Michigan State guard Joshua Langford is , a reaggravation of an injury from last season. And yet with uncertainty surrounding a vital piece of the preseason No. 1 Spartans' roster, Michigan State remains the betting favorite in Vegas to win it all entering the 2019-20 season.
Updated betting lines from Westgate Superbook give the Spartans 6-1 odds to take home the hardware, better than Kentucky (8-1), Kansas (8-1) and North Carolina (10-1), among others. Most notably: it's an improvement in 8-1 opening odds for Michigan State when lines were released immediately after the 2019 NCAA Tournament championship game. With Cassius Winston and Hall of Fame coach Tom Izzo, the Spartans, banged up and all, are still frontrunners.
Speaking of improving odds, double-eye emojis are on Kansas. Despite an offseason that's seen the Jayhawks program get hit with, their odds continue to spike. When lines were released in April, Bill Self's program was among a handful of teams with 20-1 odds. As we enter the opening month of the season, those odds have spiked to 8-1, tied for second-best with Kentucky, both of which have stayed steady .
If you're looking to throw down some dough, though, the value isn't quite there with any of the blueblood schools. Maybe Michigan State at 6-1 whets your whistle, but hey, putting down some of your hard-earned cheddar on a frontrunner won't get you the big payday. I get it. You want value; long odds on a team that could net you a payday. A big one. Ask and you shall receive. Let's give you value with five value bets to consider leading into the season.
- Opening odds: 20-1
- Current odds: 16-1
Three words, which I'll smash my caps lock on to hammer home my point: BUY STOCK NOW. Louisville is going to be really good this season. The best, stellar recruiting class to the mix. That killer confluence of offseason wins should vault them from middle of the pack in the conference to certified contenders., in the ACC. The Cardinals return their leading scorer as well as several other core pieces from their 20-win squad a season ago in addition to a
2. Baylor Bears
- Opening odds: 100-1
- Current odds: 50-1
Don't let Baylor's tiny batch of newcomers fool you. This season's team, despite essentially the same roster, should be much-improved from last season's. And the reason: faith in continuity. As the Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook noted in its preview of the Bears, four of the team's top five scorers missed at least five games last season due to either injury or suspension. It was a patch work roster all season that still managed to win 20 games. So as Scott Drew and Baylor welcome star forward Tristan Clark back from injury, the expectation is that this team, fully healthy and eligible, can give Kansas a run for its money in the Big 12 race.
- Opening odds: 200-1
- Current odds: 60-1
The best team in the Mountain West should again be the best team in the Mountain West. The big reason: two of Sam Merrill and Neemias Queta. When those pieces clicked last season, Utah State enjoyed a stretch in which it went 17-1 in an 18-game span from mid-January to mid-March. When they inevitably click this season, the ceiling, , is the roof. This team should be gunning for much more than a chance to make it back to the NCAA Tournament.this season play for the Aggies in
- Opening odds: 100-1
- Current odds: 100-1
I'll admit, advising you to even consider gambling on a team that won 11 games last season (and lost 12 of its final 13) is icky. The college hoops equivalent of betting on the Miami Dolphins. But hear me out. Georgia has a blue-chip freshman guard in Anthony Edwards who might just be the most talented freshman in college basketball this season, and he's not the only player on this roster the NBA is going to eventually benefit from. Edwards joins forward Rayshaun Hammonds on this roster who himself has first-round prospects and is set to enjoy a monstrous breakout season on a big stage. So here's my proposition, reframed: Here's a solid coach in place, with two legitimate NBA prospects on his roster, both of whom appear set to enjoy big seasons. Sounds more enticing now, doesn't it? That's worth a couple dollars in the event the two click and Crean catches lightning in a bottle.
- Opening odds: 60-1
- Current odds: 200-1
Who, exactly, is running the lead on these odds? The NCAA's enforcement office? Jim Boeheim is a Hall of Fame coach with a national championship, five Final Fours and 10 Big East championships to his name. 200-1 is downright disrespectful! Sure, the Orange are in a bit of a transition year after losing two of their top three scorers, and no, this doesn't (on paper) look like a vintage Syracuse team. But, Boeheim is a serial overachiever; he always does more with less and almost always outperforms expectations in the postseason. At 200-1, I can't think of many other long-shot investments with real potential to pay off in a big way.
College basketball odds
via Westgate Las Vegas Superbook
|New Mexico State||100-1||25-1|
|San Diego State||100-1||25-1|
|East Tennessee State||300-1||75-1|
|Long Beach State||2000-1||500-1|
|South Dakota State||2000-1||500-1|
|William & Mary||5000-1||1250-1|