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Best Bets of Similar Value to Win NCAA Tournament After Wiseman Leaves Memphis

Blair Johnson

by Blair Johnson in College Basketball

Updated Dec 20, 2019 · 1:21 PM PST

Dayton's Obi Toppin airborne
Dayton is one of the team's priced similar to Memphis of better value since Wiseman has left the Tigers. Photo from @ATLPtourney (Twitter)
  • Future NBA Draft Lottery pick James Wiseman withdrew from Memphis on Thursday
  • The Tigers saw their odds to win the NCAA Tournament go from +2000 on average to +2200
  • Numerous teams like Baylor, Dayton, and Virginia offer similar value

With possible No. 1 overall pick James Wiseman leaving Memphis Thursday to prepare for turning pro, the Tigers saw their odds to win the NCAA Tournament go from +2000 on average to +2200.

Without Wiseman leading the way, Memphis becomes a much shakier bet to possibly win this year’s championship, and teams like Baylor, Dayton and Virginia, offer similar value.

Odds to Win 2020 NCAA Tournament

Team Odds
Oregon +1800
North Carolina +2000
Memphis +2200
Virginia +2200
Arizona +2500
Dayton +3000
Florida +3000
Texas Tech +3000
Baylor +3500

Odds taken Dec. 20th

Of course, there are numerous teams ahead of these programs, led by Duke and Louisville at +900, on our 2020 National Championship odds. And while Memphis had gone 7-0 without Wiseman – who was serving a 12-game NCAA suspension for accepting a loan of $11,500 by his current head coach to help his family move – there are better longshot bets on the board.

Let’s examine the three teams sitting just outside the top 10 of the KenPom.com rankings: Baylor, Dayton and Virginia.

Sic ‘Em Baylor

Scott Drew’s Bears may be the longest odds out of our teams highlighted above at +3500, but the squad sitting at No. 11 in the KenPom.com rankings owns one of the more impressive resumes so far this season.

Baylor has already knocked off a trio of highly-regarded teams in Villanova, Arizona and Butler and just blasted Tennessee-Martin 91-63 this week.

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They have a solid backcourt, led by sophomore Jared Butler and Cincinnati transfer MaCio Teague.

Yes, the Bears will have to compete with perennial powerhouse Kansas and up-and-coming national program Texas Tech in the Big 12, but this team offers significantly better value than Memphis.

Flyers are Class of the A-10

While Dayton has missed the NCAA Tournament the last two seasons after qualifying for the Big Dance four straight seasons under former head coach Archie Miller, it seems that Anthony Grant has the Flyers back on track for not only a return trip to March Madness, but a deep run.

Dayton is No. 12 in KenPom.com’s rankings, and No. 6 in the website’s offense adjusted efficiency category as well as tops in the effective field goal percentage category.

At 9-1, the team’s only loss was to the aforementioned Jayhawks in overtime 90-84 last month at the Maui Invitational.

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Dayton is clearly the class of the Atlantic 10 Conference (over the likes of former Cinderella’s VCU and Richmond) and at +3000 odds, present a delicious option for bettors who fancy the underdog.

Then There’s the Champs

Finally, defending national champion Virginia has to considered in this spot. The Cavaliers are No. 13 in the KenPom.com rankings and top the website in its defense adjusted efficiency category.

Tony Bennett’s team has beaten every opponent its played, including North Carolina on Dec. 8, except for one – the Wahoos got smoked by Purdue 69-40 in West Lafayette Dec. 4 in an ugly loss.

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UVA rebounded from the blowout with that win over the Tar Heels. The ACC, along with the Big Ten, is clearly the cream of the crop from a conference standpoint. The Cavs will be tested in the league play, including matchups against Duke and Louisville in two of its last three games before the conference tourney.

Those two games down the road will go a long way for a program’s confidence that’s looking to go back-to-back after falling short of March expectations for so long.

Which of these three do I like best? Baylor at +3500 is my obvious pick due to the number. Fade Memphis and invest in the Bears.

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