- BetOnline has Duke (+700) as the favorite to win the 2020 National Championship despite losing Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett
- Kentucky (+750) and defending champion Virginia (+800) had key players declare for June’s NBA Draft
- Michigan State (+800) is a strong bet to win it all after star point guard Cassius Winston announced his return
It turns out Easter Sunday is not just a day to eat 10 pounds of ham and pass out on the couch. This year, it was also the deadline for college basketball underclassmen to declare for the upcoming NBA Draft.
While a new NCAA rule allows for all underclassmen, including those who signed with certified agents, to return to campus if they withdraw from the process by 11:59 p.m. on May 29, these early declarations can help us determine which schools are poised for long March Madness runs next spring.
Let’s take a look at BetOnline‘s early odds and determine which teams are emerging as early value bets for the 2020 National Championship.
Odds to Win 2020 NCAA Championship
|Team||Odds to Win 2020 NCAA Championship at BetOnline|
*Odds taken on 04/22/19
Duke Blue Devils (+700)
The Blue Devils remain the favorites to cut down the nets in Atlanta next year, despite Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett and Cam Reddish all declaring for the NBA Draft.
It’s only fair to wonder if 72-year-old Mike Krzyzewski will ever win his sixth career National Championship if he couldn’t get it done with last year’s roster, but Coach K once again has the nation’s top recruiting class after landing two five-star recruits in big man Vernon Carey Jr. and forward Matthew Hurt.
— College GameDay (@CollegeGameDay) April 15, 2019
Kentucky Wildcats (+750)
You’re never going to believe this, but Coach Cal is losing a few players to the NBA. Wildcats sophomore PJ Washington and freshmen Keldon Johnson, Tyler Herro and EJ Montgomery all submitted their names for entry into the pre-draft process, taking advantage of what ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla describes as a “very, very weak” draft.
Over the past decade, 27 Kentucky freshmen have foregone their remaining college eligibility. Lexington has become a one-and-done factory that is a perennial attraction for the top high-schoolers in the country, but Calipari’s 2019-20 recruiting class has underwhelmed to this point.
Virginia Cavaliers (+800)
Tony Bennett’s Cavaliers seem a little overpriced at 8/1 considering the three-leading scorers from Virginia’s national title-winning roster (Ty Jerome, De’Andre Hunter and Kyle Guy) have all submitted paperwork to enter next June’s NBA Draft.
While Guy, UVA’s leading scorer and the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player, did leave the door open to come back to school, Virginia likely doesn’t have the necessary talent to repeat.
Virginia’s Kyle Guy declares for the 2019 NBA draft after a dominant NCAA tournament run. pic.twitter.com/OrUbHxrkJj
— Bleacher Report CBB (@br_CBB) April 16, 2019
Michigan State Spartans (+800)
Tom Izzo can breathe a sigh of relief after Big Ten Player of the Year Cassius Winston announced that he’s returning for his senior season and forgoing the NBA draft process completely. While the Spartans are losing junior Nick Ward to the NBA, Winston is the straw that stirs the drink in East Lansing.
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) April 19, 2019
With the star point guard back in the fold, Michigan State looks primed to return to the Final Four, and emerges as the best bet of the early contenders. For more analysis on what schools to place your money on, check out this article on the favorites for next year’s National Championship.