As one season closes, another is set to start in just a mere six months and it is never too early to put a futures bet on who you believe will be the group cutting down the nets at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta next April. The Virginia Cavaliers maintained the 2019 title, their first in history, but they sit third on the oddsboard, two spots behind the Kentucky Wildcats, who would be the +500 favorite.
BetOnline has Kentucky as the favorite to win against the 2020 school hoops championship at +500 followed by Duke at +600, Virginia in +650, Michigan State in +800, and Michigan and North Carolina at +1200 to round out the leading teams on the oddsboard.
Tread Gently with Kentucky
Kentucky had a successful 2018-19 effort, placing with 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 at a high degree, but he will need to enter the season with rather a different appearance. Four of Kentucky’s starting five are likely to graduate or be drafted into the NBA as Reid Travis is an old and P.J. Washington, Keldon Johnson and Tyler Herro will likely be moving pro.
All isn’t lost, though, since the Wildcats have done a good job recruiting for the upcoming season, procuring two 2019 McDonald’s All-Americans, shooting guard Tyrese Maxey and little forward Khalil Whitney. I anticipate sophomores Immanuel Quickley and E.J. Montgomery to lead the fee and will work well with the incoming freshmen. With their brand new appearance, I would be hesitant to put a wager on this club at +500 at this stage.
Kansas Could be Well-Balanced and Experienced
Kansas had an extremely intriguing 2018-19, revealing flashes of brilliance along with being rated in the top five at the AP poll for eight months, including two weeks at the top spot. 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 team as it came to home and away splits, heading a perfect 16-0 in Allen Fieldhouse but just 3-8 in true road games — quite confusing results.
The Jayhawks needed to battle through accidents, losing protect Lagerald Vick for the season in early February. He is a senior and won’t be back next year. Furthermore, junior center Udoka Azubuike played just nine matches in 2018-19. But 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 don’t 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 must be proud of this effort his team put in last season, heading 30-10, including winning the SEC championship and falling only to eventual national champion Virginia 63-62 at the Final Four. The group had four seniors, including guard Bryce Brown, who headed the team with 15.9 points per game.
However, the center of the team should come back for the 2019-20 season, most notably Jared Harper and Chuma Okeke, who united 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 small forward Isaac Okoro,who’s the 37th-ranked recruit. I think this group will cause waves again and +3300 may be a steal as we near March next year.
Here’s a look at the Complete list of chances 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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