Betting one NCAA basketball game or one half at a time can be a wild ride. If you place wagers on the entire season, you can extend that ride until March. These picks should give you a few tickets to cash before Selection Sunday.
Tennessee: Over 19.5 Wins (-105)
The Vols lost their big three—Admiral Schofield, Grant Williams and Jordan Bone—to the NBA after they earned a No. 2 seed and advanced to the Sweet 16 in 2019. It’s a lot to replace, but the Rick Barnes renaissance should not be taken lightly. While most may focus on what left Knoxville, Jordan Bowden and Lamonte Turner could become the best backcourt in the SEC before season’s end.
JORDAN BOWDEN ON A RACK ATTACK pic.twitter.com/TafqoFfm8m
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) March 2, 2019
When you look at Tennessee’s schedule, Thompson-Boling Arena should be able to carry them to 20 wins. They play Kentucky twice, but John Calipari has just three wins in Knoxville in a decade. In the non-conference they face Washington at a neutral site, Cincinnati on the road, but get Wisconsin and Memphis at home. Lock in the Vols at 20 wins.
Florida: Over 23.5 Wins (-110)
This is the year Mike White shows America he’s the next big name in college basketball. His team is loaded, starting with Andrew Nembhard, a talented guard that knocked down 34% of his three-pointers in 2019.
ANDREW NEMBHARD FOR THE WIN AND THE NCAA TOURNAMENT!!! pic.twitter.com/nDUnLchEc7
— InAllKindsOfWeather.com (@AllKindsWeather) March 15, 2019
Forward Keyontae Johnson returns after a solid freshman campaign, where he averaged 8.1 points and 6.4 rebounds. He’ll play alongside a dark-horse candidate for Naismith Player of the Year, Kerry Blackshear Jr., the Virginia Tech graduate transfer who dominated the paint in the ACC a year ago. White also added his best recruit to date, Scottie Lewis, a McDonald’s All-American and the No. 1 small forward in the 2019 recruiting class.
If the Gators do not hit any speed bumps with early road trips at UConn and at Butler, 24 wins is easily attainable on the road to the Final Four.
Indiana: Under 18.5 Wins (-110)
I don’t think things are going to get any easier for Archie Miller in his third year. He could not reach the coveted 20-win threshold with prized recruit Romeo Langford on the roster. After losing Langford and Juwan Morgan, finding consistent scorers will not be easy. Rob Phinisee is a fine player, and the Hoosiers added Trayce Jackson-Davis and Armaan Franklin, but are they good enough to make this year’s team better than last year’s? I don’t think so.
Arizona: Over 21.5 Wins (-120)
While Archie Miller is feeling the heat in Bloomington, Sean Miller is sweating out NCAA inquiries in Tucson. Despite all the off-the-court distractions, he’s still recruiting incredibly well.
Arizona’s incoming class is led by local product Nico Mannion. The red-headed point guard can ball. One of two McDonald’s All-Americans, the slasher will get 6-foot-6 wing Josh Green plenty of open looks.
Arizona commit Nico Mannion with the HUGE throwdown 💪 pic.twitter.com/ARlcj6zfO6
— ESPN (@espn) December 9, 2018
The Wildcats also picked up a pair of transfers. Max Hazzard carried UC Irvine to the NCAA Tournament and sharp-shooting Jemarl Baker clocked significant minutes during Kentucky’s run to the Elite Eight. If Miller gets the newcomers to click, the Wildcats should cruise through Bill Walton’s Conference of Champions.
Purdue: Under 20.5 Wins (-105)
Life without Carsen Edwards will not be easy in West Lafayette. Criminally underrated throughout his college career, Edwards was the straw that stirred the Boilermakers’ drink. They still have Matt Haarms inside, but college basketball is a guard’s game. With non-conference games against VCU, Marquette, Texas and Butler, reaching that 20-win mark will be difficult. Even if they do, the hook will save you from making a losing bet.