2014-15 College Basketball Odds

2014-15 College Basketball Odds

With the 2013-14 college hoops season in the rear-view mirror, it’s never too early to take a look at which teams are stacking up as favorites to capture next year’s title. UConn was 100/1 to win it all prior to the tournament, so those shrewd enough to toss some money their way are sitting pretty. Identify a viable championship contender now, and they could end up paying huge dividends down the road. Here are the very premature odds for the 2014-15 NCAA Tournament.

Arizona 6/1 – The Wildcats are bracing to lose both Nick Johnson and Aaron Gordon, so expect these odds to drop if and when the duo announces their NBA intentions. Johnson isn’t a lock to bolt, although signs point toward him leaving. If he stays, ‘Zona will be poised to make another run at a number one seed. Injured forward Brandon Ashely will be back and freshman small forward Stanley Johnson is a special talent.

Duke 7/1 – Jabari Parker is as good as gone and Rodney Hood is a good bet to join him. Even without Hood, the backcourt returns Rasheed Sulaimon, Quinn Cook, and Matt Jones. In addition, Coach K snagged the nation’s top freshman class, led by center/power forward Jahil Okafor, point guard Tyus Jones, and small forward Justise Winslow. Okafor will be Duke’s most legit big man recruit since Carlos Boozer and give the Devils a strong inside presence to go along with their normal arsenal of three-point shooters. If this roster can come together, look out.

Kansas 12/1 – Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid will be Top 5 picks in June’s NBA draft. That’s the bad news. The good news is freshman forwards Cliff Alexander and Kelly Oubre arrive to help fill the void. Perry Ellis, Wayne Selden, Jr., and Naadir Tharpe will also help soften the blow of losing Wiggins’ scoring and Embiid’s defense. Landing as yet unsigned center Myles Turner would be a major coup. Bill Self never lacks skill at every position. The question is whether or not he can get everyone on the same page.

Kentucky 12/1 – The national runners-up will likely wave goodbye to Julius Randle, James Young, and the Harrison twins. That leaves big men Willie Cauley-Stein, Dakari Johnson, and Alex Poythress to join another stellar freshman class that includes the towering duo of Trey Lyles and Karl Towns, Jr. If John Calipari can find a couple of shooters, the Wildcats will be in the thick of the championship hunt once again.

North Carolina 15/1 – If sophomore guard Marcus Paige stays as expected, the Tar Heels could end up being the team to beat in the ACC. James Michael McAdoo jumped to the NBA, so finding a replacement in the paint will be Roy Williams’ greatest challenge. Justin Jackson and Theo Pinson are both Top 10 recruits and each possesses the size and athleticism to pick up the slack. Monster power forward Kennedy Meeks is one to watch; if he develops a consistent post game, the Heels will be tough.

SMU 30/1 – The Mustangs were a tourney snub, but a trip to the NIT Final should have them motivated to prove the doubters wrong next March. Larry Brown returns his top two scorers in Nic Moore and Markus Kennedy, and will roll out the red carpet for freshman point guard Emmanuel Mudiay, who spurned Kansas, Kentucky, and Oklahoma State to join him. SMU could be the 2015 version of Wichita State.