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Traditional Powers Headline College Basketball Betting Favorites


The college basketball season tips off Monday, and futures odds suggest familiar teams will be in the mix for the men’s and women’s national championships again this season. 

On the men’s side, reigning national champion UConn is considered a contending team, alongside traditional powerhouses like Kansas, Duke, and Kentucky. The women’s game is headlined by LSU, UConn, and Iowa, all teams that have stellar recent history in the sport. There aren’t many surprises atop the odds board just a few days before the start of a new season. 

Also unsurprisingly, size matters in basketball. Each of the top three favorites for men’s Player of the Year honors — Purdue’s Zach Edey, Duke’s Kyle Filipowski, and Kansas’ Hunter Dickinson — are at least 7 feet tall. 

Men’s futures board tight at top

Kansas, Duke, and Purdue are all given +1100 odds to win the national championship on FanDuel, one of the betting apps with national title futures. Each of those teams has a legitimate Player of the Year candidate, with Edey the favorite on DraftKings with odds of +175. 

Purdue, which starts the year at No. 1 on basketball analytics site, lost to a No. 16 seed in the first round of last year’s NCAA Tournament. The only prior No. 1 seed to lose to a No. 16 seed was Virginia in 2018, before winning the national championship the following season. 

DraftKings gives Kansas a slim edge among contenders to win the title, with +1000 odds. Duke sits at +1100, and Purdue is close behind at +1200. Kentucky (+1400), Michigan State (+1500), and UConn (+1600) are in a similar position on the odds board. 

Arizona (+2200), Arkansas (+2200), Houston (+2200), Marquette (+2200), and North Carolina (+2200) are viewed as fringe national title threats on Barstool Sportsbook, which will become ESPN BET on Nov. 14. Creighton has +3000 odds on the mobile betting app. 

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LSU clear women’s favorite

In the women’s game, the national title runs through LSU. The reigning national champion had a successful offseason, adding Louisville transfer Hailey Van Lith and DePaul transfer Aneesah Morrow. The duo joined a stacked roster headlined by Angel Reese. 

Head coach Kim Mulkey is among the most decorated coaches in women’s college basketball, winning four national titles as a head coach. Anything less than a championship would be disappointing for the Tigers this season, and FanDuel has them at +230 to win the title. 

UConn, with Paige Bueckers returning from injury, is +600 to win the championship. Iowa, led by Caitlin Clark, is +800 to win the national title. The Hawkeyes lost to Reese and LSU in last year’s national title game. 

Virginia Tech (+1000), Utah (+1100), Indiana (+1100), South Carolina (+1300), and Stanford (+1300) are other teams expected to be among the nation’s top contenders this season.

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