2014-15 College Basketball Futures

It was just days after the college basketball season that sportsbooks began to post their 2014-15 NCAA College Basketball futures. The LVH was the first sportsbook to post their Championship odds, while Sportsbook.com joined them shortly after as the first offshore book.

The reigning national champs, UConn, graduated their leading scorer in Shabazz Napier while star forward DeAndre Daniels opted to declare early for the NBA Draft. However, point guard Ryan Boatright returned to school for his senior season and since opening way back in May, UConn has dropped from +4,000 to +8,000 to +10,000 to win the National Championship.

The table below compares the futures from Sportsbook.com, BetOnline and the Greek along with the preseason Top 25 rankings from the USA Today Coaches Poll. This table will be continually updated as other sportsbooks post their odds.

Team Sportsbook (1/26) The Greek (11/14) Ken Pom Ranking (10/31) Coaches Poll Ranking (10/16) The Greek (6/4) BetOnline (5/6) Sportsbook (5/1)
Kentucky -125 +300 2 1 +500 +500 +400
Virginia +800 +5000 8 8 +3500 +3300 +3300
Duke +800 +800 1 3 +1000 +1000 +850
Arizona +1000 +800 5 2 +1200 +1600 +1700
Wisconsin +1000 +800 6 4 +800 +1200 +1300
Gonzaga +1200 +4000 18 13 +4000 +4000 +5000
Villanova +2500 +3000 9 12 +3000 +2800 +2700
North Carolina +3000 +1000 20 6 +800 +1600 +1700
Kansas +3000 +1500 4 5 +1500 +1400 +1300
Louisville +3000 +2500 3 9 +2500 +2500 +2700
Wichita St +5000 +3000 10 11 +3000 +2800 +2700
UCLA +5000 +5000 13 N/A +3000 +5000 +6000
Utah +5000 +12500 42 N/A +12500 +10000 +20000
Texas +6000 +3000 19 10 +4025 +3300 +3300
Iowa St +6000 +3500 25 14 +2000 +3300 +4000
Oklahoma +7500 +5000 28 19 +3000 +4000 +6000
Notre Dame +7500 +10000 69 N/A +10000 +15000 +20000
Ohio St +7500 +6000 14 20 +6000 +5000 +5000
Butler +10000 N/A 67 N/A N/A +50000 +50000
Illinois +10000 +15000 38 N/A +10000 +15000 +30000
SMU +10000 +4000 36 22 +3500 +3300 +2700
Syracuse +10000 +5000 11 24 +4000 +3300 +5000
Tennessee +10000 +10000 61 N/A +10000 +10000 +10000
Florida +10000 +2000 7 7 +1800 +1600 +1300
VCU +10000 +3000 17 16 N/A +4000 +4000
UConn +10000 +8000 16 15 +8000 +5000 +8000
San Diego St +10000 +6500 29 17 +6500 +6600 +6000
'Field' +10000 +2500 N/A N/A +2500 N/A N/A
Michigan St +10000 +2500 12 18 +2500 +2500 +4000
West Virginia +10000 +12500 55 N/A +10000 +20000 +30000
Maryland +20000 +12500 33 N/A +10000 +10000 +10000
Stanford +20000 +10000 54 N/A +10000 +10000 +10000
Baylor +20000 +8000 24 N/A +8000 +7500 +7500
Georgia +30000 +12500 48 N/A +10000 +10000 +10000
Arkansas +30000 +15000 44 N/A +10000 +10000 +10000
Cincinnati +30000 +15000 46 N/A +15000 +10000 +10000
Indiana +30000 +10000 26 N/A +10000 +10000 +10000
Georgetown +30000 +12500 22 N/A +10000 +10000 +10000
Oklahoma St +50000 +17500 21 N/A +12500 +10000 +10000
Ole Miss +50000 +30000 88 N/A +15000 +15000 +10000
Iowa +50000 +8000 32 25 +6500 +6600 +7500
Northern Iowa +50000 N/A 70 N/A N/A N/A +50000
Alabama +50000 N/A 58 N/A N/A +20000 +20000
Colorado St +50000 N/A 93 N/A N/A +30000 +30000
Dayton +50000 +12500 50 N/A +12500 +10000 +10000
George Washington +50000 N/A 62 N/A N/A +20000 +30000
Oregon +50000 +6500 35 N/A +5000 +5000 +7500
LSU +50000 +15000 73 N/A +10000 +10000 +10000
Miami (FL) +50000 +8000 57 N/A +5000 +6600 +7500
St. John's +50000 +12500 39 N/A +10000 +15000 +20000
South Carolina +100000 +30000 87 N/A +30000 +30000 +30000
Nebraska +100000 +6500 34 21 +6500 +6600 +7500
Kansas St +100000 +12500 31 N/A +10000 +10000 +10000
Purdue +100000 +25000 40 N/A +25000 +20000 +30000
Harvard +100000 +12500 30 N/A +12500 +10000 +10000
NC State +100000 +25000 60 N/A +15000 +15000 +30000
Louisiana Tech +100000 N/A 49 N/A N/A N/A +30000
Murray St +100000 N/A 94 N/A N/A N/A +50000
Texas A&M +100000 N/A 68 N/A N/A +50000 +50000
Providence +100000 +25000 53 N/A +12500 +15000 +10000
Michigan +100000 +5000 15 23 +5000 +3300 +5000
Washington +100000 +20000 59 N/A +15000 +30000 +50000
BYU +200000 +35000 43 N/A +35000 +30000 +30000
Seton Hall +200000 +10000 85 N/A +10000 +10000 +10000
UNLV +200000 +12500 82 N/A +15000 +10000 +10000
Marquette +200000 +12500 86 N/A +12500 +10000 +10000
Memphis +200000 +8000 27 N/A +8000 +10000 +10000
Xavier +200000 +25000 66 N/A +25000 +25000 +30000
Minnesota +200000 +8000 37 N/A +8000 +10000 +10000
Arizona St +200000 +25000 84 N/A +10000 +10000 +10000
New Mexico +200000 +20000 52 N/A +20000 +20000 +30000
St. Louis +500000 +12500 81 N/A +10000 +10000 +10000
Clemson +500000 +25000 75 N/A +15000 +20000 +30000
Creighton +500000 +40000 47 N/A +35000 +20000 +30000
Auburn +500000 +45000 137 N/A +35000 N/A +50000
Wake Forest +500000 +50000 104 N/A +25000 +30000 +100000
St. Joseph's +500000 +30000 90 N/A +30000 +30000 +30000
Virginia Tech +500000 +50000 168 N/A +25000 +30000 +100000
Colorado +500000 +12500 63 N/A +12500 +10000 +10000
Pittsburgh +500000 +10000 23 N/A +10000 +10000 +10000
Georgia Tech +500000 +25000 96 N/A +20000 +20000 +30000
Boston College +500000 +50000 134 N/A +50000 +50000 +50000
UTEP +500000 N/A 78 N/A N/A +10000 +20000
UCSB +500000 N/A 92 N/A N/A N/A +100000
Missouri +500000 +12500 98 N/A +10000 +10000 +10000
Vanderbilt +500000 +25000 91 N/A +25000 +25000 +30000
New Mexico St +500000 N/A 79 N/A N/A N/A +30000
Richmond +500000 N/A 51 N/A N/A +50000 +50000
LaSalle +500000 N/A 101 N/A N/A +30000 +30000
Florida St +500000 +12500 41 N/A +10000 +10000 +10000
St. Bonaventure +500000 N/A 107 N/A N/A N/A +50000
Illinois St +500000 N/A 109 N/A N/A N/A +50000
Fresno St +500000 N/A 114 N/A N/A N/A +50000
Texas Tech +500000 N/A 125 N/A N/A +50000 +50000
UMass +500000 +12500 74 N/A +12500 +15000 +20000
USC +500000 N/A 136 N/A N/A +20000 +30000
California +500000 +25000 72 N/A +20000 +20000 +30000
Penn St +500000 N/A 56 N/A N/A +30000 +30000
DePaul +500000 N/A 197 N/A N/A +50000 +30000
Northwestern +500000 N/A 77 N/A N/A N/A +50000

Below was originally posted on October 18, 2014

We’ve seen some interesting futures movement on Duke based on Jabari Parker’s decision to declare for the NBA Draft. Although he has always been expected to be a top-3 selection, Parker was on the fence about leaving school after his freshman season. However, after officially announcing his intentions to leave early Duke moved from a +600 to +850.

It’s also been interesting to monitor the futures of the Kentucky Wildcats. Coach Calipari’s team opened at +1,200 to win the National Championship despite stars like PF Julius Randle and SF James Young declare for the draft. Despite these losses, the Harrison twins, Willie Cauley-Stein, Alex Poythress and Dakari Johnson have all opted to return to school next year. With loads of returning talent and the nation’s second best recruiting class (according to ESPN); the Wildcats are now the favorite to win it all. Not only are the Wildcats the favorite, since June they have actually seen their odds improve from +500 to +300.

On Thursday (10/16) the first USA Today Coaches Poll was released, which is interesting for a number of reasons. Bettors tend to overvalue ranked teams and we’re always curious as to which team’s sportsbooks and pollsters disagree on. Voters for the USA Today Top 25 simply can’t watch every game and they tend to be far less accurate in assessing talent than oddsmakers, which can create excellent early-season fade opportunities.

While Kentucky is the consensus number one team by oddsmakers and pollsters alike, there are a handful of teams with major discrepancies. Virginia opens the season as the nation’s 8th ranked team, but oddsmakers put their title futures at +5000 — tying them for 19th best.

The defending champs, UConn, will start the year as the 15th ranked team despite a number of key losses. According to oddsmakers, the Huskies are tied with unranked teams like Minnesota, Miami, Baylor and Memphis as the 28th best team in the nation.

Lastly we have Michigan State who will begin the season at the nation’s 18th ranked team. Despite losing their top two scorers in G Gary Harris (16.7 PPG) and F/C Adreian Payne (16.4 PPG), Tom Izzo’s squad returns a number of impact players including senior G/F Keith Appling (11.2 PPG and 8.3 RPG last season). With strong coaching and a consistent track record of success, the Spartans have the 8th best odds of winning the National Championship at the Greek.

The final piece of our analysis came when Ken Pomeroy posted his first rankings of the 2014-15 College Basketball season. Pomeroy, who runs the site KenPom.comrates all 351 Division I men’s basketball programs based on metrics including offensive and defensive efficiency, tempo, and pace. His rankings are typically far more informed than either the AP Top 25 or USA Today Coaches Poll and can help provide additional insight for bettors.

It’s very interesting that The Greek, which is typically considered to be a much sharper sportsbook than either BetOnline or Sportsbook.com, offers an option for the field. Although originally Virginia Commonwealth (VCU) was included in the field, the Greek has updated their odds to list the Rams at +3000. Since taking over as head coach in 2009, Shaka Smart has produced a 137-46 record and led his team to the Final Four in 2011.

Also noteworthy are the numerous discrepancies between the KenPom rankings and the future odds at the Greek. There are currently no odds for teams like Tulsa (45), Boise State (64), Georgia State (65) and Iona (71) at any offshore sportsbook, meaning they would be included as part of the “field”.

It’s also surprising to see that Pomeroy ranks North Carolina at just the 20th best team in the country despite having the 5th best title odds and the #4 ranking in the initial USA Today Coaches Poll. This is because oddsmakers know that North Carolina is an incredibly popular team, and they will take UNC money regardless of the price.

Sleepers?

Oklahoma State seems to be an afterthought for oddsmakers who list them at 175/1 to win the National Championship — the 59th best odds in the nation. Despite these long odds, the Cowboys are ranked by KenPom as the 21st best team in the country. Although they lost their top two scorers in Marcus Smart and Markel Brown, OSU still has plenty of talent on their roster including senior G/F Le’Bryan Nash (13.9 ppg, 5.5 rpg) and junior G Phil Forte (13.3 ppg).

Other underrated teams according to the KenPom rankings include: Louisville (+2500), Virginia (+5000), Ohio State (+6000), UConn (+8000), Pittsburgh (+10000) and Georgetown (+12500).

Which teams do you think are offering value? Is Kentucky really the best team in the nation? Make sure to leave your thoughts and opinions in the comment section below.

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