Having cashed or torn up our collective 2023 Futures tickets in college basketball, it is time to look ahead to the 2023-24 season and potential national champions.
The debate begins with, “Can Connecticut repeat in 2024?” and if not Dan Hurley's team, then who? Lets dive into a few schools and their title odds for 2024.
With the transfer portal doors propped open and the deadline for players to apply for the NBA Draft still a few weeks out, there are question marks associated with every team. However, future markets are posted and there are opportunities to get favorable odds on potential 2024 champions.
UCONN was unranked when the 2022-23 season tipped off. More than likely they will be ranked in the Top 5 entering the 2023-24 season unless they lose more than Jordan Hawkins to the NBA. Their early odds to repeat (+1200) reflect the confidence of sports books in the Huskies. Should they lose Adama Sanogo and Andre Jackson the Huskies will be minus a chunk of talent from their championship roster as well as their primary leaders. The latter is an intangible but is quantifiable in this case, and it would create a massive void in that locker room. That uncertainty in addition to the inherent challenges of repeating and the less than mouth-watering odds make the Huskies a bet we are not willing to make.
(Watch More: UCONN cuts down the nets and claims fifth national championship)
Duke Blue Devils
Coach K's former club (+1600) is a more tempting bet. Sure, it looks like Head Coach John Sheyer will lose possibly Dariq Whitehead, Kyle Filipowski, and Dereck Lively to the NBA but their backcourt of Tyrese Proctor and Jeremy Roach are expected back. Led by TJ Power, Duke will add five of the Top 40 Freshmen in the nation led by TJ Power. Tough to lock up your hard-earned money for 12 months with odds at “only” 16:1 but if you are a believer in Sheyer and the way the Blue Devils played down the stretch, I would not call you crazy.
Let's find a couple schools with longer odds.
Michigan State Spartans
Head Coach Tom Izzo's club gained invaluable experience this Spring. We know AJ Hoggard, Jaden Akins, Jaxon Kohler, and Mady Sissoko are scheduled to return to East Lansing. If Malik Hall and Tyson Walker return for another year and each takes a step forward in their development, the Spartans should be able to parlay that into title contention. A good recruiting class led by Jeremy Fears fills out a roster that is a national title contender. No way their current price on the Futures Market to claim the national title (+4000) remains for long once Izzo's 2023-24 lineup becomes official.
(Watch More: Is Connecticut an Elite Basketball School?)
Florida Atlantic Owls
Head Coach Dusty May is expected to return the majority of his roster with the exception of 6th man Michael Forrest. Considering all of the experience gained from this season's tournament run, the Owls' price to cut down the nets in 2024 (+7000) seems mispriced. Assuming Johnell Davis, Alijah Martin, Bryan Greenlee, Nick Boyd, and Vladislav Goldin each return for FAU, it is doubtful their current odds of 70-1 remain for long. Preseason polls will have the Owls well within the Top 25 from the jump.
Marquette Golden Eagles
The top play on the board may well be a school that sits atop numerous, way too early preseason polls. If you are willing to assume that forwards Olivier-Maxence Prosper and Oso Ighodaro do not forgo their remaining eligibility for a shot at the NBA Draft and instead run it back with Tyler Kolek and Kam Jones, the defending Big East regular season and tournament champions return their core. If so, Shaka Smart's club will be among the favorites (+2000) to contend for the national crown in 2024. In an era when experience on the court matters more than ever, Marquette appears mispriced in the market.
Do your homework. If you decide to wager on the college basketball futures market, bet responsibly.
Enjoy the sweat.