Action on the NCAA hardwood continues to heat up as the major title contenders and top ranked teams enter the meat of their conference schedules. With most of the early-season cupcake games out of the way, we are finally getting to see which teams could realistically vie for the 2012-2013 title. That’s why now is a good time to put down your championship futures bets using these updated odds. Here is a look at a couple of the favorites and some good value dark horses.
#1 Duke Blue Devils-6/1
Many experts thought it might be a down year for Duke, but the Devils have proved those people wrong so far, as they’ve risen to the top of the rankings once again after a 10-0 start to the season. The Devils have looked good in wins over other top-ranked teams, including Louisville, Kentucky and Ohio State. Duke is one of the few teams that has passed most of its biggest tests already, so it’s very likely they will win most of their remaining games and earn a number one seed come tournament time, which will put them in prime position for a run at the title. The 6/1 odds may not be super profitable, but a bet in favor of coach K and Co. seems to pay off most of the time, so it’s never a bad idea to side with the nation’s most consistent basketball powerhouse.
#6 Indiana Hoosiers-5/1
Indiana started the season as the nation’s number one squad, but a tough overtime defeat at the hands of Butler, has dropped them to No. 6. Still, the 9-1 Hoosiers are a force to be reckoned with. As the nation’s leading scoring team, Indiana has plenty of offensive weapons to compete with any team in the country, evidenced by high-profile wins against North Carolina and Georgetown already this season. The Hoosiers look like a team primed to make a deep run in this year’s tournament, but they are a bit tougher to bet on considering they haven’t performed as well in the postseason in recent years. However, they feature be a stronger, more experienced squad this season, so a bet on them at 5/1 is decent value.
#2 Michigan Wolverines-12/1
Are the Wolverines for real? That’s what many are wondering of the team that is currently ranked No. 2 in the country. The reason there are still doubters is simply because Michigan tends to fade late in the season and fails to perform to expectations come tournament time, but maybe this is its year. Although Michigan is currently ranked second, it is still somewhat a dark horse at 12/1. It seems like a great wager considering they have already proven themselves against teams like Pitt, Kansas State and NC State. With an 11-0 record, the Wolverines just might be the real deal.
#7 Ohio State Buckeyes-18/1
The Buckeyes have risen to national prominence in recent years, but have yet to break through with a championship. However, this could be their year. The 9-1 Buckeyes’ only loss is to current No. 1 Duke and they continue to dominate opponents with a balanced offense that shoots as well as it rebounds. The biggest draw to a betting for OSU is those odds. At 18/1, bettors stand to make some serious dough if Ohio State can break through and it seems like the type of team that is due for something good to happen to it.