The college basketball season tips off next week and while the majority of sports bettors don’t pay attention to NCAA hoops until conference play begins, now is the best time to score a live long shot in the National Championship futures.
At this time last year, basketball bettors could have picked up eventual champion Villanova as a 20/1 long shot. So which college programs could follow in the Wildcats’ path and cash in big come March Madness with some expert sports betting picks?
Syracuse Orange (20/1)
The Orange were one among the Final Four last season, getting knocked out by North Carolina in the national semifinal. Syracuse lost three starters from that team and plays in the insanely competitive ACC, but that only seems to ready this program for the rigors of March.
Jim Boeheim has reloaded with some big additions, bringing in top transfers in Andrew White, John Gillon, and Paschal Chukwu and returning talents such as Tyler Lydon, Tyler Roberson, DaJuan Coleman, and Frank Howard. That vaunted zone can make even the most powerful offenses stumble and Boeheim is still among the best coaches in the land.
Indiana Hoosiers (30/1)
Indiana could be one of the most entertaining teams to watch and wager on this season, with a surplus of offensive firepower. Tom Crean brings back the talented backcourt tandem of James Blackmon Jr. and Robert Johnson, and anchors the interior with Thomas Bryant and OG Anunoby.
The Big Ten isn’t nearly as dangerous as some other conferences, so as long as the Hoosiers can play a little defense from time to time, they should fight for the top spot in the conference with Wisconsin and Michigan State. They are the defending conference champs and have a proven winner on the sideline in Crean.
UConn Huskies (65/1)
Just when you think UConn is quietly going about its business in the AAC, that’s when the Huskies stun you with a national title. It happened in 2011 and 2014, and so it would seem that three year slumber is up and the Huskies are primed for another deep run come March Madness.
So what does Kevin Ollie have under the hood in Storrs? Connecticut has a very deep and talented backcourt, headlined by Jalen Adams, Rodney Purvis, and standout freshman Alterique Gilbert, as well as Terry Larrier who transferred from VCU. The frontcourt gets a little iffy and needs Amida Brimah to contribute on offense while still being a force in the paint on defense.