This is part 1 of a two part Futures Betting article for College Basketball 23′-24′ season – we are currently just under 20 days from the start of play.
College Basketball is coming soon – here are some picks for futures that show value – Pat Picks the best Bets
The College Basketball season tips off in less than 20 days now and I am stir crazy for some talk as we inch closer to the opening games on November 6th. With very few game lines out for opening night (there are two out on DraftKings), let’s jump into some advantageous national championship and conference championship futures you can make right now. I already covered some POY futures earlier in the summer here. Let’s get into some plays I like as things stand:
I’ll be using Caesar’s as they generally have the best futures numbers on the market but always shop around.
Creighton to win the National Championship (40/1):
The BlueJays replaced some major production from the Elite 8 team last season but if you look closely, they may have gotten better. To start, Steven Ashworth is arguably an improvement at point guard over Ryan Nembhard. Ashworth grades out as more valuable overall and a much better offensive threat than Nembhard. His shooting will also open up the offense a good bit as Ashworth shoots at an elite clip from behind the arc (43%) to Nembhard’s 35%. The return of the big 3 looms large as well. Trey Alexander, Baylor Scheierman, and Ryan Kalkbrenner will continue to produce at an elite level and bring a veteran presence to an otherwise young squad. 3(!!!) of those 4 rank top 20 in projected offensive efficiency next season according to Evan Miya. Behind those 4 elite level players is where question marks come up. Mason Miller, Francisco Farabello, and Fredrick King showed flashes of being future cornerstones of the program and will need to improve on that moving forward if this team is to compete for a title. Besides that caveat, Creighton is in pole position in the Big East according to most preseason analytics, ranking top 5 in the nation on Evan Miya and Bart Torvik, and just behind Marquette at 12th on KenPom. Knowing all of that, that number is much too long at Caesar’s at 40/1. They have the 17th best odds there which feels absolutely crazy at this juncture knowing what we know. This is probably the highest odds they will have all season so I would advise jumping on it now.
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Tennessee to win the National Championship (30/1):
You may have your reservations about Rick Barnes in March and I understand that but this number is just much too high for where Tennessee slots in to start the season. They are preseason favorites in the SEC and rank top 10 by every major metric. A healthy Zakai Ziegler and JJJ along with Santiago Vescovi, and newcomer Dalton Knecht form a really solid core. The loss of Plavsic at the 5 is a tough pill to swallow for Volunteer fans but Coach Rick Barnes has said all the right things regarding projected starter Tobe Awaka, who will split time with Jonas Aidoo at the 5. Beyond that, Mashack and USC Upstate transfer, Jordan Gainey, should be solid pieces off the bench for the Vols. Tennessee’s offense stalled at times last season and but the return of Ziegler and the emergence of transfer Knecht should help. Both would rank in the top 3 in offensive efficiency last season for Tennessee according to Evan Miya. If the offense improves (it should) and the defense stays put (ranked #1 on KenPom), then they should be seeing themselves make a run again in the NCAA tournament. 30-1 is a high price for this team and worth a shot if you’ve not dipped into the market yet.
Purdue to win the Big 10 Regular Season (+220)
This is a complete chalk play with the Boilers. We all know the story, they lost to Fairleigh Dickinson in the 1st round as a 1 seed but returned everyone (Including Zach Edey). How does that fare against the rest of the Big 10? Quite well. The Big 10 is a bit weakened this season outside of Purdue and Michigan State. Could 8-10 teams still make the NCAA tournament? Yes, but not many will be in the national championship conversation. Most will be hoping for a second weekend at best. Suffice that to say, the gulf in aspirations and talent is quite wide between Purdue and the rest of the conference. KenPom and EvanMiya have 13-14 spots between Purdue and the next team. Also, the schedule sets up well for Matt Painter and Co as they avoid playing Michigan State twice (and play them at home) and only play two in the upper half of the conference in Illinois/Wisconsin twice. Aside from those two, they get home and homes vs the likes Northwestern, Indiana, Michigan and Iowa. Not the easiest but certainly could be worse.
I’ll be back next week to look over some of the smaller conferences in the country and give out some value picks there. Stay tuned!
This is an article written by Pat Taylor
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