2010-11 NCAA Basketball Preview & Futures Betting Odds
by Richard Gardner | Bodog Sportsbook Manager - 11/10/2010
The 2010-11 college basketball season tips off in a matter of days so I thought I'd let you know which schools are making us sweat on the futures board.
When it comes to our odds to win the 2011 NCAA men's basketball championship, there are eight teams that we're currently exposed on here at Bodog Sportsbook, the big one being Michigan State at 9/1. The Spartans start the season ranked second, behind defending champion Duke, in the AP Top 25.
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You might remember that Michigan State made a rather unexpected trip to the Final Four last year out of the Midwest Regional, thanks in no small part to Northern Iowa, which beat top-seeded Kansas and Tennessee, which beat No. 2 Ohio State, before both underdogs fell to the No. 5 Spartans. That experience should serve Tom Izzo's crew well as it returns with the likes of Durrell Summers, Kalin Lucas and Draymond Green.
"Anything other than the national title, to me, is a failure," Green told reporters recently. "Big Ten championships, Final Fours, all that stuff is great. But I think we're at a point now where we need to bring home a national title."
"We were ranked high last year too, so we know we'll have a target on our back," added teammate Lucas, who was lost during last year's tournament with a ruptured Achilles tendon. "It's my final year and I only have one goal. I want to win it all, that's it."
I'm expecting huge betting action on Dec. 1, when MSU takes on No. 1 Duke. And with No. 5 Ohio State and No. 8 Purdue in the conference, the Spartans will face their fair share of contenders in the regular season, so expect them to be battle-tested before the big tournament.
Another team bettors have been getting behind is Kansas (20/1), which comes into the season ranked seventh in the nation by the AP. It's pretty tempting when you can get a team like the Jayhawks at 20/1, even though they don't have Cole Aldrich, Sherron Collins or Xavier Henry anymore. Kansas is expecting big things from junior point guard Marcus Morris.
Finally, if you're looking for a potential long-shot that will pay off big, a lot of our bettors seem to think the Washington Huskies (50/1) have a chance to win it all. The Dawgs from Seattle are ranked No. 18 by the AP, the highest of any Pac-10 school, and are the overwhelming conference favorites. But perhaps the biggest problem for the Huskies will be finding enough competition to get them prepared for March Madness. As it stands, they won't play a single ranked team during the regular season.
The other five teams that we're exposed on: Gonzaga (50/1), Missouri (50/1), Ohio State (20/1), Syracuse (25/1) and Villanova (20/1).
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