Georgia Basketball Not Quite Ready for Las Vegas


Georgia basketball gets an early compliment from 2016 championship odds, sort of.

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Bovada LV set the betting odds for the Georgia basketball team to win the next NCAA Championship 75-1.

With G-Day rosters not yet finalized, it is hard for a Georgia fan to take seriously odds set a year out from the NCAA Championship game. After all, first things first in the Camelot we call the Bulldog Nation.

But worry not Dawg Citizens, Dawn of the Dawg will analyze the betting numbers so you can focus all your energy on the second least significant football scrimmage of the year.

First, there are probably three people in the Universe not residing in the Coach Mark Fox household betting more than a nickel on Georgia winning the 2016 basketball national championship. Second, 75-1 odds mean Bovada LV gives Georgia a 1.3% chance of winning the 2015 NCAA Basketball Championship. Still, if you are a Bulldog basketball fan with a memory longer than three months, that’s a pretty flattering line.

There is no doubt Bovada LV set a very aggressive opening line for Georgia , encouraging gamblers to take a flyer on the Dawgs and help evenly spread the bet money safely among many teams. So, don’t confuse these betting odds with anything resembling a statistical likelihood. On the other hand, no need to quick book a hotel in Houston for April 2-4 2016 just in case. Go ahead and schedule that wedding.

It is notable for basketball success starved Dawg fans that Georgia is only one of six SEC schools given better than 100-1 odds. The list includes Kentucky, Texas A&M, Florida, Arkansas and LSU along with the Dawgs. A horse is a horse and Kentucky is Kentucky. Texas A&M hit the recruiting jackpot in Texas. Talented Arkansas showed signs of returning to the Nolan Richardson glory days. LSU has a great class joining an excellent roster.

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Florida is another case, however, demonstrating again that betting odds are not to be confused with statistical likelihood.

The 2015 Gator season was a disaster, the roster requires tinkering to accommodate signees, and the need for some serious attitude adjustment is clear. Perhaps Florida rated 50-1 odds based on Gator Head Coach Billy Donovan’s record – fair enough. Or perhaps betting Florida fans require a shot of optimism – quite likely. The quick to exit Gator fans have always lacked patience.

For comparison, the ACC had six teams assigned 50-1 or better odds to win it all. So while the Dawgs look good within the SEC, 75-1 is not as big a deal as it may first seem.

Assigned odds always raise some eyebrows. VCU received 66-1 odds as Shaka Smart leaves for Texas. Such odds seem, well, odd, since there is an excellent chance VCU’s 2015 recruiting class will be gutted, not to mention cross town rival Richmond has found the formula to take two of three from the Rams. On the other hand, the VCU fan base is notorious for its perpetual delusion and needs little encouragement to bet on their team.

Then there is Texas with 50-1 odds after firing Rick Barnes to make room for Shaka Smart. Is Smart that smart and Barnes that bad?

No, they are not. Influencing betting behavior is the purpose of betting odds, not predicting outcomes. Dawn of the Dawg recommends discipline – ignore the heavy odds. You won’t pay off the mortgage, you’ll just eat hot dogs for a month.

And though we love our Dawgs, wait a year – or two – before laying that bet on Georgia.

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