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As one season closes, another is set to start in a mere six months and it’s never too early to place a futures bet on who you think will be the team cutting down the nets at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta following April. The Virginia Cavaliers maintained the 2019 title, their first in history, but they sit third on the oddsboard, two areas behind the Kentucky Wildcats, that would be the +500 favorite.
BetOnline has Kentucky since the favorite to win against the 2020 college hoops championship at +500 followed by Duke at +600, Virginia in +650, Michigan State in +800, and Michigan and North Carolina in +1200 to round out the leading teams on the oddsboard.
Tread Lightly with Kentucky
Kentucky had a successful 2018-19 effort, putting with 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 in a high degree, but he’ll need to enter the season with quite a different look. Four of Kentucky’s starting five are 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 likely be going pro.
All is not lost, though, since the Wildcats have 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 charge and will work well with the incoming freshmen. With their brand new look, I would be hesitant to put a bet on this club in +500 at this stage.
Kansas Could be Well-Balanced and Experienced
Kansas had a very interesting 2018-19, revealing flashes of brilliance and being rated in the top five at the AP survey for eight months, including two weeks in the top spot. Overall, the Jayhawks ended the year with a 26-10 record, falling to Auburn from the Round of 32. Kansas was a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde club as it arrived to house and away splits, going 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 protect Lagerald Vick for its season in early February. He is a senior and will not be back . Additionally, junior center Udoka Azubuike played just nine games in 2018-19. But Kansas, despite those huge holes in the frontcourt and backcourt, still had a Round of 32 look. The Jayhawks must be feisty this upcoming season as I do not expect Azubuike to be drafted and Vick are their sole loss, so chances of +2000 provide adequate value.
Auburn Providing Best Value
Head coach Bruce Pearl has to be proud of this effort his team put in last season, going 30-10, including winning the SEC tournament and falling only to eventual national champion Virginia 63-62 in the Final Four. The team had four seniors, such as guard Bryce Brown, who headed the team with 15.9 points per match.
On the other hand, the center of the group must 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 team leader with 6.8 rebounds per game. Additionally, 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 is going to cause waves and +3300 may be a steal as we close March following year.
Here’s a look at the Complete list of odds 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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