As one season closes, another is set to begin in a mere six months and it is never too early to place a futures bet on who you believe are the team cutting down the nets at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta next April. The Virginia Cavaliers maintained the 2019 title, their first in history, however 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 the 2020 school hoops championship at +500 followed closely by Duke in +600, Virginia in +650, Michigan State at +800, and Michigan and North Carolina at +1200 to round out the leading teams on the oddsboard.
Tread Lightly with Kentucky
Kentucky had a powerful 2018-19 campaign, 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 have the Wildcats playing at a high level, but he will have to enter the season with rather a different appearance. Four of Kentucky’s starting five are very likely to graduate or be drafted into the NBA since Reid Travis is a senior and P.J. Washington, Keldon Johnson and Tyler Herro will probably be moving pro.
All isn’t lost, however, 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 small 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 new appearance, I would be hesitant to lay a bet on this club at +500 at this point.
Kansas May be Well-Balanced and Experienced
Kansas had an extremely interesting 2018-19, showing flashes of brilliance along with being rated in the top five in the AP poll for eight weeks, including 2 weeks at the top place. 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 in Allen Fieldhouse but just 3-8 in true road games — very confusing results.
The Jayhawks needed to battle through injuries, losing protect Lagerald Vick for its summer in early February. He is a senior and will not be back next year. Additionally, junior centre Udoka Azubuike played only nine games 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 upcoming season as I don’t expect Azubuike to be drafted and Vick are their sole loss, so odds of +2000 provide decent 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, for example winning the SEC tournament and falling only to eventual national champion Virginia 63-62 in the Final Four. The group had four seniors, such as shield Bryce Brown, who headed the team with 15.9 points per match.
However, the core of the team must come back 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 team leader with 6.8 rebounds per game. In addition, Pearl has recruited five players who have signed letters of intent, such as little forward Isaac Okoro,who’s the 37th-ranked recruit. I believe this team is going to 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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