The college football season is only a few weeks old and the NFL just wrapped up the first week of the regular season, but there are bettors out there that are already thinking about the college basketball season. There are also oddsmakers thinking about it, too.
The crew over at WynnBET released a set of college basketball season win totals earlier this week. How could anybody be thinking about basketball with football just getting started? Being first to market was a point of pride for Lindeman and his colleagues, so they got to work on posting numbers.
“This is a market the slips through the cracks because of football,” said Lead Trader Matt Lindeman. “There isn’t a lot of time to hang CBB during the football season, so we thought we might as well get it going now. We want people to bet with us.”
A lot of blue bloods have been among the first teams lined, but there are a few mid-majors and surprises. Not only does the crew at WynnBET have the season win total market up, but all 358 Division-I teams have Final Four odds listed as well.
The limits are betting to win $2000 and all of the listed teams have juice at -105 on both sides.
Here are the win total lines that were posted on Monday:
Ohio State 24.5
North Carolina 23.5
Michigan State 22.5
Florida State 22.5
St. Bonaventure 29
Texas Tech 23
A few important things to note about these CBB win totals:
- These totals include conference and postseason tournaments. These are not just regular season games
- With the threat of cancellations due to COVID-19 or otherwise, all bets are action
- There is no minimum number of games for the bet to be action
One team that stands out on this list is the UCLA Bruins. The Bruins made a remarkable NCAA tournament run as a No. 11 seed that was forced to win the play-in game just to reach the first weekend. Their season win total is lined at 31, which is the third-highest of any team.
“UCLA’s number is a really ambitious win total,” Lindeman admitted. “They only won 22 games last season and only 17 in the regular season. I think that is a good example of how interesting these are with the postseason included.”
Memphis is another team with a really high number. The Tigers are posted at 32 victories.
“Memphis brought in two huge recruits (Emoni Bates and Jalen Duran) and plays in a weak conference outside of Houston. Penny (Hardaway) has done a great job there. There aren’t many games that they should lose.”
The Big Ten is well-represented with six teams among the list of win totals. Some of those teams, however, have win totals of 22.5, like Michigan State and Maryland. Even Michigan, a consensus top-five team heading into the season, is lined at 27.
“The Big Ten has so much parity top to bottom, with great talent and great coaching, especially with the top five or six teams. It is really hard to distinguish the class of the conference. Look at UM. A top-three team, but with a significantly lower win total than the teams around them. It is hard to line these teams, but I think it is a conference where you can find some value.”
To his point, all but two teams in the Big Ten lost at least six games in conference play last season, even with the schedule shortened by COVID. All but three teams lost at least 10 games overall.
There are a lot of teams with a lot of roster turnover on this list, including programs that regularly have one-and-done freshmen that star on the big stage and then move on in the NBA Draft. Some of those teams have not lived up to the hype or the high recruiting rankings recently.
Take, for example, the Duke Blue Devils, lined with an optimistic total of 28 wins.
“This is Coach K’s victory lap,” Lindeman pointed out, as longtime head coach Mike Krzyzewski is retiring after the season. “A lot of energy and more energy than usual at Cameron Indoor. They’re all-in for this season.”
Another prime example is the Kentucky Wildcats. When pressed about the hardest team to line, Lindeman immediately answered that it was Kentucky.
“It was such a significant drop-off last year, but you’ve always got incoming talent and a team that should be better. But, where do you place them? I may have shaded them up a little bit.”
Teams like UConn and Memphis have made some national noise in recent seasons, but there is one mid-major that stands out in a big way on this list. That is the St. Bonaventure Bonnies.
“They probably won’t be as good as Dayton two seasons ago, but I had to get the Bonnies in there. I wanted to work in another mid-major that should be the class of its conference,” Lindeman said. “They’re stacked with experience coming off of an A-10 Championship and first-round loss as a No. 9 seed and they could be in contention for a 3-5 seed this season.”
College basketball may not be on the brain for a lot of bettors, but with season win totals now out for some teams and odds to make the Final Four for all 358 Division I teams at WynnBET, it is a reminder that the season will be here before you know it.