The college basketball season is about to tip-off. With every season there are futures bets that can be made before things get started. Here are college basketball bets to place before the season.
Odds are from oddsshark.com.
Wisconsin to win the Big Ten- +374
After winning the Big Ten last year and returning all of their key components from their end-of-the-year roster. The Badgers aren’t favored to win the Big Ten, that honor belongs to Iowa who is +350. Wisconsin should be favored, as they are the more balanced team on both ends of the floor. There will be other contenders, like Michigan State and Illinois, but the Badgers should be able to hold them off this season.
D’Mitrick Trice will run the point guard spot for the Badgers as a senior. He has averaged around 10 points per game over his last three seasons, but really bumped up his assist totals last year. Trice can shoot and set up his teammates well. At the other guard spot, Wisconsin has Brad Davidson gives the Badgers another player who averages around 10 points per game, but he is known for his incredible defense and ability to take charges. Aleem Ford and Micah Potter are solid forwards, while Nate Reuvers has a chance to improve again at center after nearly doubling his scoring average last season.
With all of the experience and chemistry going into this season, Wisconsin just needs to improve their offensive efficiency a little bit to really be title contenders.
Kentucky to Win the SEC- +270
Kentucky is favored to win the SEC and for good reason. LSU lost their leader and smartest player in Skylar Mays. Tennessee will be relying on Santiago Vescovi to take a huge step forward this season. Those are the two other biggest competitors for the SEC and neither team has the level of talent that Kentucky has this season.
As always, Kentucky has recruited well. They have three freshman that will start in the backcourt that were all highly-touted recruits in Devin Askew, B.J. Boston and Terrence Clarke. Keion Brooks will likely start at forward as the lone returnee after scoring 4.5 points per game. Other than these players, Kentucky will rely on transfers, including big man Olivier Sarr, who is a double-double candidate this season and will likely start at center.
While there are other competitors in the SEC, Kentucky should be able to take home the title.
Luka Garza to Win Player of the Year- +375
Last season, Garza was in a race for the Player of the Year award with Obi Toppin. Unfortunately for Garza, Toppin ended up taking home the award. This year, Garza is the favorite to win the award and may receive votes because he came so close last season.
In the 2019-2020 season, Garza was a consensus All-American 23.9 points and 9.8 rebounds per game for Iowa. He also averaged 1.8 blocks per game. The Hawkeyes were looking forward to an NCAA Tournament appearance despite struggling with injuries. This season, they will have the key contributors back ready to make a run. Garza should be able to have a big individual year and his team’s performance could help him lock down the Player of the Year Award.
Illinois to Win the National Championship- +5000
While they may not be the favorites to win the National Championship, Illinois is getting great odds based on the talent they have on the roster. They are a top 10 team in preseason polls, but their odds of winning a championship are 50/1.
Illinois will have a veteran point guard in Ayo Dosunmu running the show after he decided to remove himself from the NBA Draft. He improved as a sophomore and should be expected to be one of the best point guards in the country. He’ll be joined in the backcourt by Trent Frazier, who is a senior that averages double figures for his career. The backcourt will be one of the best in the country as a whole as well. Going with them, the Illini will have an inside presence in Kofi Cockburn. Cockburn averaged 13.3 points and 8.8 rebounds per game last season as a freshman. With another year under his belt, Cockburn should be a dominant big man. The three-headed monster for the Fighting Illini gives them plenty of options of how to beat opponents.
If all three players can stay healthy this season, the Illini could end up winning it all with their experienced backcourt and star big man in the middle.
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