Here in beautiful Pennsylvania, I have the luxury of doing my wagering at Barstool Sportsbook. One of the great things about it is the tremendous variety of futures you can bet. From conference winners to making the Final Four to winning it all.
As we embark on a season like none other, it's important to understand how many things will be different and differentiating what matters and what doesn't. Keep in mind futures are a great long term investment. When I bet my win it all futures especially in college hoops, there's a two pronged approach. First, can this team make the tournament and will be there feasible hedging opportunities for profit? Plus obviously all the particular with the make up of the team, returning players, experience, cohesion, on the court stats and trends and coaching. The keyword though is value. Most gamblers don't understand what true value is. This is a season like none other, I get the feeling looking outside of the box will present plenty of value.
Let's bang them out and like I said you can find all these directly at Barstool Sportsbook.
St Bonaventure to win the A-10 at 10/1: I've talked glowingly about how much I like Richmond, but this loss of wing Nick Sherrod for the year surely hurts. They are my number one in this league. The Bonnies though present value and are a fantastic team that I have as the number two group heading into season. So the odds are higher than they should be, i.e value. Coach Mark Schmidt is no stranger to running the whole way in this league winning it in 2015/2016. This year, they bring back POY in the league candidate Kyle Lofton. Lofton gets no respect and is a top 5 player in the league. Big Osun Osunniyi is a key to them and their success. I lamented last year in game preview podcasts if he misses any time avoid the Bonnies. But he's healthy so I'm all in on them. He's an elite rebounder and clogs up the middle defensively virtually creating a wall that tells opposing guards to basically stay out of the lane. That's so instrumental on the defensive end. Him and Lofton are wildly good as a pair in the pick and roll on offense as well. They also have a great supporting cast that can all score and solidly defend. They will get out of the gate in nonconference against teams like Vermont and Hofstra, which will prepare them for the gauntlet of the A-10 season. This price is too good to pass up. Dayton is down, St Louis will be tough, we will see if they can score consistently. I like the Bonnies to slide right behind Richmond and be live to win the conference.
Wisconsin to win the Big 10 at 7/2: Another price I thought was too high. Wisconsin is the my pick and slotted first to me as he head into the season in one of the strongest overall leagues in the country. The emergence of the frontcourt last year namely Micah Potter and Nate Reuvers vaults them into being one of the strongest in the land. Also back are diminutive high basketball IQ guards Brad Davison and D'Mitrik Trice. One thing I've always respected about Wisky teams is astute attention they pay to a high hoops IQ. They are smart with the ball, don't beat themselves and make you pay for the mistakes you make. Whether its Bo Ryan or Greg Gard, the same laurels have been instilled. One thing I also loved about them last season was the improvement and succession of them as the season went on. They all got better and won their final 8 games to vault them into this year. They are always a good shooting team and efficient but the big success of this team comes on the defensive side. They are another team that completely take away the three point line and have great rim protectors in guys like Reuvers. They are also annoying and pesky in the man to man principles they use. Teams hate playing them. I worry about Illinois and their ability to shoot from deep, they really struggled from distance consistently. Iowa plays no defense and Michigan State is a bit down to me. We will see if Rocket Watts can lead the offense and guys like Hauser fit in. All that points to me being very high on the Badgers.
Purdue to win the Big 10 at 30/1: This price is wild. Way too much value to pass up. I'm pleasantly high on the Boilermakers. Last year they were 16-15, I know. But they finished top 25 in Ken Pom and were quite unlucky with a weird roster makeup. Nojel Eastern clogged up the 3 and was a complete waste offensively and I also thought Matt Haarms really got in the way from the strong development of real star Trevion WIlliams, Jahaad Proctor, the High Point transfer never really panned out either. Haarms, Proctor and Eastern are gone now and the returning team is strong. Williams is one of the best bigs in the conference and the evolution of Eric Hunter, Sasha Stefanovic and Aaron Wheeler got valuable experience as the season went on. They also welcome back sharpshooter Isaiah Thompson and new freshman Jaden Ivey. ivey was a star at famed La Lumiere High School and averaged 15 a game against a nationally ranked schedule. Watch out for Purdue. This price should be 15/1 not 30/1.
Virginia to win the NCAA Tournament at 10/1: I generally don't bet title futures at these types of price but I'm very in on the Cavs this year. We know the defense is a carefully orchestrated ballet as they have been 7th or better in defensive efficiency every season since 2014. Bennett is a top 3 coach in the country. He has made it cool to play defense and the way they defend is a work of art. They eliminate transition and basically don't allow you to get to the rim. But I'm excited about this offense this year. Virginia run the blocker mover offense created by Tony's father Dick, a legend in his own right. It's basically a variety of screens run by two blocker to free up three movers constantly in motion. The shooters come off the screens for open shots and or the blocker moving to the rim off the screen. It takes time and is one of the reasons possessions take time. But it thrives on marksman and good jump shooters and elite rollers to the rim. Enter Marquette transfer Sam Hauser, a sharpshooting do it all player than bomb away from 3 but also score other ways. Kihei Clark returns also, he had some issues with turnovers as the primary PG but with another year under his belt and his ability as a defender I expect him to continue to take steps forward. Basically he needs to be better at limiting turnovers. Jay Huff is a the perfect player in the system they run from a big standpoint and is one of the better frontcourt players they've had in awhile. Depth wise I'm high on young guard Reece Beekman and I expect Tomas Woldentasae and Casey Morsell to take steps forward after a turbulent season last year. Also keep an eye on Jabri Abdur Rahim, yes Shareefs son. The number 1 ranked player in the state of New Jersey last year! He was absolutely elite on the EYBL circuit last summer. 40 points in 2 games in the same day is special. A lot to be excited about with the Cavs.
Tennessee to win the NCAA Tournament 36/1: Rick Barnes! I watched Uruguyan PG Santiago Vescovi mature before our eyes last year as we came into mid season. He quickly became the general of the offense and I'm excited for a full year from him. His backcourt mate Jaden Springer, a McDonalds All American is the perfect compliment to Vescovi. He is also an above average defender something Rick Barnes will welcome. Springer can do it all. The front court is really good with POY in the league candidate Yves Pons and John Fulkerson. Tennessee can run the offense through both in the post. Keep in mind also, Pons was the Defensive POY in the league last year and is truly elite defensively. They are deep too. They bring in two solid transfers in Victor Bailey from Oregon and EJ Anosike from Sacred Heart. Anosike is really good on the glass and will clean up a lot for the Vols. I will give respect to him. He averaged a double double in the NEC and I think he can be a really good role player every big time team needs. Dirty work type of player! Bailey who last played in 18/19 at Oregon was the best 3 point shooter that year for the Ducks and will be instant offense. This team is stacked across the board. Really good team for Barnes. Good price here.
I will add a few more and have the most comprehensive college basketball betting knowledge and breakdowns as we get into the season.
As always if you're betting, make sure you're doing it responsibly.