A brand new college basketball season tips off this week with a full slate of matchups starting this Friday. Each and every week of the season up until the conference championships in early March, NCAA Basketball Betting Trends will go through the schedule to highlight some of the biggest and best matchups on tap.
Turning to this upcoming Friday’s season openers one of the first matchups to jump off the page is UNC-Asheville on the road against the preseason No. 1 team in the country, the Kentucky Wildcats. Kentucky is coming off an extremely disappointing 2012/2013 campaign in which it went 21-12 and suffered a 59-57 season-ending loss to Robert Morris in the opening round of the NIT. The Wildcats remain loaded with young talent that should be able to quickly gel to keep this team at or near the top of the rankings this time around. They have been opened by Bovada as 13/4 favorites to win their second national championship in three years.
The No. 2 team in the country in both the AP and USA Today Coaches Poll is Michigan State. After posting a 27-9 record last season that took the Spartans all the way to the Sweet 16 Round of the NCAA Tournament, they have reloaded for another deep run this season. This Friday night they will look to begin that run with a victory over McNeese State at home. Michigan State has been favored to win the Big Ten this season after finishing tied with Ohio State for second last year at 13-5 in conference play. It has been opened as a 9/1 fourth-favorite to win a national title.
No. 3 Louisville will begin defense of its 2013 National Championship this upcoming Saturday afternoon with a 1 p.m. tip against Charleston on its home court. The Cardinals finished the regular season at 26-5 and after a three-game run through the Big East Tournament, they extended a 10-game winning streak to 16 games with a successful run through the NCAA Tournament. Louisville moves to the newly formed American Athletic Conference this season and it has been opened as a 15/2 third favorite to successfully defend its current national title.
Duke is once again one of the top favorites to win the ACC and it has been opened at 12/1 to win this season’s NCAA Tournament. The Blue Devils will open things up this Friday night at home against Davidson as the No. 4 team in the country in both polls. They made it all the way to the Elite 8 Round of last season’s NCAA’s before falling to Louisville 85-63. Duke finished the 2012/2013 season with an overall record of 30-6.
Looking at season openers for the rest of the top 10, you start with Louisiana- Monroe on the road this Friday against No. 5 Kansas, which has been opened as 11/2 second favorites to win a national title this year. No. 6 Arizona will open its season at home against Cal Poly this Friday night. The Wildcats’ odds to win it all are 16/1. The second entry from the Big Ten in the top 10 is No. 7 Michigan. The Wolverines will get things started this Friday night at home against Massachusetts Lowell. They are listed at 25/1 to win a national championship. The first of two team’s ranked No. 8 in the nation is Syracuse. The Orange are mild 33/1 longshots to win it all this year. They will open things up on Friday night at home against Cornell. Oklahoma State is also ranked No. 8 in the AP Poll. The Cowboys will face Mississippi Valley State at home on Friday night. Their opening odds to win it all have been set at 25/1. Rounding out the AP’s Top 10 is Florida. The Gators will open their 2013/2014 campaign at home in a 3 p.m. (ET) tip this Friday afternoon against North Florida. Their odds to win a national title are currently set at 20/1.
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.