For the first time in years, Michigan fans went into a season with a real sense of the unknown.
The Wolverines had seen the departure of longtime coach John Beilein and the arrival of former star player Juwan Howard. Howard’s tenure got off to a fast start, including a Battle 4 Atlantis championship and a subsequent top-five national ranking.
The team has since cooled off and is again unranked. The talent is undeniable, though, making the Wolverines a tempting futures pick and a likely favorite in upcoming matchups.
Wolverines with decent value
The Wolverines went into a matchup last Saturday against in-state rival Michigan State on the March Madness bubble.
They left the Crisler Center in Ann Arbor with a 77-68 win over the Spartans, solidifying their likely place on brackets and the notion that a healthy Michigan roster can compete with anyone in the Big Ten.
While sportsbooks like DraftKings and FanDuel don’t currently have Big Ten championship futures posted for wagers, KenPom ranks the Wolverines 23rd in the country and seventh in the conference.
That ranking, however, has been impacted by the team’s drop-off following the injury of junior forward Isaiah Livers, who returned against Michigan State and hoped to bring Michigan closer to the squad that started 7-0.
To win the national title, the Wolverines sit at +4000 on DraftKings, FanDuel, Indiana’s BetRivers sportsbook, and BetAmerica.
FanDuel has Michigan at +700 to make the Final Four, while DraftKings offers better value at +900.
DraftKings bettors can also find long-shot odds at +7000 for guard Zavier Simpson to win the John R. Wooden Award. The odds exist despite Simpson’s recent one-game suspension that followed him wrecking the car of the Michigan AD’s wife.
A lot can be forgiven for a talented guard averaging 12.7 points and 8.2 assists per game. Still, Simpson is unlikely to take over stars like Iowa’s Luke Garza (+150, tops in the nation) or Michigan State’s Cassius Winston (+500).
Do you think Michigan could make a miracle run at a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament? FanDuel will give you +1200 odds.
If you’re both a Michigan fan and a Midwesterner who likes to pull for the Big Ten, you can also find +350 on FanDuel for a team from the conference winning the national championship.
Michigan basketball March Madness and Big Ten odds
DraftKings has Maryland and Michigan State, both +2000, positioned as its top Big Ten teams to win the national championship. Michigan, Illinois and Ohio State each sit at +4000, while Penn State has +5000 odds.
Iowa and Purdue remain at +6000. The odds are identical at BetRivers.
BetAmerica isn’t quite as high on the Terrapins at +2600 to take home the title, which falls behind the Spartans, at +2000.
Ohio State sits at +3500, Illinois at +5000, Penn State at +5500, and Iowa and Purdue at +6000 over at BetAmerica.
FanDuel differs slightly, giving Michigan State +2200 odds, followed by Maryland (+2600) and Ohio State (+3500). Illinois sits at +4500, while Iowa and Penn State reside at +5000.
Indiana, meanwhile, matches Purdue at +6000 in the sportsbook.
Betting on a predictable March
While this year’s college basketball season has been anything but predictable, bettors are still likely to lay their money on the country’s top teams in March.
On DraftKings, those include Gonzaga at +800, Kansas at +1000, Baylor and Duke at +1100, and Louisville and Oregon at +1200.
Those hoping for a mid-major slaying of the country’s bluebloods can look toward Dayton, which sits on DraftKings and FanDuel at +2000 to win it all. The Flyers are considered a legitimate threat, led by versatile forward Obi Toppin.
Toppin is third in the country at +350 on DraftKings to win the Wooden Award.