In theory, betting on the championship of a one-and-done tournament that ends over 360 days from now is absurd at the best times. With name, image, and likeness rights and the transfer portal, the amount of blind faith required in this market is at an all-time high. But let’s forget about that for a second and look for some early value.
2023 national championship odds
|San Diego State||+6600|
*All other teams are listed at 100-1 or longer
The co-favorites met in the West Region final this past tournament, but many players from that game won’t be around next year.
The Blue Devils Currently have the top recruiting class for next season, but we’ve heard that before, and they haven’t won since 2015. Like every other season since they embraced the one-and-done era, counting on them to put it together requires blind faith.
Arkansas has the second-ranked freshman class, and Eric Musselman is a wizard in the transfer portal. With over 1,000 players switching teams last offseason, any team dipping into the portal for its missing pieces does so speculatively.
If compelled to make a bet in this market, you’d do so with a pair of goals:
- Buying low: Getting a price that you won’t be able to get later.
- Betting on a good path: Picking out a team that will go into the NCAA Tournament with a No. 1 or 2 seed.
As we look down the board, let’s target teams that should have some continuity and aren’t hanging their hopes on a player who might not be back next year.
To get a top seed, a team will need to finish atop their conference by winning the regular season or conference tournament. The Cougars accomplished both this year but didn’t get much credit from the NCAA Tournament selection committee. They were seeded fifth in a loaded South Region despite a metric rating that should’ve earned them at least a 2-seed.
With Final Four and Elite Eight berths the last two campaigns, they should be more highly regarded this coming season – especially if they can improve their non-conference schedule and results. One of the best coaches in college basketball, Kelvin Sampson, will have the same armada of talent, so Houston’s 16-1 odds seem as long as they’re going to get.
Competition is deep in the Big 12, and the top ends of the Pac-12, ACC, and SEC aren’t getting any easier. The nightly grind of the Big Ten makes it tough for anyone to separate themselves.
Prior to Monday night’s slugfest with North Carolinayou could make the case that it was the Bluejays who gave Kansas its toughest time – despite missing their starting point guard and 7-foot big man. Ryan Nembhard will get a second season to run the team under Greg McDermott, which can only be a good thing. Ryan Kalkbrenner will be back to reunite with Nembhard, Arthur Kalumaand Trey Alexander.
Creighton can fill in the gaps to win the Big East since Villanova will be playing without Collin Gillespie and Jermaine Samuels for the first time in what feels like a decade. That might be enough to get the Jays a 2-seed and a favorable route on Selection Sunday 2023.
Matt Russell is a betting writer for theScore. If there’s a bad beat to be had, Matt will find it. Find him on Twitter @mrussauthentic.