College Basketball Betting: Kentucky, Kansas, North Carolina and Duke Missing from AP Top 25
The recently released College Basketball AP Top 25 Poll has no changes at the very top as Gonzaga (18-0) and Baylor (17-0) reign supreme. Only those two teams remain undefeated this season and the only teams to pickup first place votes in this week's Associated Press poll. Baylor, however, is sidelined and will not play again until Feb. 20 the team announced via Twitter.
Scroll down the rest of the Top 10 and Top 25 of the Associated Press poll and you’ll see the big names and blue bloods missing.
Kentucky (5-12), Kansas (12-7), North Carolina (12-6) and Duke (7-7) are all unranked. These teams are mostly struggling on the court in an unprecedented season dealing with the pandemic. Why is that significant? Consider this with the changing of the guard in college basketball as the NCAA Tournament approaches next month.
None of the 13 winningest college basketball programs are currently ranked in the AP Top 25 poll. Zero.
Kansas fell from the rankings following its 91-79 loss at West Virginia on Saturday. That snapped the Jayhawks record streak of 231 consecutive weeks (12 years) in the AP Poll.
Kentucky, Kansas, North Carolina and Duke all entered the 2020-21 season with between 2,200 and 2,318 wins. Those four basketball programs are the only teams in college basketball history to have a winning percentage greater than 70% with Kentucky the highest at 76.5%. The Wildcats are just 5-12 this season and will need to win the SEC conference tournament to make the NCAA tourney.
Here is the distinguished list, and the 13 teams missing from the Top 25 college basketball poll.
Winningest teams in college basketball history:
Kentucky, Kansas, North Carolina, Duke, Temple, Syracuse, UCLA, Notre Dame, St. John’s, Indiana, Arizona, Utah, Cincinnati
Arizona (13-6), Utah (8-7) and Cincinnati (5-7) have swapped spots based on this year’s records as the 11th to 13th most winning programs in college basketball history.
For the first time since 1961, this week's AP Poll does not include any of these five blue bloods in college basketball: Kentucky, Kansas, North Carolina, Duke or UCLA.
AP Top 25 Rankings and Odds to Win NCAA Tournament and Reach Final Four
*NCAA Tournament Odds from Jazz Sports and Final Four Odds from a leading online sportsbook. Odds adjust and are subject to change. ** odds not available at Jazz Sports and taken from other leading online sportsbooks.
1. Gonzaga (+225) Bulldogs Final Four Odds: (-305)
2. Baylor (+350) Bears Final Four Odds: (-305)
3. Michigan (+1200) Wolverines Final Four Odds: (+170)
4. Ohio State (+2500) Buckeys Final Four Odds: (+425)
5. Villanova (+750) Wildcats Final Four Odds: (+100)
6. Illinois (+1400) Fighting Illini Final Four Odds: (+400)
7. Texas Tech (+3000) Red Raiders Final Four Odds: (+250)
8. Houston (+2000) Cougars Final Four Odds: (+250)
9. Virginia (+2000) Cavaliers Final Four Odds: (+400)
10. Missouri (+5000)** Tigers Final Four Odds: (+900)
11. Alabama (+1500) Crimson Tide Final Four Odds: (+400)
12. Oklahoma (+7500) Sooners Final Four Odds: (+400)
13. Texas (+1500) Longhorns Final Four Odds: (+200)
14. West Virginia (+2500) Mountaineers Final Four Odds: (+1150)
15. Iowa (+1500) Hawkeyes Final Four Odds: (+350)
16. Tennessee (+1500) Volunteers Final Four Odds: (+400)
17. Florida State (+3500) Seminoles Final Four Odds: (+300)
18. Virginia Tech (+6500)** Hokies Final Four Odds: (+425)
19. Creighton (+1500) Bluejays Final Four Odds: (+300)
20. USC (+7000) Trojans Final Four Odds: (+1150)
21. Wisconsin (+2400) Badgers Final Four Odds: (+250)
22. Loyola Chicago (+7000) Final Four Odds: (+2000)
23. Oklahoma State (N/A) Cowboys Final Four Odds: (+450)
24. Purdue (+7500) Boilermakers Final Four Odds: (+450)
25. Rutgers (+7500) Scarlet Knights Final Four Odds: N/A
Others receiving votes: Colorado 41, San Diego St. 38, Xavier 37, UCLA 35, Florida 29, Louisville 28, Belmont 25, Kansas 18, Drake 16, Minnesota 12, North Carolina 8, St. John's 7, Toledo 6, Clemson 6, Arkansas 3, Boise St. 3, Saint Louis 2, UAB 1, VCU 1, BYU 1.
If you're betting college basketball futures, it's important to compare and bet the best numbers, as they can be vary quite a bit. Same with Final Four odds at select sportsbooks, as West Virginia has not been updated to reflect their rise and could be bet now at better odds.
Villanova (12-2) suffered their first loss in Big East play last week in a 70-59 defeat at St. John's as a 9-point favorite. Houston (16-2) also dropped by remains on top of the American Athletic Conference. The Cougars lost at East Carolina 82-73 as a huge 16.5 point favorite.
The Big Ten Conference rated the best in college basketball at the end of 2020, and has continued its rise the past five weeks with three teams ranked in the Top 10 and seven teams in the Top 25. That does not include Minnesota (11-7), as the Golden Gophers have lost three straight games since beating Michigan and handing the No. 3 Wolverines their only loss of the season. Michigan has not played since winning at Purdue Jan. 22, and the Wolverines have their toughest stretch ahead with four road games in their final six contests including against ranked teams Wisconsin and Ohio State, and home versus Rutgers and Iowa. The Wolverines also play at Indiana and conclude the regular season with a rivalry game against unranked Michigan State. Even that doesn't sound right.
College Basketball Futures Betting Data
At many leading online sportsbooks, Gonzaga had taken 3-4 times more bets and money to win the NCAA Tournament than any other team. Baylor is gaining stream, but the Zags have still taken greater than 25% of both bets and handle at some sportsbooks to win the NCAA Tourney and National Championship. Some othe the other popular bets to win it all are Michigan, Illinois, Baylor, Iowa, West Virginia and Villanova.
Gonzaga and Baylor Rule
Gonzaga looks to remain undefeated when they visit BYU on Feb. 8 as an 11-point favorite. The Bulldogs are just 8-9-1 ATS this season, but look at this compilation of wins for the ‘Zags.
West Virginia, 87-82
San Francisco, 85-62
The only game Gonzaga failed to cover the point spread was against West Virginia.
Baylor is crushing opponents and points spreads going 13-4 ATS. The Bears now have their momentum slowed as they will not play again until Feb. 20. The team just announced its upcoming scheduled Big 12 games have been postponed due to the conference’s interruption guidelines. That means no games against Oklahoma, Texas Tech and West Virginia twice, after the Jan. 12 game against the Mountaineers was already postponed. Also, Baylor just had its Feb. 6 game against TCU postponed. The Bears four most recent wins include double-digit victories over Texas, Auburn, Kansas State and Oklahoma State.
You're going to hear the phrase "on the bubble" often over the next five weeks leading up to Selection Sunday and the NCAA Tournament. Gonzaga and Baylor are nearly secure as No. 1 seeds, but the bluebloods are on the bubble, or in Kentucky's case, getting clawed.
FairwayJay is a leading national sports handicapper and is recognized as one of the sports industry's most insightful analysts. Read more great insights from Jay here and follow him on Twitter: @FairwayJay