College Basketball Predictions: Coaches Poll Top 25 Futures Odds
by George Monroy - 10/25/2013
The NCAA Men’s college basketball season is set to start in a few short weeks, and already it is expected to be one of the most interesting seasons in recent memory. The Kentucky Wildcats are loaded with so much talent that is almost seems unfair, but the big question surrounding the team is if Coach John Calipari can turn that roster into championship material. The Kansas Jayhawks hit the jackpot by landing Andrew Wiggins, the biggest high school recruit since LeBron James, and are expected to compete for a title on that merit alone.
However, this NCAA season is more than a two-school race, and there are probably 10 to 15 schools with a solid shot at making a deep postseason run and challenging the powerhouse squads for supremacy of the nation. The Oregon Ducks and Arizona Wildcats are expected to put talented squads together, and that is not even mentioning the Duke Blue Devils and North Carolina Tar Heels, who are always contenders to compete for a national title. Last week USA Today released its preseason rankings via its Coaches Poll, and of course Kentucky was at the top of the list. Let’s take a closer look at the Top 25 preseason rankings and futures odds for each team on the list. Odds come from Sportsbook.ag
1) Kentucky: +400: the Wildcats have the most talented team in the nation with six McDonald’s All-Americans and deserve to be the title favorite entering the season. There is already even talk about going undefeated on the season.
2) Michigan State: +1000: the Spartans had an excellent postseason run last year, but it seems like the coaches are really overvaluing the team by placing them second over Duke and Kansas.
3) Louisville: +1000: the Cardinals believe that they have the talent to repeat and give Coach Rick Pitino a chance at winning back-to-back titles. The defending champs feel a bit under-the-radar heading into the season. Bettors shouldn’t forget that most of last year’s title team will be returning this season.
4) Duke: +700: the Blue Devils are receiving the third-best title odds in the nation and a fourth-place ranking in the Coaches Poll feels appropriate. Duke will be led by the talented Jabari Parker, who just might be one of the best players in the nation.
5) Arizona: +1500: the Wildcats lost many of last year’s key players, but they are being replaced by Aaron Gordon, who may be the best freshmen in the nation. Arizona is expected to win the Pac-12 and make another deep postseason run.
6) Kansas: +600: the oddsmakers and the coaches disagree on how good the Jayhawks really are. Kansas is receiving the second-best national title odds in the nation, and in the minds of many experts is nearly as good as Kentucky. The team also possesses more than just Andrew Wiggins and has another pair of talented freshmen in Wayne Selden and Joel Embiid to go along with the presumed No. 1 pick in next year’s NBA Draft.
7) Syracuse: +3000: the Orangemen had a solid run during last year’s postseason tournament and are expected to be a contender yet again. Jim Boeheim’s team will be moving conferences and lost a few players from last season, but they replaced them with another talented freshman in Tyler Ennis.
8) Florida: +1500: the Gators have made three straight Elite Eight appearances, and if they can stay at full strength throughout the season Billy Donovan’s squad has enough talent and depth to contend for a national title. Florida players Eli Carter and Will Yeguete have battle injuries during the offseason, and Scottie Wilbekin was suspended indefinitely due to undisclosed violations.
9) Michigan: +3000: standouts Mitch McGary and Glenn Robinson III will be the focus of the team now that the Wolverines lost Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. to the NBA. McGary was a breakout star during last season’s tournament and should only improve this year.
10) Ohio St: +1500: the Buckeyes lost leading scorer Deshaun Thomas and the 19.8 points per game that he provided the team. However, Aaron Craft and Lenzelle Smith Jr. will form one of the most talented backcourts in the league this season. If Ohio St. can find offense from a few other players, the team should be able to make another solid tournament run
11) North Carolina: +2500
12) Oklahoma St: +4000
13) Memphis: +5000
14) Gonzaga: +10000
15) Virginia Commonwealth: N/A
16) Wichita St: +10000
17) Marquette: +10000
18) Oregon: +4000
19) Connecticut: N/A
20) New Mexico: +10000
21) Wisconsin: +6000
22) Notre Dame: +10000
23) UCLA: +1000
24) Indiana: +5000
25) Virginia: +7500
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Read more articles by George Monroy
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