Hard as it is to believe, it’s college basketball season. Coach Juwan Howard and the Michigan Wolverines look to keep up the momentum they enjoyed at the start of last season.
But most importantly, everyone in the college basketball world hopes this season actually ends. We all remember what happened to March Madness earlier this year.
The COVID-19 pandemic is putting all sorts of doubts on everything. As the University of Michigan opens its NCAA men’s basketball season, there’s a limited amount of casinos open to bet on college basketball.
But if we’re able to see a full college basketball season, there’s reason to believe Michigan could be in for a decent campaign. It comes into the season ranked No. 25 in The Associated Press preseason poll.
The team opens the season Wednesday against Bowling Green.
Wolverines odds: Michigan in middle of Big Ten pack
According to DraftKings Sportsbook on Monday, Michigan had the sixth-best odds to win the Big Ten Tournament title at +1100.
In those odds, the Wolverines trailed Iowa (+265), Wisconsin (+350), Illinois (+355), along with rivals Michigan State (+360) and Ohio State (+1000).
Michigan also was +4000 to win the NCAA Tournament and +900 to make the Final Four.
PointsBet had Michigan at +3500 on Monday and also +900 to make the Final Four.
BetMGM had Michigan at +3500 to win it all. William Hill listed Wolverines odds +4000.
|Michigan Wolverines||BetMGM||DraftKings||FanDuel||PointsBet||William Hill|
|Big Ten Tournament championship||+1100||+1100||N/A||+1200||N/A|
|Final Four appearance||+900||+900||+800||+900||N/A|
If you want to bet on college basketball in Michigan during the casino closure, there are 15 tribal casinos that remain open with some COVID-19 restrictions. At Four Winds Casino, which is still open during the pandemic, Michigan had +4000 odds to win the championship as of Monday.
Michigan hopes strong lineup leads to wins
Hard as it is to believe, Michigan was ranked No. 1 in the country for a short time in 2020.
That’s after going to the Battle 4 Atlantis and knocking off North Carolina and Gonzaga on consecutive afternoons in the Bahamas.
After winning the first seven games, Michigan would go 12-12 the rest of the season, fizzling out with losses in three of its final four games.
Lost from that team are leaders Zavier Simpson and Jon Teske, both of which went undrafted by the NBA last week.
Back though is leading scorer Isaiah Livers, along with forward Franz Wagner and a decent crop of young players. Top freshmen include guard Zeb Jackson, center Hunter Dickinson and forward Terrance Williams.
More help is on the way after this year, too, as Howard has inked the No. 1 recruiting class for next season, highlighted by Caleb Houstan, Moussa Diabate, and Kobe Bufkin.
Another loaded field in Big Ten basketball
Michigan will play five non-conference games to start the season before opening Big Ten play on Dec. 13 against Penn State.
The Wolverines play Ohio State just once this year, Feb. 21 in Columbus. Two games with Michigan State loom, including the season finale on March 7 in East Lansing.
In addition to Michigan at No. 25, there are six other ranked Big Ten teams in the AP poll:
- Iowa (5)
- Wisconsin (7)
- Illinois (8)
- Michigan State (13)
- Ohio State (23)
- Rutgers (24)
It’s a tough hill to climb in the 2020-21 college basketball season. But perhaps all the pieces are there for Michigan Wolverines to make some noise.