Upcoming Match-ups

Ole Miss, Oklahoma Are The Best Bets In College Basketball

David Golokhov

by David Golokhov in College Basketball

Jan 12, 2019 · 7:20 AM PST

Breein Tyree Ole Miss guard
Breein Tyree is pacing Ole Miss with 17.4 points per game this season. Photo courtesy @DriveRyanBlake (Twitter)
  • Ole Miss is 13-1 ATS this season.
  • Oklahoma is 12-3 SU after winning just 11 games all of last season.
  • Both Ole Miss and Oklahoma are still longshots to win the NCAA Tournament.

Although the Duke Blue Devils get all of the hype, the Ole Miss Rebels and Oklahoma Sooners have been the best bets in college basketball this season.

The Rebels have covered 13 of 14 games while the Sooners are 12-1-2 against the spread this season. That’s led to them rocketing up the board in terms of their odds to win the NCAA Tournament:

NCAAM Tournament National Championship Odds

Team  Opening Odds  Current Odds To Win NCAA Tournament
Ole Miss +50000 +10000
Oklahoma +20000 +8500

Why Have They Surprised?

Ole Miss has easily been one of the biggest surprises in college basketball this season.

ESPN’s preseason power rankings for the SEC had them finishing dead last. They won just 12 games all of last season; they’ve already matched that, winning 12 of their first 14 games to start their 2018-19 campaign.

That includes an impressive 82-67 thumping of No. 11 Auburn on Wednesday. That was their first win over a Top-11 team since 2013.

Breein Tyree has taken his game to another level. After averaging 10.8 points per game last year, he leads the team at 17.4. Terence Davis has made a big leap as well, scoring 16.0 points per game after averaging 13.8 last season.

As for Oklahoma, the story is somewhat similar. After winning just 11 games last season and then losing Trae Young to the lottery of the 2018 NBA Draft, nobody had high hopes for this squad.

After winning just 11 games last season and then losing Trae Young to the lottery of the 2018 NBA Draft, nobody had high hopes for this squad.

Most preseason power rankings had them between eighth and 10th in the SEC power rankings. As it turns out, those were wrong.

The Sooners are – believe it or not – ranked in the Top 25. Their only losses this season are to ranked teams: No. 8 Texas Tech, No. 5 Kansas and No. 25 Wisconsin – two of which were on the road.

Christian James leads the way and he might be having an All-Big 12 type of a campaign. He’s averaging 16.9 points per game with 7.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists.

Have The Oddsmakers Adjusted?

In the case of Ole Miss, the answer is no.

They’re still not getting a lot of respect as they were a four-point home dog to Auburn this week and beat them by 15. They were a 1.5-point underdog at Vandy and beat them by 10.

Ole Miss has covered nine straight games, so until we see them in the red, they are still a good bet.

As for Oklahoma, they’re more of a question mark. While Ole Miss has a number of quality wins, we’ve seen Oklahoma stumble against the elite teams.

They’ve dropped two of three overall and while they are 9-0-1 in their last 10 against the spread, you can see the numbers are getting tight. They pushed (+7) against Texas Tech, covered (-9.5) by a half-point against Oklahoma State, and just covered (+8.5) against Kansas with a seven-point loss. Their margins are slim, so be careful.

On the other hand, Ole Miss looks like a team that’s legit. Davis is one of the best players in the SEC and possibly the country, and head coach Kermit Davis has given this team a huge shot in the arm. They have a tough test on Saturday at No. 14 Mississippi State but you can expect this team to hang out near the top of the SEC all season.

Are They Serious Title Contenders?

Both teams won less than 12 games last season. While they’ve surprised this year, neither have the pedigree to really be trusted to win it all.

That’s why we see the oddsmakers posting them as such longshots even though they’ve both had hot starts.

Author Image