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National title odds: got $50 to put on Butler?

Jun 11, 2012, 11:37 AM EDT

Brad Stevens

One of my favorite things to do during college basketball’s offseason happens when a gambling website releases odds on who will win the national title.

They are currently posted over at Bovada, and no one should be surprised that Indiana is currently the favorite at 7:1. The Hoosiers are likely going to end up being the No. 1 team in the official preseason polls as they return basically their entire roster, including potential Player of the Year Cody Zeller. I am interested in whether or not Louisville (who is getting 8:1 odds) has had the addition of Montrezl Harrell factored in yet. If he is as good as some have said, the Cardinals may be the best team in the country.

Kentucky comes in third at 10:1, followed by UCLA at 12:1 and Duke, UNC and Florida at 15:1.

Those are all fairly obvious picks, however. You want some help making money? Here are a few of the picks I like:

- Michigan 20:1: The Wolverines returned Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. while adding a loaded recruiting class to a team that won a share of the Big Ten regular season title last year. They are a borderline top five team.

- Missouri 35:1: I know I’ve been hyping the Tigers all spring, but I’m enamored with this team.

- UNLV 35:1: The Runnin’ Rebels have one of the most talented and deep front courts in the country and a veteran point guard in Anthony Marshall. Playing in a tough Mountain West, they’ll be tested come March.

- Gonzaga 60:1: Kevin Pangos is the next great Gonzaga guard, and he may not even be the most talented player on the Zags’ perimeter when he shares the floor with Gary Bell. Should I mention Sam Dower and Elias Harris, too?

- Butler 65:1: Brad Stevens returns quite a bit of young talent, and while losing Ronald Nored will hurt, he’ll be replaced by Kellen Dunham and Rotnei Clarke, arguably the best shooter in the country.

Other picks: VCU (75:1), Minnesota (75:1), Harvard (100:1)

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.

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