Early handicapping shows Indiana 2013 National Championship favorites

BLOOMINGTON, IN - MARCH 04: Cody Zeller #40 of the Indiana Hoosiers dunks the ball during the Big Ten Conference game against the Purdue Boilermakers at Assembly Hall on March 4, 2012 in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

It's never too early a time to talk about next season, and it's always the right time to talk about sports gambling.

SportsBook released their early lines for the odds and payouts for wagering on the 2013 National Champion?

The "winner" of the first early bird special?

That would be the Indiana Hoosiers, who currently hold 7:1 odds that they'll cut down the nets in Atlanta next april.

Coming up just behind them is Louisville (8:1) and Kentucky (10:1).

Yes if you already didn't know, college basketball is likely to continue that Midwest flavor we were fed during the 2012 NCAA Tournament.

The biggest surprises?

  • It's pretty clear that Duke is 20:1 (above North Carolina State and UNC) based on name alone. The Blue Devils may not even be a top 25 team next season, but clearly Vegas says the Coach K trumps bad talent.
  • UCLA got quite a nice bump with the signings of Shabazz Muhammad. Unless it's Kentucky, you should be skeptical that freshman can turn around so drastically.
  • I still worry about Memphis and what's going on down there with Josh Pastner. With Will Barton gone, among others, I wonder who steps up as the team's leader both on and off the court. Sitting at 40:1 above the arguably more well-rounded UNLV, Georgetown, and even Wisconsin, I'm not so sure the Tigers will be a top 20 main stay next season.
  • Why the hate for St. Bonaventure at 500:1? I kid, I kid.

That being said these numbers mean absolutely nothing to 95 percent of the teams listed. Every season, only a handful of teams have a realistic shot to win a national championship. More interesting odds to see so far in advance would be for regular season titles for each of the major conferences.

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