NCAA Basketball Futures: Sportsbooks High On Michigan In 2022, So-So On Spartans

Written By Derek Helling on April 6, 2021

The Michigan men’s basketball team entered March Madness in 2021 among the favorites to cut down the nets in Indianapolis. Even though the No. 1 seed Wolverines fell in the Elite Eight, the future expectations haven’t changed.

If anything, the stock on Michigan men’s basketball futures for the 2021-22 season has only risen.

A successful season, a top-rated recruiting class from coach Juwan Howard and a chorus of media praise have Michigan sportsbooks ranking the Wolverines among their top contenders for next year’s title. Thus, bettors in MI might not want to buy into the market now.

Where Michigan men’s basketball futures sit

The Wolverines sit near the top of the markets on which team will win the national championship in 2022. FanDuel Sportsbook actually has Michigan as its co-favorite with Gonzaga at +900 right now. PointsBet Sportsbook has the same odds, but two other programs come in shorter.

BetMGM Sportsbook has the shortest odds on the Wolverines at +800. The current longest odds of +1200 are available at four other MI sports betting apps. At all of those, Michigan sits no lower than third among the field of teams.

Why are the Wolverines getting so much love for next season? They are just off a Big Ten Conference regular-season title and made that Elite Eight run. Players such as Eli Brooks and Chaundee Brown might return, giving the team an experienced backcourt.

Even if they move on, the Wolverines appear ready to reload. Their top-rated recruiting class includes the second-ranked power forward in the country in Caleb Houstan and the 10th-highest-rated point guard, Frankie Collins. The potential of the existing and incoming talent has garnered the attention of several media outlets.

Of course, there’s still work to do for Howard and his staff. He has to mesh the talent together and build gameplans to maximize it. Even with such a glutton of skill, bettors in MI shouldn’t look at a futures wager on the Wolverines as a sure thing.

Why you might want to wait on Michigan futures

Buying into a futures market at the first opportunity always has a great deal of risk to it. That’s true from two different angles. First, the chances of your bet paying off may fluctuate wildly over the span of an entire year. Secondly, you may miss out on better odds by putting your money down too early.

Currently, the fates of a lot of players on Michigan’s roster for the 2021-22 season are unknown. Players have up until May 30 to decide whether to forego the remainder of their eligibility to play for the Wolverines and enter the NBA Draft pool, not to mention whether to exercise an extra season of eligibility because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

If there are any surprises between now and then, these lines could move. The standard concerns across all sports, such as player injuries, aren’t yet factored in, either. Simply put, you may get better odds or at least have a better idea of who will take the court for Michigan in 2021-22, if you wait.

Then again, this could be the high-water mark for futures on the Wolverines right now. The roster decisions for every team in the Big Ten, not just Michigan, affect this market. That includes the Michigan State Spartans, of course.

What about Michigan State?

At most MI sportsbooks, the Spartans sit in the bottom third of the 2021-22 championship futures markets. DraftKings Sportsbook, for example, has Michigan State at +2500. Michigan State has one top-25 incoming recruit in Max Christie.

It’s unlikely that will be enough to make bets on a Spartans title next season pay off, though. If Michigan State proves to be the top men’s college basketball squad even just in the state, much less the Big Ten, next season, it will be a surprise for oddsmakers.

But again, a title for Michigan wouldn’t surprise any sportsbook operators. They’re positioned to limit their liability on the Wolverines for next season.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a freelance journalist who resides in Chicago, IL. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law. Recently, he has written about the expanded gambling industry in Michigan, including online sports betting, online casinos, and the cornerstone land-based casino market.

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