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There is a new favorite atop the college basketball futures board as the North Carolina Tar Heels sit as +800 favorites taking over the title from the Oklahoma Sooners.
While the Sooners lost to the Kansas Jayhawks Saturday, UNC thumped Pitt 85-64 over the weekend but their biggest contest of the season is on deck as the Duke Blue Devils come to town Wednesday evening.
The Tar Heels currently rank No. 5 in AP and No. 4 in USA Today Coaches polls with a 21-4 record. Their remaining schedule is a tough one, however, including two meetings with Duke, a date with the Miami Hurricanes (February 20) and a trip to Virginia (February 27).
The Sooners, who entered the weekend as the +700 favorites, have been adjusted to +900 following the aforementioned loss to the Jayhawks.
Odds as of February 16 at Sportsbook
Despite hitting a bump in an abysmal performance against Kansas State, the Oklahoma Sooners are the favorites to cut the nets down this season. OU has arguably the best player in the nation in Buddy Hield, who is averaging 25.7 points per game while shooting over 50 percent from beyond the arc. Not that the Sooners are one dimensional, as they are hitting a nation-best 45.1 percent of their shots from downtown.
Close behind Oklahoma is the North Carolina Tar Heels. This is despite UNC hitting a rough patch that saw them lose back-to-back games to start February. Seniors Brice Johnson and Marcus Paige are leading UNC to a top 20 ranked offense this season.
After those top two teams, there is a logjam. Kansas, Michigan State, Maryland, Iowa and Villanova are all within +1000 and +1200.
Odds as of February 10 at Sportsbook
A triple-overtime victory over the No. 2 ranked Oklahoma Sooners has ensured that the Kansas Jayhawks are the favorites to win the college basketball championship this season. Kansas has just two losses on the season, both to ranked opponents, while posting an average scoring margin of +18.8 points per game.
Kansas, who's listed at +700 according to Sportsbook, has UNC nipping at their heels as the Tar Heels are listed at +750. UNC has actually gone relatively under-the-radar so far this season thanks to a couple of bad losses to Texas and Northern Illinois. The Tar Heels still have six players in their lineup averaging double-digit points this season.
The triple-OT loss to Kansas hurt Oklahoma a bit, but they are still posted at a respectable +800 to win the national championship. The Sooners rely heavily on their starting five and specifically Buddy Hield.
Odds as of January 15 at Sportsbook
A perfect 13-0 start has the Michigan State Spartans as slight favorites to win the 2016 NCAA National Basketball Championship, just ahead of North Carolina and Kansas.
Michigan State, who come in at +800 according to Sportsbook, will be without their top scorer Denzel Valentine for the next two to three weeks as he recovers from a knee injury. The Spartans will be forced to lean on senior guard Bryn Forbes who's averaging 14.2 points per game.
Despite an injury to forward Kennedy Meeks, North Carolina’s stock hasn’t budged as they remain at +850. The Tar Heels’ two losses this season have come by just two and four points and all but one of their wins this season have come by double digits.
Kansas has been a beast on offense this season, averaging the fourth most points per game in the nation. The Jayhawks (+900) have ripped off nine straight wins and have been led by the duo of Wayne Selden Jr. and Perry Ellis who have combined for 30.7 points per game.
Kentucky has seen their stock drop from favorites at +850 to +1100 after losing two of their last four games, while Oklahoma is rising to the top of the list from +1400 to +900 thanks to a perfect start.
Odds as of December 23 at Sportsbook
If the odds are any indication, we are in for a dogfight atop college basketball this season. After nearly two months of hoops there is a four-way tie for the favorite to win the NCAAB Championship this season. The Kentucky Wildcats, Michigan State Spartans, UNC Tar Heels and Kansas Jayhawks are all listed at +850 according to Sportsbook.
Kentucky’s one-and-done model continues to work for them this season as three of their top four scorers are freshmen. Jamal Murray is proving to be as good as advertised as the 18-year old is averaging 15.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game this season.
The best player in the nation likely plays in East Lansing with Denzel Valentine putting the Spartans on his back. The senior guard is putting up ridiculous numbers as he has averaged 18.6 points, 8.5 rebounds and 7.2 assists per game. Michigan State also sports one of the best defenses in the nation allowing just 56.8 points per game.
A win over Maryland, then No.2 in the nation, has kept UNC in the conversation despite already posting two losses on the season. UNC’s leader Marcus Paige missed the first six games of the season, but has quickly become the team’s top scorer again since returning.
Kansas has one loss this season and it has come against now No.1 ranked Michigan State in their second game of the season. The Jayhawks have one of the best offenses in the nation as they have averaged 90 points per game behind their big trio of Wayne Selden Jr., Perry Ellis and Frank Mason III.
Odds as of December 16 at Sportsbook
If there was any concern over Kentucky’s roster overhaul this offseason it was unfounded, as the Wildcats have come into the season rolling. Though they have had their moments of less-than-stellar play, a win over Duke has ensured that Kentucky will hold onto the top spot on the odds list to cut down the mesh in April.
Sportsbook has Kentucky at +500, which is down from the +700 they were just before the season started. The ‘Cats have been good, but it is scary for opponents to think that a roster with six freshman has not really come close to reaching their potential.
Close behind Kentucky is Michigan State whose dominant defense has led them to one of the best starts in the nation, which includes a win over the Kansas Jayhawks. Senior Denzel Valentine has been the crutch of the Spartans offense as he has nearly averaged a triple-double so far this season.
Odds as of November 30 at Sportsbook
As college basketball fans and bettors alike rejoice over the new season, the NCAA version of hoops royalty ranks at the top of oddsmakers lists when it comes to betting on who's going to be cutting down the mesh at the end of the NCAA Tournament in April.
At online sportsbook Sportsbook, the Kentucky Wildcats are the unsurprising favorites to claim the title. John Calipari's squad saw most of its starting rotation ditch its textbooks for the NBA Draft but thanks to yet another solid offseason of recruiting, the 'Cats should be in the mix once again near the top of the rankings throughout the course of the year.
Fresh off topping Wisconsin in the championship game, the Duke Blue Devils have the second best chances to repeat at +850 odds. Maryland, North Carolina and Kansas come in shortly after with a +1000 price.
Here's a look at the odds the shop is offering.
|North Carolina State||+7500|
Odds as of November 10 at Sportsbook