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Defending Champion Virginia Sees 2020 National Title Odds Bounce Back; Can the Wahoo’s Repeat?

College Basketball Betting
Will the Virginia Cavaliers be a threat in the ACC and in March Madness in 2020? Photo by User B (Wikimedia Commons) [CC License].
  • The Virginia Cavaliers lost De’Andre Hunter, Ty Jerome and Kyle Guy to the 2019 NBA Draft
  • Kihei Clark, Mamadi Diakite return from last year’s championship-winning squad
  • Tony Bennett has led the Cavaliers to at least 29 wins in five of the last six seasons

The Virginia Cavaliers won the 2019 NCAA Tournament, but now, as we turn our eye to the 2019-20 season, some wonder if this team can contend again. They lost a lot off the roster and will have to rebuild on the fly. They’ve managed to be consistent year-over-year, for the most part, which is likely why their 2020 March Madness odds, which dipped last month, have rebounded to +920.

Odds To Win 2020 NCAA Tournament

Team 2020 March Madness Championship Odds at Bovada (on Jul. 18)
Michigan State +650
Duke Blue Devils +750
Kentucky Wildcats +750
Virginia Cavaliers +800
Memphis Tigers +1100
Kansas Jayhawks +1300
North Carolina Tar Heels +1400
Louisville Cardinals +1600
Villanova Wildcats +1800
Gonzaga Bulldogs +1900

Cavaliers Lose Plenty Of Talent

There’s no question that the Cavaliers will have to replace a lot of talent on the roster. De’Andre Hunter was a lottery pick, Ty Jerome was drafted in the first round and Kyle Guy was drafted in the second round. That’s the team’s top three scorers from last season, who combined to score 44.2 points per game.

Initially, bettors realized the losses and were turned off by the thought of betting the Cavs to win it all. That’s why we saw them drop as low as +1100. However, now that bettors have a clearer picture of who is coming back and who has transferred in, it seems they’re keener to invest. That’s why we’ve seen them drop to +920.

Who’s Back For The Cavs?

Virginia is mostly being ranked third in the ACC behind Duke and Louisville in most early power rankings but they do have some talent coming back. Kihei Clark returns along with Mamadi Diakite, which means some of that experience from last season will carry over.

Virginia will also get an infusion of talent of sorts with Marquette transfer Sam Hauser, who surprisingly decided to leave Marquette in a year they were expected to contend. He averaged 14.9 points per game last season with 7.2 rebounds while shooting 40.2% from three. He was second-team All-Big East.

He’ll also be joined by Casey Morsell, who is a four-star prospect, according to 247Sports Composite. He’s the No. 4 ranked shooting guard in the country in the 2019 recruiting class. Kadin Shedrick is another recruit joining the fray that ESPN ranks in their Top 100 for this season. There’s also four-star recruit Jabri Abdur-Rahim.

In other words, the cupboard will be far from bare. The question is how quickly can Virginia put it all together and compete in the ACC.

Trust The Cavaliers

Although Virginia didn’t have much success in the NCAA Tournament prior to last season (many early exits under Tony Bennett), the teams have been strong. Bennett has led the Cavs to at least 29 wins in five of the last six seasons while bringing them to the NCAA Tournament in seven of the last eight.

I personally wouldn’t bet them to win it all because it’s so hard to do it in back-to-back seasons but this team will be talented. There’s experience with Clark, Diakite and Houser, and there’s a wave of elite, young talent coming in. Bennett knows how to get the most out of them, so don’t bet against this team because you heard they lost a lot. They’ll be good again.

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