Free College Basketball Picks: Ohio State Buckeyes Futures Odds
by George Monroy - 10/11/2013
The Ohio State Buckeyes came within three points and two minutes of making a Final Four appearance last season, and after entering the tournament as the No. 2 seed in the West region, a loss to Wichita State in the Elite Eight has to feel like a disappointment. The Buckeyes ended last season with a 29-8 record, which was good for a No. 7 ranking in the Associated Press Poll and a No. 6 ranking in the USA Today Coaches Poll. However, the team expected to accomplish much more than an Elite Eight appearance and at minimum wanted to make a second-straight Final Four berth.
Ohio State will be returning this season looking to improve upon last year’s tournament run and expects to be on the short list of title contenders. The Buckeyes’ managed to keep its Elite Eight core intact and will be returning a roster loaded with sophomores and juniors. Let’s take a closer look at the Ohio State Buckeyes futures odds and figure out just how good they will be this college basketball season.
National title odds
Ohio State: +1500
Ohio State is currently receiving the eight-best title odds in the nation, according to Sportsbook.ag. The team’s last National Championship came nearly 54 years ago in 1960, but despite that drought the Buckeyes still have a rich history throughout the tournament. Ohio State has four runner-up finishes—the last one coming in 2007—10 Final Four appearances and 14 Elite Eight berths. The team is usually a contender to at least make the postseason tournament and currently has five straight appearances and seven during the last eight years.
The Buckeyes will be putting a very experienced squad on the floor. And while they may fall short in talent to certain teams, they make up for it with the experienced core that made two straight deep tournament runs. It’s always difficult to predict championship futures in college basketball because during any given year there are a number of teams that could win a national title. This season Kentucky and Kansas might be receiving all the media attention, but there are probably 10 to 15 schools that are very good and could make deep postseason runs. There is excellent value for bettors wagering on the Buckeyes at +1500. It is not farfetched to believe that the team can make a national title appearance this year.
Ohio State lost last season’s leading scorer and rebounder Deshaun Thomas to the NBA. However, the team will be returning seven of its top nine scores from last year, including guard Aaron Craft, who is expected to be the team leader and primary ball handler. Craft averaged 10 points, 3.6 rebounds and 4.6 assists for the Buckeyes last season, and he is only expected to improve on those numbers. The guard will be joined in the backcourt by all-Big Ten defensive team pick Shannon Scott, who averaged 4.9 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 3.8 assists during limited minutes as a sophomore last season. Scott is expected to receive more playing time and become a more important part of the team.
Ohio State has a lot to look forward to this season and is expecting to have another great year. The team’s biggest advantage—particularly early in the year—is the on-court chemistry that has been forged over two-years of tournament experience. The Buckeyes will be in the position to succeed early in the year and will probably not need to worry about the growing pains of getting a new roster acclimated to the season. Ohio State might be a great bet to cover a few spreads once the season starts. Teams like Kentucky and Kansas will have rosters filled with new players and might need the early portion of the schedule to build chemistry and trust.
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