2020 College Basketball National Championship Odds and Expert Betting Predictions
We are only a few games into the college basketball season, but there are already a bunch of things that we thought we knew that have been challenged. It's always this way. And that uncertainty, even at the top levels of the sport, are why we love it so much. We looked at national title odds before the season. But it is worth it to look at where we are at now, what has changed, and what we think we know.
Michigan State (+800): Their loss to Kentucky in the opener was a real blow to the perception of this team - especially after Kentucky came out and lost a stunner afterwards. The Spartans really avoided a major concern when they fought it out and won a tough one at a very good Seton Hall team. It wasn't pretty, and this team really needs to find some discipline that has been missing so far. But the pieces are still here, and they still deserve to be the favorite. But it isn't as easy to love them as it was before the year.
Duke (+1000): They looked very solid against Kansas, and Vernon Carey Jr. had a starring debut. They haven't been tested since, and we still need to see more, but so far, they have been about what we thought they were, and that justifies this price… for now.
Kentucky (+1000): This team just lost to Evansville. At home. And they beat Michigan State. How can we possibly evaluate this team at this point? Anything we think we know about this team right now is just a guess. One thing that is for sure, though, is that it is much tougher to believe that Ashton Hagans is the dream guard that this team needs than it was before the season started.
Kansas (+1200): They lost their opener to Duke and didn't cover their other game. They turn the ball over far too much. They are definitely a work in progress. And I am not convinced that they are going to get it back on track in any hurry. I was not a big believer heading into the season, and that hasn't changed.
Louisville (+1400): This is a good team that can be very good if Jordan Nwara can play like a superstar. And so far, he is averaging an impressive 21.7 points per game through three games. So far, so good. I liked them before, and I still like them. The price feels fair to me.
Memphis (+1400): James Wiseman dropped his lawsuit against Memphis and has been ruled out. It seems like he could get a suspension that will get him back for conference play, though. If that happens, then he could be fresh when it matters most. There is talent here beyond that, too. If they can ignore the distractions off the court, then they should be just fine. If we heard that Wiseman was gone for the year, then things would change, but for now not much has really changed when it comes to this team.
Florida (+1600): This team got smoked by Florida State in their opener when they were favored by 5.5 points. And they shot 28 percent from the field. It was a truly lousy performance. And for a team that didn't do a lot to excite me heading into the year, that performance was a fatal blow to any love I had for the team.
North Carolina (+1600): Through two games, freshman Cole Anthony leads the team in points (with 27 per game!), rebounds, assists and steals. And he is the top salesman in the school's concessions, and he valet parks every fan's car before the game, too. He's a freak. And if he can keep it up, then this price will look like a better and better deal.
Gonzaga (+2000): The Bulldogs have played an incredibly weak schedule through their first three games , but they are averaging 110.7 points per game so far. That should terrify their opponents going forward. And it's balanced scoring, too - they have five guys averaging double digits. And Killian Tillie isn't even back yet. We need to see them against a better team,. However, I felt they weren't getting enough respect before the season, and that feeling certainly hasn't faded so far.
Villanova (+2000): There was a lot to like in their first game - not the least of which was an outstanding game from freshman star Jeremiah Robinson-Earl. But the optimism didn't last long. Next time out they went to Columbus and got absolutely crushed by an Ohio State team that isn't exactly seen as a national contender. The losses over the last couple of years were bound to catch up to them. But even with that in mind, that was a disturbing loss. We need to be patient - they have earned that by now - but at this point the price is a long way from attractive.
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