The college basketball season is still down the road, but people are desperate to find the outliers before a game is played. With the craziness of college basketball, there is value in NCAAB picks in the preseason. If you can find the teams that will succeed early, you can have a nice payday.
However, this is also a worrisome game. Most teams will be led by inexperienced underclassmen or transfers. One star can change the course of an entire season for a team, and that is a lot of pressure before a game is played. Because of this, people tend to pick the same teams to dominate each year. There may be a few new additions or a narrative that gets overhyped, and a team instantly becomes overrated in September. This can lead to bad value on future bets and money lines early in the year.
Here are the most overrated teams as we prepare for the 2021-22 college basketball season. You’ll want to fade these bets until they prove that they can live up to the overwhelming hype. Let’s start with a blue-blood program.
Duke Blue Devils
This is Coach K’s last season as a head coach, and he has almost always had a dominant squad. There is a clear storyline where he leads an underachieving Duke team back to the NCAA Tournament and they win a national title in his last year as a head coach. However, we can’t make picks because of narratives. If so, Gonzaga would have won the national championship last year.
Duke has +1400 odds to win a national title next year. Considering the Blue Devils failed to even reach the NCAA Tournament last year, this is terrible value. They have not won a ring since the 2015 season, and they don’t have an all-time recruiting class coming in.
Duke should be better this season, but that does not mean that they will win a national title. There is a big gap between where they were last season and competing for a national title. Even if everything goes right, they will have plenty of competition in just the ACC.
Coach K has had a legendary career, and it won’t be defined by this season. However, don’t expect another title in 2022 for the Blue Devils.
Last season, UCLA was barely an NCAA Tournament team in the regular season. However, they put everything together to make it into the pool. Once they were there, they had a great NCAA Tournament run that ended in the Final Four with a genuine shot of winning it all.
Everything worked at the end of the year, and UCLA brought back almost every key contributor. With all of that success, many expect the Bruins to pick up where they left off this season. However, that is easier said than done.
It isn’t easy to come back and win after getting so close the year before. It’s even harder when a team struggled in the regular season. We need to know which team UCLA really is. Are they the one that struggled to start the year or the one that was one shot away from beating Gonzaga?
With this unknown aspect of their game, I don’t see value in UCLA’s odds to win a national championship. They may win the Pac-12, but it takes a lot to win it all. The odds are skewed because of last year’s success, and that is a recipe for a bad bet.
Kentucky is in a similar situation as Duke. With the way college basketball is changing, it is harder to land dominant recruiting classes every year. Without this talent, Kentucky has struggled to win a national title.
Every year is supposed to be Kentucky’s year, and 2022 is no different. They have wild odds to win a title, but they still have to go through the gauntlet that is the SEC. Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee, and LSU are all set to compete this year. They have tough squads, and the SEC will be as competitive as ever.
Kentucky hasn’t won the title since Anthony Davis was in college. You can point to their record or a recruiting class, but it is still hard to believe they will make it all work now.