Comparing Preseason College Basketball Projections to Futures Odds For Virginia Bettors

Comparing Preseason College Basketball Projections to Futures Odds For Virginia Bettors
By Josh Markowitz
Fact Checked by Thomas Leary

With this year’s draft cycle complete and the top transfers now all committed, rosters are essentially set for the upcoming college basketball season, making it the perfect time for Virginia sports bettors to start evaluating the futures market with a critical eye. 

A few stray reclassifications may shift things slightly before fall, but expect the official preseason polls to look similar to current prognostications.

With this in mind, BetVirginia.com compared the top 35 teams from FanDuel Sportsbook Virginia’s 2023 championship odds and the projections available at the college basketball statistics site barttorvik.com in order to find teams that bettors may be under or overvaluing. 

While the handicappers and the algorithm hold comparable views on plenty of schools (including both listing Gonzaga as the favorite), there are also a number of disagreements between the two sources. 

In particular, these 20 teams are attracting the biggest difference of opinion right now among potential contenders: 

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Potentially Undervalued Teams

🏀 TeamOdds (Implied Rank)Torvik Proj. RankDifference
🏀 Virginia Tech+15000 (61)22+39
🏀 Texas A&M+12000 (48)19+29
🏀 Oklahoma State+15000 (54)29+25
🏀 San Diego State+6000 (27)11+16
🏀 Xavier+8000 (34)21+13
🏀 Oklahoma+12000 (44)31+13
🏀 Tennessee+3500 (14)3+11
🏀 Virginia+6000 (26)16+10
🏀 Miami+6500 (28)20+8
🏀 Baylor+2000 (9)2+7
Odds provided by FanDuel Sportsbook.

Potentially Overvalued Teams

🏀 TeamOdds (Implied Rank)Torvik Proj. RankDifference
🏀 Florida State+7000 (29)73-44
🏀 Ohio State+7000 (30)61-31
🏀 Connecticut+8000 (33)59-26
🏀 Alabama+4000 (19)37-18
🏀 Michigan+3500 (15)31-17
🏀 Texas Tech+2500 (11)27-17
🏀 Creighton+2500 (12)25-13
🏀 Oregon+5000 (22)33-11
🏀 Arkansas+1700 (8)17-9
🏀 USC+7000 (31)40-9
Odds provided by FanDuel Sportsbook.

* Author’s note — West Virginia ranks 29th on Torvik and is listed at 79th in FanDuel Sportsbook’s odds, but was omitted from this list due to concerns over the projection’s reliance on aggressive translations of JUCO statistics for two players who other sources do not expect to start. All other reviewed team lineup projections appeared realistic.

So, what should be made of these disparities? Here are the primary takeaways from the two lists.

Also, remember that while the commonwealth offers online sports betting, no real money online casinos exist at this point.

Undervalued Teams

Torvik views Baylor and Tennessee as top tier title hopefuls, yet both teams are available at second tier pricing on FanDuel.  

After three straight top 5 seasons, the Bears have another deep and talented squad led by one of the nation’s best backcourts, and are the only team besides Gonzaga projected to finish top 10 in both offensive and defensive efficiency.  

Meanwhile, the Volunteers also possess exceptional guard depth and are again expected to be among college basketball’s stingiest defensive teams.

San Diego State and Virginia are seen by Torvik as potential Top 20 teams that are severely underrated as dark horse contenders in the odds. The Aztecs and Cavaliers both return significant amounts of talent and project as Top 10 defenses.

With jumps in offense also expected for the schools, these are dangerous teams with ambitions of the second weekend and beyond.

Texas A&M, Miami and Xavier are teams capable of taking a leap.  The Aggies and Musketeers, who met in the 2022 NIT Final, are both teams set to return numerous key pieces that were supplemented through shrewd offseason transfer recruiting. 

Meanwhile, the Hurricanes have since signed star transfers Nijel Pack and Norchad Omier to elevate the potency of their lineup.

After finishing 18th at Torvik last season with a solid, but unspectacular 23-13 record (11-9 in conference play), Virginia Tech remains a metrics darling.  

The Hokies lost three starters, but project to have a balanced offense where every starter scores at least eight points per game just like last year.  Despite the new faces, the ACC Tournament champions do not appear ready to take a step back. 

Overvalued Teams

Arkansas and Creighton have both generated lots of buzz this offseason, but Torvik remains skeptical of them as top tier contenders.  

The Razorbacks project to have the country’s second ranked defense, but their offense is barely expected to be top 75, though the amount of talent on the roster suggests a more efficient offense if new players gel. 

The Creighton skepticism also comes on the offensive side of the ball, as Ryan Nembhard, Arthur Kaluma and Trey Alexander struggled on offense as freshmen, but are capable of taking massive sophomore leaps.

Texas Tech and Alabama run systems that have been effective over multiple seasons, but there are concerns about how the pieces fit this year.  The Red Raiders look to have another elite defensive team but are forecasted to have just the 91st ranked offense after their three leaders in points per game all departed.  

As for the Crimson Tide, Jahvon Quinerly’s status is critical to having a cohesive lineup, but it is unknown when he will return from his torn ACL. 

Issues on defense could be the downfall of Michigan, Oregon and Ohio State. 

The Wolverines and Ducks each project to have top 20 offenses, but sub-60 defenses as they look to integrate new pieces around their respective stars. Both teams clearly have the upside to exceed, but there are legitimate concerns here given neither team had a particularly good defense in 2021-22. 

Ohio State projects at a disastrous 110th ranked defense for a contending team, but unlike Michigan and Oregon, the offense also looks like it will take a step back this year without E.J. Liddell and Malaki Branham.

Florida State features an intriguing roster full of high-level talent, but Torvik cannot get over how bad the Seminoles were last year.  They finished the season ranked 103rd overall with both a sub-100 offense and defense, and while some of that was due to injuries they were still plagued by bouts of inefficiency when healthy. 

Even so, there are multiple returning breakout candidates on this team, along with a few transfers and freshmen that should see key minutes in Leonard Hamilton’s deep rotation.

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WRITTEN BY
BetVirginia.com
Josh Markowitz
Josh Markowitz is a freelance writer for BetVirginia.com. He is a lifelong sports fan with an emphasis on basketball, football, baseball and the scouting/evaluation process. A graduate of Elon University's School of Communications, Josh also has experience in television production.
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Josh Markowitz is a freelance writer for BetVirginia.com. He is a lifelong sports fan with an emphasis on basketball, football, baseball and the scouting/evaluation process. A graduate of Elon University's School of Communications, Josh also has experience in television production.
... Read More
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