I like to start my season by finding some underdog teams that will soon become the darlings of the nation. Last year around Thanksgiving I put $10 bucks on Wichita State at 150/1. That was part of my “starting lineup.” I take $100 bucks. I identify teams I love from last year with enough remaining pieces. I spread the $100 dollars among as many teams to win at least $1,000 if I get lucky and pick the champion. Last March I had many options to hedge my bet when Wichita State was in the final four. Here’s this year’s “Starting Lineup:”
$30 Oklahoma St. 35/1 = $1,050
$25 VCU 40/1 = $1,000
$17 UCONN 60/1 = $1,020
$14 St. Louis 75/1 = $1,050
$14 Colorado 75/1 = 1,050
Sorry KU fans, but Oklahoma State tops this list. Marcus Smart is just a winner. The Cowboys are slightly undersized, but I’m still shocked to see 35/1 odds at the beginning of the season for them to win a championship. I think those odds will look more like 15/1 come March.
Shaka Smart and VCU only get better this year. I expect New Yorker Melvin Johnson to play a bigger role. VCU is known for havoc on defense, but I think this is the year guys like Johnson get involved in a more diverse scoring attack.
Something special was happening with Kevin Ollie’s UConn Huskies last year. I expect his team to continue responding to his coaching style with his sophomore campaign.
I went hard wagering behind St. Louis last March. They ran into a red-hot Oregon team in the tournament and were out the first weekend. I still expect Jett, Loe and Evans to come back with a vengeance this season.
Finally, Colorado can really ball. I compare Spencer Dinwittie to Victor Oladipo last season. He is a great defender who no one is talking about heading into this season. However, I think he has lottery pick talent. Xavier Johnson and Askia Booker also made progress scoring last season. I hope to see you in Vegas come March looking good to win a thousand bucks and more.