College basketball gambling bookmakers keep an eye out for these NCAAB teams.
Xavier Musketeers. Villanova coach Jay Wright thought Xavier had the best gambling odds to win it all in 2016 but maybe he should’ve had them pegged for 2017. Most of the talent on Chris Mack's roster should return, with the possible exception of Trevon Bluiett who is testing NBA draft waters but not actually on any mock draft boards. The Musketeers also lose James Farr and Remy Abell but have other players set to fill their voids. Xavier garnered a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament but got bounced in the second round by Wisconsin, a loss that should motivate this group in the offseason.
Michigan State Spartans. Most of the cast that lost to Middle Tennessee State won’t return to avenge the historical loss that upset not only the team but gambling odds too. A No. 3 recruiting class will help make up for the major losses of Denzel Valentine, Bryn Forbes and Matt Costello. And there’s a chance Deyonta Davis comes back to East Lansing, though his name is high up on mock draft boards. That leaves Lourawls Nairn Jr. and Eron Harris as the two main returning stars. The group will have to grow into their roles, but there is talent to spare.
Virginia Cavaliers. Malcolm Brogdon, Anthony Gill and Mike Tobey are departing, leaving London Perrantes as the sole remnant from a renaissance of UVa basketball. Coach Tony Bennett ushered in that era and plans to keep growing it. Perrantes will take on a bigger role running the point and being a top offensive weapon.
Kansas Jayhawks. Wayne Selden Jr. and Brannen Greene are leaving for NBA pastures, while Perry Ellis has been lost to graduation. Still, Kansas remains a college basketball gambling contender for its 13th consecutive Big 12 title. Frank Mason III and Devonte Graham return in the backcourt, and Svi Mykhailiuk is ripe for a major role. And that’s not mentioning Bill Self's recruiting class.
UConn Huskies. Daniel Hamilton and Rodney Purvis are likely to return. Coach Kevin Ollie has hauled in an outstanding freshman class. This team will be la crème de la crème in the AAC. Hamilton is a special talent with an average of 12.5 points, 8.9 rebounds and 4.7 rebounds per game. He'll assess his NBA future with the new rules, but a return could forecast rise as a junior comparable to Buddy Hield. His 32 points in a 4-overtime win against Cincinnati in the AAC tournament is but a sample of what he is capable of.
Texas Longhorns. Shaka Smart will have another decent squad if Isaiah Taylor bypasses the NBA again. The Longhorns finished in the middle of the pack in the Big 12 and an early exit in the NCAA tournament. Now that the culture has set in, expectations will be higher for this program. Smart recruited an elite class of guys who fit well in his system. Other returnees are Kerwin Roach Jr. and Eric Davis Jr.