As one season closes, another is set to start in just a mere six months and it’s never too early to put a futures bet on who you believe will be the team cutting down the nets at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta next April. The Virginia Cavaliers claimed the 2019 title, their first in school history, however they sit on the oddsboard, two areas behind the Kentucky Wildcats, that are the +500 favorite.
BetOnline has Kentucky since the favorite to win the 2020 college hoops championship at +500 followed closely by Duke at +600, Virginia at +650, Michigan State at +800, and Michigan and North Carolina at +1200 to round out the leading teams around the oddsboard.
Tread Lightly with Kentucky
Kentucky had a successful 2018-19 effort, placing together a 30-7 record en route to an Elite Eight berth before falling to Auburn in overtime. Undoubtedly head coach John Calipari will possess the Wildcats playing at a high degree, but he will need to enter the season with quite a different appearance. Four of Kentucky’s starting five will be likely to graduate or be drafted in the NBA as Reid Travis is a senior and P.J. Washington, Keldon Johnson and Tyler Herro will probably be going pro.
All is not lost, however, since the Wildcats have already done a great job recruitment 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 fee and will work well with the incoming freshmen. With their new appearance, I would be hesitant to put a wager on this club in +500 at this point.
Kansas Could be Well-Balanced and Experienced
Kansas had a very interesting 2018-19, revealing flashes of brilliance along with being ranked in the top five in the AP poll for eight weeks, including two weeks at the top spot. Overall, the Jayhawks finished the year with a 26-10 record, falling to Auburn in the Round of 32. Kansas was a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde club when it arrived to house and away splits, heading a perfect 16-0 at Allen Fieldhouse but just 3-8 in true road games — quite confusing results.
The Jayhawks had to battle through accidents, losing guard Lagerald Vick for its summer in early February. He is a senior and will not be back next year. Additionally, junior center Udoka Azubuike played only nine matches in 2018-19. But Kansas, despite those big holes in the frontcourt and backcourt, nevertheless needed a Round of 32 appearance. The Jayhawks must be feisty this upcoming season as I don’t anticipate Azubuike to be drafted and Vick will be their sole loss, so odds of +2000 provide decent value.
Auburn Providing Best Value
Head coach Bruce Pearl must be proud of this effort his team put in this past season, going 30-10, including winning the SEC championship and falling just to eventual national champion Virginia 63-62 at the Final Four. The group had four seniors, such as shield Bryce Brown, who headed the team with 15.9 points per match.
On the other hand, the center of the team should return for the 2019-20 season, 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. Additionally, Pearl has recruited five players that have signed letters of intent, including small forward Isaac Okoro,who’s the 37th-ranked recruit. I believe this group is going to cause waves and +3300 may be a steal as we close March following year.
Here’s a look at the full list of chances for the 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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