November 5, 2012

NCAA Basketball Preview: Top 5 Teams with Futures Odds

The NCAA Basketball season is about to get underway. Friday November 9 is the season opener for quite a few teams. The college hoops season is several months long, but there’s nothing better than being well-prepared and taking advantage of easier lines early in the season. Let’s take a look at my top five teams in the nation with odds to win the NCAA Championship. All odds listed are from JustBet.

#5- Michigan Wolverines

Odds to win NCAA Championship: +2,000

Michigan has a nice combination of veteran players and superb incoming freshman this year. The Wolverines have been on a steady upward trajectory over the last few years, and this year should keep things moving forward. Glenn Robinson III is expected to be a difference maker in his freshman season. Trey Burke is one of the best point guards in the nation, and he can get an open look at almost any time. Tim Hardaway Jr. needs to have a better year for this team to be in the top five, and I think he will. This should be the best Michigan team since the Fab Five.

#4- North Carolina State Wolfpack 

Odds to win NCAA Championship: +700

Mark Gottfried did an amazing job with this team last year, and their run in the NCAA Tournament was a sign of things to come. The Wolfpack have young talent all over the floor, and they should be a much better team than they were last year. C.J. Leslie is the preseason pick for Player of the Year in the ACC, and he has all the tools to be a star in the NBA in the near future. If Lorenzo Brown can take the next step forward and become a star at the point guard spot, this team will be really tough to beat. Expect the Wolfpack to be the class of the ACC.

#3- Kentucky Wildcats

Odds to win NCAA Championship: +400

If it were any other team, everyone would likely be talking about the amazing recruiting class coming in, but at Kentucky this class is actually not quite up to par with the last couple. Still, there are some real game-changers in this class. Nerlens Noel has the highest upside of anyone in the group, and I expect him to show his athleticism from day one. Ryan Harrow is a solid point guard who transferred over from NC State, but can he run the show as well as the guards Coach Cal has had in the past few years? Kentucky is going to win a ton of games this year, but they certainly aren’t quite as good as last season.

#2- Louisville Cardinals

Odds to win NCAA Championship: +650

A steady leader at the point guard position is vital, and Peyton Siva is exactly that for the Louisville Cardinals. Siva is the type of guy that wins games for you because of his heart and hustle. Chane Behanan came on at the end of last season, and I look for him to do big things in the frontcourt this year. Wayne Blackshear has had injury problems, but if he stays healthy he will help this team in a big way. Dieng isn’t that great on the offensive end, but he is terrific on the defensive end of the floor. This group made it to the Final Four last season, and they have a much higher upside this year.

#1- Indiana Hoosiers

Odds to win NCAA Championship: +500

Tom Crean has taken this team from the bottom of the Big Ten up to the top of the nation very quickly. It certainly doesn’t hurt to have Cody Zeller (my pick for National Player of the Year) on the roster. Zeller is a seven-footer who can run the floor like a small forward, and he has a great shooting touch as well. He is a shot blocker and a guy who can find open teammates. Zeller’s skill set is just amazing. This is certainly not just a one-man team though. The Hoosiers have great long-range shooters and talented wings. Look for Victor Oladipo to take the next step and be a star this year. Add in some highly touted freshman and you get my number one ranked team in the nation.

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Kyle Hunter

is full-timesports writer and sports handicapper. You simply won’t find someone who loves sports more than Kyle. Kyle considers college football and college basketball his two favorite sports. Kyle has earned many accolades for his highly successful handicapping, and he writes full-time for many top sports websites. Keep an eye out for high quality free sports analysis from Kyle!

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