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2008 NCAA Basketball Maui Invitational Betting Preview

College Basketball Betting – Handicapping the Maui Invitational

There is a little “Maui Wowie” to be had on the college basketball scene once again during the Thanksgiving weekend (November 24-26, to be exact) when the annual Maui Invitational takes place at Chaminade University in Honolulu. The event is important to some schools because it is not counted against the limit on their regular season games, due to the fact that it is played oustide the continental United States.

And it usually presents an inteersting visual, because like the Great Alaskan Shootout, it is held in a small college gym, not a huge arena.

Here are the odds to win this year’s sports betting tournament at BetUS Sportsbook, in alphabetical order:

BetUS College Basketball Betting Odds – To Win Maui Invitational

Alabama +700
Chaminade +15000
Indiana +10000
North Carolina -250
Notre Dame +350
Oregon +1200
St Josephs +2500
Texas +500

We have to forget about INDIANA (+10000 at BetUS) right off the bat. This team went through a major scandal last year, lost its two best players in Eric Gordon and D.J. White, blew some relationships with potential recruits, and will in general have to go through a complete rebuilding process. CHAMINADE (+15000 at BetUS), the host school, has done some cute things in the past, like pull an upset over Ralph Sampson-led Virginia, then the nation’s #1 team, in 1982. But while they are a starter, they are a non-finisher.

ALABAMA (+700 at BetUS) gives us a ho-hum feeling. The Tide needs to get major production early from point guard Ronald Steele, and there is no guarantee of that. OREGON (+1200 at BetUS) has freshman Michael Dunigan at center, but the Ducks, who like to run it upa nd down the court, are largely here to toughen themsleves up and to potentially scorea win or two that might help their chances for an NCAA tournament at-large bid.

Pat Calathes has departed from ST. JOSEPH’S (+2500 at BetUS), leavinjg a big hole. We don’t expect that St. Joe’s will be a top three team in the Atlantic 10, but they could surprise. TEXAS (+500 at BetUS) is a team with some possibilities, especially with Damion James leading a ferocious rebounding attack. But my guess is that the Longhorns will have at least a bit of a transition period adjusting to someone otherthan D.J. Augustin at the point guard spot.

NORTH CAROLINA (-250 at BetUS) is the obvious favorite here. The Tar Heels bring back pro prospects Tyler Hansbrough, Ty Lawson (the speedy point guard), Wayne Ellington and last year’s super-sub Danny Green, who moves up to the starting lineup. There is little doubt that North Carolian wil be heard from at the end, but maybe they don’t offer outstanding value at the beginning. For that we may go with Big East power NOTRE DAME (+350 at BetUS), which has the conference player of the year in Luke Harangody, who can give somebody like Hansbrough a hard time. There is also a very experienced backcourt with Kyle McAlarney and Tory Jackson. The Irish could be ready right out of the gate, so they may be worth a shot here.

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