College Basketball Futures Picks With The Best Value

It is the last day of February and we are just a couple of weeks away from Selection Sunday. Of the 68 teams that will be in the tournament, you can probably assume half of them for sure and of the remaining 34, only a handful of them will probably be surprising. This has been one of the most volatile seasons in recent memory. Yeah, anyone can bet on Kansas to win it all, and they probably have the best shot to do so. However, there are plenty of teams talented enough to win it all this year. Altogether, I could probably see about two dozen teams that could realistically win it all this season. If that is the case, which college basketball futures provide the best value at this point in the season?

Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook

Duke +1200

Duke was a top-five team in the preseason rankings, and for good reason. Guard Tre Jones came back for his sophomore season. He may only be a sophomore but he controls the game like a senior. Not only is he capable of scoring (16.1 PPG), but he is one of the best all-around defenders in the country.

Mixed in with the “veteran” presence of Jones is freshman Cassius Stanley and Vernon Carey Jr. Two of the most talented freshman in the country, Stanley and Carey are excellent compliments to Jones. Seniors Javin DeLaurier and Jack White provide some experienced depth for the Blue Devils.

Duke is the 5th-ranked team in the KenPom rankings. They have some of the best talent and depth in the country. Add in the best coach that the college game has ever seen and you have a recipe for success. Talent, depth, senior leadership, experience, coaching, Duke has it all. They can compete with any team in the country on both sides of the ball. A few underperforming games have dropped their odds down to +1200. Now is the time to bet on the Blue Devils while their value is at its peak.

Florida State +2000

The Florida State Seminoles have one of the best teams this program has ever seen. Coach Leonard Hamilton once again has put together one of the best defensive teams in the country. The Seminoles are a balanced team that can play as many as 10 players on any given night. They have the size as well as the depth at guard to give any team in the country trouble.

Florida State is the 17th-ranked team in the KenPom rankings and honestly should probably be higher. Defense wins championships, as we saw last year with Virginia. Florida State certainly has one of the better lockdown defenses in the country and their offense is just as good. They make their free-throws, they can hit score from deep and they score well down low too. At 20/1 odds, the Seminoles are an excellent play as they have championship DNA.

Arizona +4000

Perhaps the best value in the country right now, the Arizona Wildcats could shock the world and win it all this season. Led by freshman Nico Mannion, Arizona has a ton of talent on its roster this season. The Wildcats rank in the top 30 in both offensive and defensive efficiency according to the KenPom rankings, something that most of the recent champions have done as well.

Arizona can score and they can defend. The Pac-12 isn’t the toughest conference but it is certainly the toughest it has been in years. Arizona has had some excellent games and they have also laid a few eggs, which is why they are sitting at 40/1. If they were to take care of business against some weaker competition (St. John’s and Oregon State) and managed to squeak out a couple of those close games against elite competition (Baylor, Gonzaga and Oregon), the Wildcats would be a highly ranked team.

Arizona is certainly capable of defeating each team they lost to this season. Close losses to Baylor and Gonzaga show just how good this team can be. If Mannion can put together some big game against tough teams, the Wildcats are dangerous enough to take down any team in the country. At 40/1 odds, the Wildcats are the best value of any team in this odds range.

Virginia +8000

This isn’t the same Virginia team as last year. They don’t have the scoring capability that they did last season but they do have the same elite defense. The one addition that the Cavaliers have from last season is Kihei Clark. Clark helped control the ball for Virginia last year and kind of played the behind the scenes role. Now, Clark is one of the stars of this Virginia team.

Despite losing three of their biggest offensive weapons from last season, Virginia still brought plenty of talent back this season. In addition to Clark, the Cavaliers also got Braxton Key and Mamadi Diakite back this season. The experience from last season for these three key players will be a big asset for the Cavaliers come tournament time.

Virginia has the fourth-best defensive efficiency in the country according to KenPom. However, they are outside the top 200 in offensive efficiency. If the Cavaliers don’t repeat this season, it will be because of their lack of scoring power. Still, the Cavaliers have a few players who are capable of putting up big offensive numbers any given night. It may be a longshot but with a defense that is this good, mixed in with their championship experience, getting the reigning champions at 80/1 isn’t a bad bet at all.

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