College Basketball Futures Odds & Predictions for the 2018-19 Season


The college basketball season begins with Duke’s version of the Fab Five atop the futures board. RJ Barrett, Zion Williamson, Cam Reddish, Tre Jones, and Joey Baker headline a Duke team whose top returning scorer had 3.9 points per game last season. That is a pretty good indication of what we have to work with early in the college basketball campaign with the most recognizable teams and brand names.

Talent goes out and talent comes in and the cycle continues on an annual basis in college hoops. Coaches change zip codes and players do the same as graduate transfers or get back on the floor after missing out on a season due to NCAA rules that don’t really help the student-athlete.

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While the start of a new season is exciting, college basketball is one of the most unique from a futures standpoint. You can hop on some early positions and hope to grab prices that won’t be available down the line, but more often than not prices that are the same or better can be had in the marketplace as the season goes along.

Still, it isn’t a bad idea to see what the perception is in the market about certain squads and to see if there are some values to take advantage of during the first couple weeks of the season.

We had some success with grabbing prices last season and hopefully we can do the same. We’ll regularly address the futures market on BangTheBook Radio as the season goes along and we’ll update prices and predictions. Keep in mind that you don’t have to pick the winner in the futures market to make money. You just need to get your team to a position to start hedging. The bigger the price, the sooner you can hedge.

I’ll group the odds for this initial futures look with prices 20/1 or less, 60/1 or less, 100/1 or less, and then the long shots. These odds are from 5Dimes Sportsbook on November 6, 2018. As always, shop around for the best prices.

Here are the teams at 20/1 or less:

Duke +450

Kentucky +600

Kansas +765

Gonzaga +1050

North Carolina +1075

Virginia +1350

Nevada +1400

Villanova +1900

There is almost never value in betting these short prices. You can get a better price as the season goes along or as the field is set for March Madness. Duke is the +450 favorite and faces Kentucky on Opening Night. Will a Kentucky win move the futures market? Maybe. Why bet Duke now? Gonzaga’s price will likely be better when the March Madness field is set. The only price that could go down and not return is Villanova, but Jay Wright’s team lost a ton from last year’s title team.


Here are the teams at 60/1 or less:

Oregon +2650

Michigan State +2650

Tennessee +2650

Indiana +3500

Syracuse +4000

Michigan +4000

West Virginia +4000

Auburn +4500

Florida +5000

Purdue +6000

Mississippi State +6000

Because of the strength of most of these conferences, better prices could pop up as the season goes along. The Big Ten will have 20 regular season conference games this year, so Michigan and Purdue will have a couple extra games within league play to navigate.


Here are the teams that are 100/1 or less:

Texas Tech +7000

Miami Florida +8000

Cincinnati +8000

Virginia Tech +8000

Florida State +8500

Marquette +8500

Ohio State +8500

Maryland +10000

NC State +10000

UCLA +10000

Texas +10000

Texas A&M +10000

Kansas State +10000

LSU +10000

Clemson +10000

Arizona +10000

Arizona State +10000

Wichita State +10000

Texas Tech wound up being a good futures position last year as Chris Beard’s team made a very deep tournament run. Marquette is a team to consider at +8500 with another year and another set of recruits for Mike Krzyzewski disciple Steve Wojciechowski. Ohio State is well-coached under Chris Holtmann, but thin on the interior. There is way too much uncertainty with Sean Miller and Arizona basketball to hope on that one.

There aren’t a ton of worthwhile grabs here, but UCLA is probably the best one at 100/1. The Bruins snagged a top-five incoming class and returned a decent amount of talent including Kris Wilkes and Jaylen Hands. UCLA plays Michigan State in Las Vegas on November 22 and that could be a game that drops the Bruins’ price.


The long shots:

Wisconsin +12000

Xavier +12000

Louisville +12000

St John’s +12000

TCU +12500

Penn State +12500

Arkansas +12500

Baylor +12500

Alabama +12500

Butler +12500

Iowa State +15000

Vanderbilt +17500

Washington +20000

Notre Dame +20000

Houston +21500

Creighton +22500

Providence +22500

Missouri +22500

Memphis +22500

San Diego State +22500

Seton Hall +22500

SMU +22500

South Carolina +22500

USC +22500

Utah +25000

Saint Mary’s +25000

Rhode Island +25000

Minnesota +25000

Oklahoma +25000

Illinois +27500

Iowa +30000

Connecticut +30000

Georgetown +32500

Georgia +35000

Loyola Chicago +35000

Oklahoma State +35000

Northwestern +35000

Nebraska +35000

New Mexico +35000

Saint Louis +35000

UNLV +35000

Central Florida +45000

Buffalo +47500

Harvard +50000

Illinois State +50000

Colorado +50000

Davidson +50000

BYU +50000

Boise State +50000

Boston College +50000

Saint Joseph’s +50000

Rutgers +50000

Oregon State +50000

Western Kentucky +50000

Wake Forest +55000

Old Dominion +55000

Mississippi +55000

Temple +55000

Georgia Tech +55000

Fresno State +55000

Stanford +60000

Tulsa +60000

I set an arbitrary cutoff point at 600/1 because 5Dimes actually has a ton of teams listed in the +100000 and higher range.

Starting with the shorter prices in this group, TCU and Vanderbilt may be worthwhile at +12500 and +17500, respectively. Jamie Dixon brought in a solid recruiting class with a big, a wing, and a point guard. Those all help with a team that took big strides last season.

Vanderbilt brought in two five-star recruits and Bryce Drew is an excellent head coach. He’s had all summer to form the team to what he wants. Last season, it was more about figuring out his personnel and implementing his systems. This season, the systems are known, except to the freshmen, and the Commodores should take a big leap.

In the next tier of futures prices, try Saint Louis +35000 on for size. The Billikens are getting some roster help and the conference has gotten weaker around them. The post-Shaka Smart era hasn’t been great for VCU. Rhode Island lost Dan Hurley and a lot of talent. St. Bonaventure lost its two top scorers. Dayton fell off without Archie Miller. Davidson is the best team in what could be a one-bid league, but Saint Louis has an experienced coach in Travis Ford that won’t be in over his head here like he was at Oklahoma State.

Keep an eye out for those futures opportunities as the season goes along and we’ll update these periodically at