- Ted Sevransky, ESPN Insider
It didn't take long for the sportsbooks in Las Vegas to hang odds on the 2015 national title winner in college hoops. UConn cut down the nets in Arlington,Texas, on Monday night, and by Tuesday Jay Kornegay and his staff at the LVH Superbook had a full complement of future-book odds posted for next year's NCAA tournament.
There's little urgency to get involved with future-book wagers for next April -- the opening numbers aren't likely to move dramatically over the spring and summer. And the two main concepts that professional bettors use when assessing future-book wagers won't change over the next six months either: price point and potential. Both concepts are easy to explain and to understand. The "price points" are the odds. Savvy bettors won't touch teams if they're not offering anywhere near their true odds to win the title. And of course, teams must actually have the talent (potential) to win six straight games against elite-level foes over three weekends without wilting under the spotlight.
UConn came through as a rare long shot with its NCAA title this season, offering enormous return on investment for those who placed a futures bet on the Huskies. I recommended the Huskies at 75-to-1 in my preseason future-book odds column, written back on Halloween before a single game had been played:
"After being forced to sit out of the Big Dance last year, Kevin Ollie's Huskies are primed to make some noise in 2014. The Huskies return all five starters from last year's 20-win team, including senior studs Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright in an elite backcourt. ... UConn just might have the frontcourt muscle to make a deep March run."
It's still very early in the process, but early sportsbook odds are always interesting to dissect and discuss. Here are a handful of schools that have piqued my interest with their future-book odds for the 2015 title.
Ted Sevransky breaks down the best values for betting next season's national title team. He sees Kentucky, at 12-to-1, as a strong pick.