Basketball season tips off in a few short weeks and Vegas is getting ready, releasing new odds on the NCAA title contenders, courtesy Bovada. Iowa checks in at 66/1, no change from the earlier odds. Last year, Iowa opened up at 50/1 odds. The favorites to cut down the nets in April are yet again Kentucky; you might as well just pencil them into that slot every year until Calipari leaves. The rest of the top five is rounded out by Arizona, Wisconsin, Duke, and North Carolina, with perennial contenders Kansas and Florida lurking just behind them.
|San Diego State||66/1||50/1|
Among Big Ten teams, Wisconsin has the best odds by far; they actually have the joint second-best odds (with Arizona) of any team other than Kentucky. It will be fascinating to see how Wisconsin handles the burden of heavy expectations this season, as Bo's bunch has often been at their best when relatively little is expected of them and they can sneak up on opponents. They won't be sneaking up on anyone this year. Michigan, Michigan State, and Ohio State (aka, the usual suspects) have the next-best odds in the league, followed by Iowa. Curiously, this year's Big Ten darling, Nebraska, only has 100/1 odds; perhaps Vegas isn't as sold on this year's iteration of Nebrasketball as the preseason pundits.
Big Ten Odds
Michigan State 33/1
Ohio State 50/1
Penn State 500/1
*There were no odds listed for Rutgers or Northwestern.
And, just for the hell of it, here are the national championship odds for some of the other teams on Iowa's schedule. Texas' 25/1 odds offer further confirmation that this year's Longhorn squad should be very good -- and a stiff test for Iowa in a few weeks. Iowa State's own 25/1 odds are a little eyebrow-raising -- they seem a bit high for a team that lost two of its best and most important players from a year ago (DeAndre Kane and Melvin Ejim).
North Carolina 12/1
Iowa State 25/1
Thoughts? Any odds that seem especially out of whack to you? Any that look so tempting you can't wait to put a little money on them? Hit up the comments.