The preseason men's basketball national championship odds have been unveiled by Bovada with the Kentucky Wildcats the early favorites at 7/2. Like Sports Illustrated, which ranked them No. 121, the USC Trojans aren't getting much respect from the oddsmakers.
USC is a 300/1 pick to win the national championship this year. Most Trojan fans would likely be pleasantly surprised to see the Trojans make the NCAA Tournament. Based on the odds, Vegas doesn't think that will happen.
There are 59 schools with better odds than the Trojans, along with 16 squads also at the 300/1 mark to open the season. While that would seem to give the Trojans a shot at the field of 68, there are several automatic bids for mid-major conference champions that aren't accounted for.
Pac-12 powerhouse Arizona follows Kentucky with 9/1 odds along with Wisconsin. The Wildcats feature a talented squad built around junior Brandon Ashley, sophomore Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and former USC target freshman Stanley Johnson.
UCLA have the second-best championship odds in the Pac-12 at 66/1 while Stanford and Oregon have 100/1 odds. The Cardinal were picked to finish fifth in the Pac-12 while Oregon was down at eighth after dismissing some key players during the offseason.
On the other hand, Colorado is at 200/1 despite being picked to finish third behind Arizona and Utah. The Utes aren't on Bovada's board for unknown reason, but they are 85/1 on other betting sites.
Interestingly, though USC was picked to finish ahead of only Washington State and Oregon State, the Trojans have the same odds as Arizona State and California while having better odds than the Washington Huskies, who are at 500/1 despite being picked to finish sixth in the conference.
USC is listed at 500/1 odds on three other betting sites, according to Odds Shark, a site which compares the available odds on various betting sites.
It should be noted that Gonzaga and Iowa State are both listed at 25/1. Each team will feature a prominent former Trojan that transferred in this season. USC's leading scorer last season, Byron Wesley, went to Gonzaga for his senior season after graduating from USC in three years.
Bryce Dejean-Jones will be a featured wing for the Cyclones after leading UNLV in scoring last season. Bryce Jones left in the middle of his freshman season at USC while facing dismissal from the team. He and then-head coach Kevin O'Neill butted heads while Jones was a Trojan.
Here's Bovada's complete list with the odds that were given after the end of the season in the spring and the preseason odds:
|San Diego State||66/1||50/1|