As one season closes, another is set to begin in a mere six months and it is never too early to place a futures bet on who you think are the group cutting down the nets at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta following April. The Virginia Cavaliers claimed the 2019 title, their first in history, however they sit third on the oddsboard, two areas behind the Kentucky Wildcats, who are the +500 favorite.
BetOnline has Kentucky as the favorite to win the 2020 school hoops championship at +500 followed by Duke in +600, Virginia at +650, Michigan State at +800, and Michigan and North Carolina in +1200 to round out the leading teams on the oddsboard.
Tread Gently with Kentucky
Kentucky had a successful 2018-19 effort, placing together a 30-7 record en route to an Elite Eight berth before falling to Auburn in overtime. No doubt head coach John Calipari will have the Wildcats playing in a high degree, but he’ll have to enter the season with quite a different look. Four of Kentucky’s starting five are very likely to graduate or be drafted into the NBA as Reid Travis is an old and P.J. Washington, Keldon Johnson and Tyler Herro will probably be going pro.
All is not lost, though, as the Wildcats have done a great job recruitment for the upcoming season, securing two 2019 McDonald’s All-Americans, shooting guard Tyrese Maxey and small forward Khalil Whitney. I expect sophomores Immanuel Quickley and E.J. Montgomery to lead the fee and will work well with the incoming freshmen. With their brand new look, I’d be hesitant to put a bet on this club at +500 at this stage.
Kansas May be Well-Balanced and Experienced
Kansas had an extremely interesting 2018-19, showing flashes of brilliance along with being rated in the top five at the AP poll for eight weeks, including two weeks at the top place. Overall, the Jayhawks ended the year with a 26-10 record, falling to Auburn in the Round of 32. Kansas was a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde club as it came to home and away splits, going a perfect 16-0 in Allen Fieldhouse but only 3-8 in true road games — quite confusing results.
The Jayhawks needed to battle through accidents, losing protect Lagerald Vick for its summer in early February. He’s a senior and won’t be back . Additionally, junior centre Udoka Azubuike played just nine matches in 2018-19. But Kansas, despite those huge holes in the frontcourt and backcourt, still had a Round of 32 look. The Jayhawks must be feisty this forthcoming season as I do not anticipate Azubuike to be drafted and Vick are their sole loss, so odds of +2000 provide decent value.
Auburn Providing Best Value
Head coach Bruce Pearl must be proud of the effort his team put in this past season, going 30-10, for example winning the SEC tournament and falling only to eventual national champion Virginia 63-62 at the Final Four. The group had four seniors, such as guard Bryce Brown, who led the team with 15.9 points per match.
On the other hand, the center of the group should come back for the 2019-20 year, most notably Jared Harper and Chuma Okeke, who united for 27.3 ppg. Harper led the team with 5.8 assists per game, while Okeke was the team leader with 6.8 rebounds per game. Additionally, Pearl has recruited five players that have signed letters of intent, including small forward Isaac Okoro,who’s the 37th-ranked recruit. I think this team is going to cause waves again and +3300 could be a steal as we close March next year.
Here’s a look at the full list of odds for the 2020 college hoops championship:
2019-20 College BASKETBALL Champion Odds
Michigan State +800
North Carolina +1200
Mississippi State +3300
Texas Tech +3300
Florida State +6600
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