John Calipari

Two Las Vegas sports books install Kentucky as early 2013-14 favorite

3 Comments

In the aftermath of Andrew Wiggins’ decision to attend Kansas, many opined that John Calipari’s Kentucky Wildcats would be fine due to the arrival of an eight-member recruiting class that includes six McDonald’s All-Americans.

The folks in Las Vegas seem to be in agreement.

Both Vegas Insider and Bovada have installed the Wildcats as the early favorites (5/1 odds on both sports books) to cut down the nets at Dallas Cowboys Stadium next April.

The interesting thing about the futures are the differences after Kentucky. While Bovada has Kansas in at 11/2 odds (second-best odds on the book) the Jayhawks aren’t as highly regarded by Vegas Insider, which has Kansas’ odds set at 15/1.

Following Kentucky on Vegas Insider’s board are Duke and defending national champion Louisville at 12/1, with Arizona, Florida and Michigan State joining Kansas at 15/1.

As for the Bovada odds, Kansas is followed by Louisville (17/2), Michigan State (12/1), Duke (14/1) and Arizona (15/1). North Carolina, which was one of the four finalists in the Wiggins “sweepstakes,” has its odds set at 16/1 on Bovada’s book and 25/1 on Vegas Insider’s book.

Florida State, considered by many to be the favorite to land Wiggins, has odds of 75/1 (Bovada) and 80/1 (Vegas Insider).

Some other interesting odds that stick out are Syracuse sitting at 40/1 on Vegas Insider (25/1 on Bovada) and Oklahoma State (50/1 odds on both books).

The Orange will makes its move to the ACC without three starters from this past season’s Final Four team but Jim Boeheim still has plenty of talent to work with, led by forward C.J. Fair and incoming freshmen Tyler Ennis and Tyler Roberson.

As for Oklahoma State, Travis Ford’s team was hailed as the extremely early favorite in the Big 12 following the decisions of Marcus Smart, Markel Brown and Le’Bryan Nash to return to Stillwater.

But with Kansas landing Wiggins that has changed in the eyes of more than a few prognosticators, which could turn the Cowboys into a value pick for bettors.

h/t CBS Sports

Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

WATCH LIVE: Hofstra travels to Delaware on NBCSN

James Madison forward Yohanny Dalembert (40) prepares to shoot against Hofstra forward Rokas Gustys, behind, during the first half of an NCAA basketball game in Harrisonburg, Va., Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016. (Daniel Lin/Daily News-Record via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
(Daniel Lin/Daily News-Record via AP)
Leave a comment

Hofstra tries to keep pace with the conference’s elite as they travel to Delaware on Saturday afternoon. You can watch this CAA battle live on NBCSN at 5:00 p.m. EST.

The Pride (17-8, 9-4) are currently two games behind conference leader UNC-Wilmington and they’re trying to make a run to close out the season. Senior guard Juan’ya Green leads the Pride in points (17.7 ppg), assists (7 apg) and steals (1.8 spg) and he’s surrounded by a dangerous supporting cast.

Delaware (6-18, 1-12) had lost 15 consecutive games before beating Drexel in their last game. The Blue Hens have struggled in CAA play but Kory Holden (17.5 ppg, 4 apg) will try to help lead the upset.

These two teams met on Dec. 31 with Hofstra winning that one, 90-80, at home.

CLICK HERE to watch these games on NBC Sports Live Extra Saturday afternoon.

Michigan gets Caris LeVert back in a win over No. 18 Purdue

Purdue forward Caleb Swanigan (50) tries to steal the ball from Michigan guard Caris LeVert (23) in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at Crisler Center in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Tony Ding)
(AP Photo/Tony Ding)
Leave a comment

Zak Irvin scored 22 points and Michigan’s outmanned front line held Purdue’s redwoods to just seven offensive boards, six second chance points and just 22 points in the paint as the Wolverines landed a critical, 61-56, win over the No. 18 Boilermakers.

Depending on who you listen to, Michigan entered the day, at worst, on the bubble and at best, in headed for the 8-9 game.

And they picked up a top 25 win.

So yes, this win was big for them moving forward.

But more important than the win itself was that Wolverine fans got a glimpse of all-american guard Caris LeVert. He played just 11 points and didn’t return in the second half, he didn’t score and he missed the only shot that he took, but LeVert took the court for the first time since Dec. 30th. That day, LeVert rolled his left ankle and most likely reinjured a foot that had had a broken bone surgically repaired twice in the last 20 months. Michigan never confirmed what the actual injury was and never gave a timetable for when he would be back in the lineup, which is what made his brief appearance so important.

LeVert isn’t done for the season.

And since the Wolverines managed to post a 9-4 Big Ten record with LeVert acting as little more than a spectator, they have a chance to make a run in the Big Ten tournament and get into the NCAA tournament.

That will happen with LeVert in the rotation and, if all goes according to plan, the starting lineup.

So even with a loss against Purdue, the Wolverines had a good day. Bolstering their NCAA tournament profile was an added bonus.