Hi Karma Nation, my name is Greg and I’m excited to join the Bet Karma staff as one of the college basketball experts! I’ll be your go-to source for information on all 353 Division I college basketball teams all throughout the season, so make sure to subscribe for Premium Membership to gain access to the Premium Discord chat and engage in non-stop CBB talk and daily bets!
Throughout years of successful CBB betting I’ve learned the value of tuning into off-season roster moves, local scouting reports, early injuries, and exhibition results in order to identify value in NCAA Championship odds. In the beginning of every season I like to take advantage of a handful of teams with early futures odds that have great value. Here’s who my money is on now.
Michigan State (6/1 odds @ Westgate)
is the favorite to win the national title. I firmly believe senior Cassius Winston is the best point guard – best player actually – in college basketball. Having an elite guard seems to be the prerequisite to winning a national championship. Every championship team in the past ten years, except maybe the Anthony Davis Kentucky team, has checked the box of having elite guard play: Kyle Guy/Ty Jerome, Jalen Brunson, Joel Berry, Shabazz Napier, Peyton Siva, Kemba Walker, Nolan Smith… you get the point.
My main concern is that the second half of MSU’s elite backcourt – Josh Langford – is reinjured and out until at least January. From what I’ve been hearing, I don’t think Langford will ever play in an MSU jersey again. The recent injury to senior guard Kyle Ahrens just compounds the lack of depth in the backcourt, at least in the short term. Now consider that MSU plays one of the most insane non-conference schedules, even for Izzo, and your only option here is to wait for better odds. MSU is slated to play #2 Kentucky in the Champions Classic, likely #3 Kansas in the Maui Invitational, #4 Duke in the Big Ten–ACC Challenge, and at #12 Seton Hall in the Gavitt Tipoff Games, all within the first month of the season! The Spartans are going to take some L’s, and their odds are going to increase. I’ll wait for better odds on MSU.
has the best opportunity to win it all amongst the current four or five favorites. Coach Cal has his usual crop of five-star and four-star kids coming in, highlighted by elite scorer Tyrese Maxey who can drain threes and finish at the rim, and athletic freak Kahlil Whitney who already has a highlight reel of dunks worth YouTubing. But what makes this Wildcats squad unique is the rare returning experience. Point guard Ashton Hagans was SEC Defensive Player of the Year last season. Montgomery & Richards return in the frontcourt, along with stretch four Nate Sestina who grad transferred from Bucknell.
Odds out there range from 14/1 to 17/1, and I think those are only going to go down. This complete Gators team has solid backcourt with Nembhard and Mann, which has the potential to flirt with ‘elite’ status. 6’5” Scottie Lewis is probably the best incoming freshman defender in the country. Va Tech transfer Kerry Blackshear is one of the most dominant power forwards in the country. This Gators squad is well rounded, well coached, and has the potential to cut down the nets.
Odds range from 20/1 to 23/1. I think this is great value for a top coach and top program that has been to a national championship game, two elite eights, and two sweet sixteens in the past five seasons; such consistent tournament success that no other team in the country can claim. Killian Tillie’s health is a concern, but Corey Kispert and transfer Admon Gilder provide the experience and scoring to either complement or make up for Tillie. Don’t sleep on the quality of freshman recruits coming in either, they will get plenty of chances to make an impact on the court.
Ohio State (50/1)
Touts the best freshman class in the Big Ten, an impact transfer from Florida State in CJ Walker, and the return of the Wesson brothers. Kaleb Wesson has a chance to be one of the best players in the Big Ten. Coach Chris Holtmann started his third year as head coach in Columbus with a double-digit victory in a not-so-secret scrimmage at #5 Louisville. Could that be a sign of things to come this season? At 50/1 odds I’ll take that chance!