College Basketball may be a few months away, but now is the best time to find value in futures bets for the next National Champions.
After graduating a significant group of seniors, reigning champions Virginia did not make the cut of my top contenders which leaves the door wide open for other teams to make the most of the opportunity.
Take a look at the top five programs ready to contend for the 2020 National Championship:
Odds to win: +800
Kentucky has reached the point where you can just pencil them into a top seed in the NCAA Tournament. Under head coach John Calipari, the Wildcats have built themselves around the one-and-done leaving the team to rely heavily on freshmen.
Although no easy task, that’s no issue for the Wildcats. Kentucky has the second-best recruiting class of 2019, including the commitment of three five-star recruits. The nation’s 10th and 11th-ranked players highlight the class in point guard Tyrese Maxey and small forward Khalil Whitney.
The Wildcats head into the upcoming season tied as the favorites to win it all, despite losing key players Tyler Herro, P.J. Washington, and Keldon Washington to the NBA Draft.
Michigan State Spartans
Odds to win: +800
After falling just short of reaching the national title game in the Final Four, Michigan State enters the season tied with the best odds to cut down the nets.
Unlike Kentucky, the Spartans’ recruiting class won’t impress you all that much. Michigan State ranked 22nd in the nation with just two four-star recruits, but that’s enough for head coach Tom Izzo.
Michigan State returns senior team captain Cassius Winston who lead the team in points (18.8 ppg), assists (7.5 apg), and steals (1.0 stlpg). Also returning for the Spartans, the team’s second leading scorer junior guard Joshua Langford, who averaged (15 ppg).
Duke Blue Devils
Odds to win: +1000
The Duke Blue Devils had three players drafted in the Top 10 of the NBA Draft. Naturally, you’d think there would be a decline for the Blue Devils but I’m not sure that’s going to happen.
Duke returns one of the top point guards in the country in Tre Jones. Jones lead the team in assists (5.3 apg) and was a force on defense with (1.9 stlpg).
Joining the Blue Devils this season is the nation’s third-best recruiting class, including the sixth and 11th overall ranked players with center Vernon Carey Jr. and power forward Matthew Hurt.
Odds to win: +1600
The Memphis Tigers are the only team on this list that have been missing in action over the last few seasons, but that’ll change this year.
Memphis has the top recruiting class of 2019 headlined by the top nation’s top player James Wiseman. The 7-foot center, Wiseman, will be accompanied by fellow five-star recruit Precious Achiuwa, the fourth-ranked small forward in the country.
The Tigers also have four four-star recruits to partner with what is expected to be one of the best freshman classes in the nation. If new head coach Penny Hardaway Jr. can find a way to mature this team and win the American Conference title, Memphis has a good chance of making a March Madness run.
North Carolina Tarheels
Odds to win: +1800
North Carolina suffered an uncharacteristic exit from the NCAA tournament after losing to the Auburn Tigers by 17 points in the Sweet 16.
The Tarheels’ recruiting class ranked eighth in the nation, but there’s one incoming freshman who is an immediate standout.
Point guard Cole Anthony is the second overall ranked player in the class of 2019. Anthony is poised to be the next big thing and will be the focal point of the Tarheel offense.
Despite the addition of Anthony, North Carolina’s odds are based off the key departures from last season. The Tarheels will be without all four of the team’s top scorers, Cameron Johnson, Colby White, Luke Maye and Nassir Little.