Free College Basketball Picks: Oregon Ducks Futures Odds
by George Monroy - 10/25/2013
The Oregon Ducks may have been one of last season’s biggest surprises in the nation. The Ducks won the Pac-12 Tournament and made a solid Sweet 16 run where they were eliminated in a close matchup against the eventual champion Louisville Cardinals. National title contenders do not usually come from the Pac-12, but Oregon will again enter the season with a talented roster of players that could improve on last season’s excellent run. The Ducks, of course, will have to contend with the Arizona Wildcats for conference supremacy, but they will probably be on of those underrated teams that provide bettors with excellent value and gambling opportunities throughout the year. Let’s take a closer look at the Oregon Ducks’ NCAA futures odds and figure out just how good the team will be this season.
National title odds
Oregon Ducks: +4000
The Ducks opened at No. 18 in the USA Today Preseason Coaches Poll that was released recently. However, the oddsmakers disagree with that ranking and currently have Oregon receiving the 12th-best title odds in the nation. The oddsmakers’ lines probably have more clout than the polls since the linesmakers should be much more knowledgeable about every team in the nation as opposed to a group of coaches who are only worried about their own group of players. The discrepancy in rankings highlights the fact that the Ducks could provide basketball bettors with excellent value throughout the season as the betting public will probably overlook Oregon on a daily basis.
Last season the team finished the year with a 28-9 record, a Pac-12 title and an excellent tournament run. Oregon will be returning many of last year’s players, with the added experience of postseason play. Sophomores Damyean Dotson and Dominic Artis will both be returning to the team and bringing huge talent to Oregon’s backcourt, which is expected to be one of the best in the nation. Oregon lost four of their five leading scorers from last season and will rely on Dotson to carry much of the scoring load. Last season the freshman guard was the team’s second-leading scorer with 11.4 points per game—a number that is expected to increase this year.
Jordan Bell was the Ducks’ top recruit during the offseason and was the 78th-ranked high school player in the nation, according to ESPN. The freshman is an excellent defender and should be able to contribute to the team immediately. Last season Oregon was not a very good ATS team, and despite an excellent 28-9 straight up record, the team only managed a 16-17-2 ATS record for the year. The oddsmakers know how good the Ducks are and will not be undervaluing the team during the season. The best situation to take advantage of with Oregon lines is when they are playing high-profile schools and the betting public pushes those spreads to a larger number than they should be. The team will also have solid futures value on winning the Pac-12 conference title. The conference’s odds have not yet been released by any sportsbooks, but it is almost certain that Arizona will be the favorite, and Oregon will be getting some sort of positive payout. Arizona is a very good team, but the Ducks have an excellent shot at winning this year’s Pac-12 Tournament.
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