Sportsbooks Tab Michigan as a Favorite for 2021-22 National Title

GreatLakesStakes.com

By Bryce Derouin

After the Baylor Bears cut down the nets to celebrate their national title after defeating Gonzaga, sportsbooks wasted no time in getting futures odds for next season’s national champion.

Michigan has the second-best sports betting odds to win next year’s title, according to DraftKings. The Wolverines are at +1200, trailing only Gonzaga who is +900 to claim the program’s first national title.

Michigan State is 18th at +2500.

The future odds across college basketball will likely change with the transfer portal and extra year of eligibility granted to seniors. Plus, rosters and rotations will be dictated by which underclassmen elect to enter their names in the NBA Draft.

This will be the first time bettors in Michigan can place futures on next year's champion this early in the offseason. Michigan launched its retail sports betting operations on March 2020 before the coronavirus pandemic halted sports across the world. The state then launched its mobile sports betting and online casino platforms on Jan. 22.

Here’s what the major programs in the state will be working with next season.

Michigan

The Wolverines have the second-best odds to win it all, but their chances of winning will depend on the decisions numerous players make this offseason.

Forward Franz Wagner (12.5 ppg) is a potential lottery pick who could declare for the NBA Draft, while Hunter Dickinson (14.1 ppg) could potentially leave after a stellar freshman season, too.

Then there’s the question of whether any of the seniors will return for another year. If either Eli Brooks (9.5 ppg) or Mike Smith (9.0 ppg) came back, the Wolverines would have stability at the point guard position. Chaundee Brown (8.0 ppg) could also return to provide backcourt scoring off the bench once again. And then there’s Isaiah Livers (12.5 ppg), who had his season cut short due to a fracture in his foot. Livers had surgery on his foot earlier this month and is expected to take six months to recover. Another season at Michigan to rehab and work on his game could be beneficial to his future.

Regardless of who comes back, the Wolverines currently have the No. 1-ranked recruiting class set to join the team. Forwards Caleb Houstan is the eighth-best player ranked in the 2021 class and is joined by forward Moussa Diabate (No. 18), guard Kobe Bufkin (No. 42) and guard Frankie Collins (No. 51).

If Michigan gets one or two key returners back and is able to mesh the incoming talent, the Wolverines figure to be a national title contender once again.

Michigan State

Rocket Watts (7.7 ppg) is transferring and Aaron Henry (15.4 ppg) may be headed to the NBA. Still, MSU has some solid pieces returning with Joey Hauser (9.7 ppg), Gabe Brown (7.2 ppg). The Spartans’ backcourt also received a boost when Tyson Walker decided to transfer from Northeastern to join the team. Walker averaged 18.8 points per game last season.

MSU will also bring in three top 75 freshmen with guard Max Christie (No. 17), guard Jaden Aikens (No. 55) and forward Pierre Brooks (No. 66).

But the biggest splash for the Spartans could come if Emoni Bates decides to reclassify. Bates is the top-ranked player in the class of 2022 and is verbally committed to MSU. He is on track to graduate after this school year, meaning it would be possible he could reclassify into 2021 and join the Spartans a year early.

Rumors of Bates reclassifying have surrounded him ever since he committed to MSU. Whether that happens or not remains to be seen, but if he does, MSU will be a serious title contender and its odds will go down if Bates is on the team next season.

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WRITTEN BY
GreatLakesStakes.com
Bryce Derouin
Bryce joined GreatLakesStakes.com after spending the last nine years covering high school and college sports throughout Michigan. He’s served as the primary Division II beat writer for Grand Valley State and Michigan Tech. Along with his newspaper background, he's worked in marketing and has experience covering casinos and gambling.
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Bryce joined GreatLakesStakes.com after spending the last nine years covering high school and college sports throughout Michigan. He’s served as the primary Division II beat writer for Grand Valley State and Michigan Tech. Along with his newspaper background, he's worked in marketing and has experience covering casinos and gambling.
... Read More