

12. UCLA (+2000)

UCLA struggled against another formidable foe, this time dropping a game to inner-city rival USC on the road down their star play Isaiah Mobley.

The Bruins are a really solid team, and will be a tricky foe in the Tournament given their talent and experience, but they remain firmly outside my top 10.

13. Texas Tech (+2000)

Texas Tech would've taken a big jump inside the top eight this week if not for a flat spot and loss at Oklahoma earlier in the week, but the Red Raiders' defense make them worthy of a look in the Final Four and National Championship market.

Mark Adams' team has the third best defensive efficiency mark and is 31st in offensive rebounding rate. Further, ShotQuality ranks the TTU offense as 14th in the country, hinting at some possible shooting regression on the horizon.

Tier 4: Good Teams, Unclear Ceilings

14. Providence (+6000)

Providence remains in the same spot after playing just one game against DePaul last week and needing to come from behind to win in overtime.

However, if the Friars can win against Villanova on Tuesday at home, I'll have no choice but to move them up to Tier 3 with a 21-2 record and likely a Big East regular season title all but wrapped up.

15. Arkansas (+7500)

Arkansas nearly had a banner week, knocking off Auburn at home and nearly taking down Alabama on the road. The Razorbacks battled foul trouble all game and came up just short, losing by one on Saturday afternoon, but this team is firmly in the mix for a deep NCAA Tournament run.

16. USC (+5000)

17. Tennessee (+3000)

18. Wisconsin (+5000)

19. Wyoming (N/A)

Wyoming won another thriller earlier in the week, beating Utah State at home in overtime.

The schedule cools off for the Cowboys, who boast a top 25 offense in the country, as they play New Mexico and Air Force. The team needs to hold serve in those matchups to make sure they don't play themselves out of the Tournament.

20. Colorado State (+7500)

Colorado State is the flavor of the week in the Mountain West, winning four straight, including a Super Bowl Sunday thriller at Boise State in overtime.

David Roddy is a wing nobody wants to see in March and the Rams now have a fairly easy stretch before they finish against three straight NCAA Tournament foes.

21. Alabama (+5000)

22. Murray State (N/A)

Tier 5: Honorable Mentions

23. Connecticut (+3000)

24. Iowa (+10000)

25. Texas (+3000)

We saw flashes from Texas this week, beating Kansas at home in a thriller, but the team couldn't follow it up, getting blown out by Baylor.

The Longhorns' frontcourt continues to pose issues for them on the glass, but the guard play is starting to round into form. Never count out Chris Beard, and the win against Kansas gets them the nudge into the Top 25 for now.

Just Missed the Cut: Michigan State, Ohio State, Marquette, Boise State,

All of Reed's college basketball plays can be tracked here, his best bets column for college basketball is 60-52-3 for +5.1 units.