College Basketball Betting Trends- An Early Look at the Big East Futures
One of the biggest changes in men’s college basketball for the 2013/2014 season is a completely revamped Big East Conference that retains some of the elements of the past with a few new additions that are destined to shape its future as whether or not it can still be considered a major conference in Division I basketball.
The following is an early look at some of the top contenders in the new-look Big East along with Bovada’s current odds for each to win a national title in 2014.
The Bluejays come to the Big East from the Missouri Valley Conference where they won 28 games last season against just five losses and made it to the third round of the NCAA Tournament before falling to Duke 66-50. The key player to watch in this season’s run to a possible conference title is head coach Greg McDermott’s son Doug. He led the team in scoring with 23.1 points a game and rebounds with 7.5 and is a preseason favorite to be the Big East’s Player of the Year. The Bluejays will also have Grant Gibb and Gregory Echeniquu back from last year’s squad, who were both instrumental in last year’s run.
Georgetown has had a long history of success in the Big East and now it finds itself as one of the primary anchors in this new alignment. Last season the Hoyas tied Louisville for the best record in the conference at 14-4 and they went 25-7 overall. Otto Porter may be gone, but this team still has enough talent to make a serious run at the Big East title. Markel Starks is back as another potential Big East Player of the Year and D’Vauntes Smith Rivera and Stephen Domingo are poised for breakout seasons.
Marquette is another of the marquee programs in the Big East and coming off a solid 26-9 campaign in 2012 that included a 14-4 record in conference play and a trip to the Elite 8 where it fell to Syracuse 55-39. The Golden Eagles lost three key starters from that team but remain confident that the trio of Chris Otrule, Davante Gardner and Jamil Wilson will be able to keep them in the thick of the Big East title race all season long. When you add in top recruits Deonte Burton and Duane Wilson the fall off with this team should not be that steep.
The Bulldogs were able to put a disappointing 22-15 campaign in 2011/2012 behind to return to the national spotlight with a 27-9 record last season and a run to the third round of the NCAA Tournament where they fell to Marquette 74-72 in a thriller. Butler brings quite a bit of youth into its first season in the Big East after competing in the Atlantic 10 last year so there could be a bit of a learning curve until conference play begins after the first of the year. A couple of players to watch on this team include Elijah Brown, Kellen Dunham and Alex Barlow, who all have the potential to make a major impact on the Bulldogs’ fortunes this season.
The Wildcats have been a middle-of-the-road team in the Big East over the past few seasons ever since making it all the way to the Final Four in 2009, but they could be the sleeper this year in pared-down version of the conference that now consists of just 10 teams. They gave North Carolina a good fight in their first and only game in last year’s NCAA Tournament as part of an overall record of 20-14. Villanova’s strength this season will once again be a defense that was ranked in the top 30 in 2012, but they will need a few of their veteran players to step up their efforts on offense, most notably point guard Ryan Arcidiacono.
The odds for a few other teams in the Big East have St. Johns at 100/1 and Xavier at 200/1.
DJ is a freelance writer that concentrates on his true passion in life; the world of sports. He produces a number of articles each week for BangTheBook.com as well as a select group of other websites that specialize in providing the most up-to-date information for the sports gaming industry. His goal is to write insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player.