With only a month and a half to go in the NCAA men’s hoops regular season, it’s time to take another look at the futures to see who the favorites are to go all the way.
Unfortunately, there is not a clear cut favorite at this point, as all the big name schools continue to drop games when they reach the top of the polls. So, instead we have a collection of one and two loss teams that appear to have the best shot at this point in the game, but as you well know, come tournament time, anything can happen. Here’s a look at a few of the favorites and a dark horse that could sprint hard to the finish line.
The team that started the season ranked No. 1 isn’t in that position now with a 16-2 record, but according to Bovada.lv, they’ve still got the best odds to win it all. The 7th ranked Hoosiers will likely still be a one or two seed in the NCAA tournament and will still have control of their own destiny in reaching the title game, but right now they certainly don’t look like the best team in the country. Losses to Butler and Wisconsin have dropped them down in the polls and in the minds of bettors. I personally would stay away from this one at 5/1, but the Hoosiers are certainly capable of making a run.
Michigan’s 17-1 start has definitely been a surprise to most and it looks like they will be a contender come postseason, however the Wolverines have never been that solid when it comes to the NCAA tourney, or in any big games rather, so that is a concern. Also, they have some tough games coming up on the schedule, including two with the team above, so we haven’t truly seen what they are made of yet. The Wolverines are hot, but I’d stay away from a futures bet on them for now, until they can prove they can hang with the big boys.
Duke Blue Devils-15/2
You can never go wrong with betting for Duke. The perennial college basketball power may not have their best team ever on the floor this season, but you can be sure they will be a force to be reckoned with down the stretch. The Blue Devils did look pretty bad in their blowout loss to Miami, but their 16 wins certainly speak for themselves. And getting in now at 15/2 isn’t too bad at all. You’ll have a chance to make some decent money and you shouldn’t have to risk too much. A bet for Duke seems like an overall winner considering their impeccable track record and their solid team ball approach.
NC State Wolfpack-28/1
Now, it’s time for the dark horse pick. I like the NC State Wolfpack at 28/1, mainly because they are a team capable of making some noise at the end of the season and in the Big Dance, but also because at 28/1, you could make some serious cash if they go all the way. They are one of two teams that has defeated Duke this season and they’ve also put on some impressive performances against Stanford and UConn. This is also the type of team that can get hot during the tournament. They are 9th in the country in scoring and 3rd in field goal percentage, so if their shooters continue to play like they have, the Wolfpack can beat any team in the country on any given night. This is a good low risk/high reward pick, so take the Wolfpack at 28/1.