NCAA Basketball Betting – National Championship Futures Update
When the New Year arrives, we know it’s time to start taking NCAA hoops seriously again. The silly season is over and the games start counting for something in January. Here’s a look at favorites and sleepers among futures odds for the national championship.
Arguably, Cole Aldrich’s struggles have established the Jayhawks as stronger contenders, not weaker. With Aldrich battling through a death in his family, illness and the immense pressure that accompanies his talent, other Kansas players have stepped up. Sherron Collins is reliable as the primary ball carrier and young Xavier Henry is flashing potential. It’s only a matter of time before Aldrich regains his form and, when he does, he’ll make this deep team even better.
Kentucky is good. Good enough that its players are openly gabbing about an undefeated season after their 14-0 start. Perhaps the scariest thing about the Wildcats is that they’re getting so much from their freshman. John Wall is second in the SEC in scoring and has reached double figures in every game this year; big DeMarcus Cousins has been a monster, tallying six double-doubles already. Kentucky sure looks invincible now and will earn many futures bets at the sportsbook in 2010.
Arguably, no team has impressed as much as Texas so far this season. Not only are the Longhorns undefeated, they’ve beaten Michigan State and North Carolina and have won every game by at least 10 points. They have the Big 12’s top rebounder in Damion James and the top field-goal percentage shooter in Dexter Pittman. James in particular has been a force, which isn’t surprising since he almost jumped to the NBA last year.
They lack the top-end talent of the other national contenders but, thanks to their relentless man-to-man defense and gritty team mentality, they’re winning our hearts. E’Twaun Moore is really stepping up his offensive game, too. Purdue is a long shot but offers nice sportsbook value compared to the other highly ranked teams.
We obviously can’t forget UNC, Michigan State or Syracuse, but it’s fitting to feature West Virginia since it meets Purdue in a crucial battle of undefeateds on New Year’s Day. The Mountaineers don’t always make it look easy, especially since they’ve battled injuries, but they’re a balanced squad that dominates on the boards. It’s hard to key on one West Virginia player since three different Mountaineers average 14 points per game or better. That will make them a threat come March Madness.
***click on odds to bet…
Shea Matthews lives and breathes sports. He made the transition from athlete to sports journalist at a young age, writing in TV & national newspapers. He now applies his knowledge to sports betting and handicapping every day, and shares his winning picks with the world.