AAC Betting Odds Preview
The Louisville Cardinals ended the 2012-13 season on a 16-0 SU run, cruising to a Big East conference championship and then an NCAA championship. Louisville will head to the ACC next season, but before doing so will try to add an American Athletic championship to the program’s impressive resume.
Louisville is currently going off at +100 to win the AAC championship at 5Dimes. Despite losing some key players from last year’s championship team including Peyton Siva and Gorgui Deng, the cupboard is still stocked with talent including Russ Smith, who led the Cardinals in scoring last season with 18.7 points per game. Rick Pitino should be able to find the right combination for success from his versatile roster.
The Memphis Tigers (+150 to win the AAC at 5Dimes) are finally done bullying Conference USA. After winning that conference title seven times in eight years from 2006 to 2013 and going a perfect 16-0 SU in conference play last season, the Tigers finally move on to a conference with some more legitimate opposition. With a loaded recruiting class including Austin Nichols, Kuran Iverson and Nick King, the Tigers should do just fine in their AAC debut.
Connecticut’s postseason ban is lifted, and that could spell trouble for the rest of the AAC. The Huskies (+350) return two excellent players in the backcourt in Shabazz Napier (17.1 points per game last season) and Ryan Boatright (15.4 PPG) as well as some talent up front including DeAndre Daniels. With so much returning talent hungry for postseason play, UConn should find itself in the mix.
The Cincinnati Bearcats (+1000) lack the depth that the heavy hitters in the AAC possess, but they have a recipe for success that could lead to some big upsets; a talented top scorer returning in Sean Kilpatrick (17 PPG) and a stingy defensive scheme that held opponents to under 60 points per game last season. If the Bearcats can find some secondary scoring, they could be a darkhorse contender.
Rounding out the AAC (with odds provided by 5Dimes):
Central Florida +1500
South Florida +7500