As one season closes, another is set to begin in just a mere six months and it’s never too early to put a futures bet on who you think are the group cutting down the nets at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta following April. The Virginia Cavaliers claimed the 2019 title, their first in school history, however they sit on the oddsboard, two spots behind the Kentucky Wildcats, who are the +500 favorite.
BetOnline has Kentucky since the favorite to win the 2020 school hoops championship at +500 followed by Duke at +600, Virginia at +650, Michigan State in +800, and Michigan and North Carolina in +1200 to round out the leading teams around the oddsboard.
Tread Gently with Kentucky
Kentucky had a powerful 2018-19 campaign, placing together a 30-7 record en route to an Elite Eight berth before falling to Auburn in overtime. No doubt head coach John Calipari will possess the Wildcats playing in a high level, but he will have to enter the season with rather a different look. Four of Kentucky’s starting five are likely to graduate or be drafted in the NBA as Reid Travis is an old and P.J. Washington, Keldon Johnson and Tyler Herro will probably be moving pro.
All isn’t lost, however, as the Wildcats have already done a great job recruiting for the upcoming season, procuring two 2019 McDonald’s All-Americans, shooting guard Tyrese Maxey and little forward Khalil Whitney. I expect sophomores Immanuel Quickley and E.J. Montgomery to lead the charge and will work nicely with the incoming freshmen. With their brand new look, I would be hesitant to lay a bet on this bar at +500 at this stage.
Kansas May be Well-Balanced and Experienced
Kansas had a very interesting 2018-19, revealing flashes of brilliance and being ranked in the top five in the AP survey for eight months, including 2 weeks at the top place. Overall, the Jayhawks finished the year with a 26-10 record, falling to Auburn from the Round of 32. Kansas was a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde club when it arrived to home and away splits, going a perfect 16-0 in Allen Fieldhouse but just 3-8 in true road games — very confusing results.
The Jayhawks had to battle through injuries, losing guard Lagerald Vick for the summer in early February. He’s a senior and won’t be back next year. Additionally, junior centre Udoka Azubuike played just nine matches in 2018-19. However, Kansas, despite those big holes in the frontcourt and backcourt, nevertheless had a Round of 32 appearance. The Jayhawks should be feisty this forthcoming season as I do not expect Azubuike to be drafted and Vick are their sole loss, so odds of +2000 provide adequate price.
Auburn Providing Best Value
Head coach Bruce Pearl has to be proud of the effort his team put in this past season, heading 30-10, including winning the SEC championship and falling just to eventual national champion Virginia 63-62 at the Final Four. The team had four seniors, such as guard Bryce Brown, who headed the team with 15.9 points per game.
On the other hand, the center of the team must come back for the 2019-20 year, most notably Jared Harper and Chuma Okeke, who combined for 27.3 ppg. Harper led the team with 5.8 assists per game, while Okeke was the group leader with 6.8 rebounds per game. In addition, Pearl has recruited five players that have signed letters of intent, such as little forward Isaac Okoro,who is the 37th-ranked recruit. I think this group will cause waves and +3300 could be a steal as we near March next year.
Here’s a look at the full list of odds for your 2020 school hoops championship:
2019-20 College BASKETBALL Champion Odds
Michigan State +800
North Carolina +1200
Mississippi State +3300
Texas Tech +3300
Florida State +6600
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