We are now into week six of the college basketball season, and after a thrilling weekend of action, it’s time to take a look at the updated championship odds. Here is the favorite, the smart bet, and the dark horse. Let’s take a look at this analysis for your College Basketball National Championship Odds.
Analysis and Betting Opportunities for College Basketball Updated Championship
The Favorite: Houston Cougars (+850)
Despite suffering their first loss on the season, the Houston Cougars are still the favorite to win the national championship. It shouldn’t be that much of a shock, as losing to the Alabama Crimson Tide is by no means a bad loss.
This team is still the best defensive team in the nation and still boasts an All-American in Marcus Sasser, along with arguably the best coach in the nation in Kelvin Sampson. There was never any doubt that Houston would eventually lose a game, and falling to a fellow top-15 team lessens the sting. This team is still for real and will have an opportunity to show us on Saturday when they travel to Charlottesville to take on the Virginia Cavaliers.
The Smart Wager: Alabama Crimson Tide (+5000)
If you’re going to talk about the favorite, you may as well talk about the only team in the country that has taken them down. Alabama has a fantastic combination of youth, experience, shooting, rebounding, depth, and of course, coaching. The fact that the Tide were able to land a victory on the road against the number one team in the nation while their leading scorer and rebounder had a subpar outing speaks to their potential.
Alabama boasts a deep rotation of talented players, all of whom are capable of picking up slack at any given time. Against Houston, it was freshmen Noah Clowney and Jaden Bradley’s turn to step up as he provided 12 points, five rebounds, and four assists in 25 minutes off of the bench. Clowney led the Tide in both scorings (16 points) and rebounding (11) in the game for his first double-double of the season.
The Dark Horse: Maryland Terrapins (+20000)
The Terrapins are admittedly an extreme longshot, but Kevin Willard’s club was impressive over the weekend in their loss to Tennessee. After posting one of the worst halves of basketball by a top-25 team this season, the Terps were not deterred. They emerged from the locker room at half trailing by 17 points and nearly landed the victory, cutting the lead to just two points before running out of steam.
Despite two consecutive losses, this team has still landed some major victories this season, taking down Saint Louis, Miami, and Illinois. Jahmir Young, Donta Scott, and Hakim Hart are a legitimate trio to be reckoned with, while sophomore Julian Reese has established himself as a force in the frontcourt.
Again, this Terps team is a complete longshot, and a better price may be on the way, but they have the talent and all-around game (top 30 in offense and defense) to compete with any program in the nation. If they can get some more consistent shooting from beyond the arc from Young, this team is capable of a March run.