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Gody's Gambits: Week 0

Updated: Nov 6, 2022


Hello and welcome to a new series on Road to the Garden called Gody’s Gambits. I am Tommy ‘Gody’ Godin and each week, twice per week, I will be giving you my betting insights on Big East basketball. Before we get started, I want to get some things out of the way from a legal standpoint. I will provide information about sports betting strictly for entertainment and editorial purposes. By visiting our website you confirm that you do not hold House Enterprises responsible for your gambling decisions or any losses that may follow from that personal decision and activity when off our site. This is not gambling advice, simply my personal thoughts from an analyst perspective. We are here to have fun, please keep that in mind. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let's have some fun.

 

Let’s take a look at some futures odds, shall we? With the season opener less than twenty four hours away, it is never too early to look at who will be successful in March. We will start out strong with National Championship odds via FanDuel Sportsbook:


  • Creighton Bluejays +2500

  • Villanova Wildcats +4500

  • Connecticut Huskies +8000

  • Xavier Musketeers +10000

  • Butler, Saint John’s, Providence and Seton Hall +20000

  • Georgetown and Marquette +25000

  • DePaul Blue Demons +50000


My Take: Not going to spend too much time here on this section, because realistically there are only two teams that I think have a real shot at cutting down the nets in March: Creighton and Villanova.


I’m feeling pretty confident that I will not end up on @oldtakesexposed on twitter after that one, but Xavier and UConn are two sleeper teams who may be worth throwing the odd amount of change in your balance on if you are feeling lucky.


Outside of those four teams in the Big East, there is absolutely no reason to put any stake into the other seven. If I had to pick a team to win it all in the conference it would be Villanova. Losing Jay Wright and Collin Gillespie is going to hurt a lot especially in the beginning of the season. But this was a final four team last year returning a bunch of the same pieces, that will have Justin Moore returning fresh legs likely after the new year. I don’t think it's realistic to say that they are going to win or even get to the big game, but we saw a first year head coach do it last year in Hubert Davis so who knows.


The only other team that has a chance in my opinion is Creighton. The Bluejays seem to be turning into America’s Team this off-season with all the love they have been getting, and maybe deservedly so. I would like to see them in action before I am ready to commit anything significant to them however. Pair guys like Baylor Scheierman and Francisco Farabello with a returning core of Ryan Kalkbrenner, Ryan Nembhard, Trey Alexander and Arthur Kaluma and you have a damn good lineup with some very good depth. The only thing holding me back from belly flopping onto the hype train is the fact that they are relying so heavily on the development of their young talent. Now that is not to say that they are not going to work out, in fact I bet they do, but the question mark is still there for me and that's why I gave Villanova the slight edge over Creighton right now.


My Pick: Villanova +4500, I guess.


Moving on we have Final Four odds. I am going to spend even less time on these because my reasoning for making it to the Final Four would be the same reasoning as my National Championship take, but here are the odds:


  • Creighton Bluejays +550

  • Villanova Wildcats +900

  • Connecticut Huskies +1800

  • Xavier Musketeers +1900

  • Saint John’s Red Storm +2900

  • Providence and Seton Hall +3200

  • Marquette and Butler +3800

  • DePaul and Georgetown +10000


My Take: See above. No but honestly, if you are looking at it from the betting angle, although the odds are significantly worse, it would be a much better bet to throw some coin on a Final Four appearance than a National Title (obviously).


Villanova and Creighton are still a coin flip for me, they are both so close and so talented it could go either way, but Villanova’s experience and better odds are what is going to give them the slight advantage yet again.


My Pick: Villanova +900


We were saving the best for last and now that time has finally come, the conference title odds:


  • Creighton Bluejays +170

  • Villanova Wildcats +230

  • Connecticut Huskies +470

  • Xavier Musketeers +550

  • Saint John’s Red Storm +2000

  • Seton Hall Pirates +3000

  • Providence Friars +38000

  • Butler Bulldogs +4000

  • Marquette Golden Eagles +4500

  • Georgetown and DePaul +10000


My Take: All offseason, Matt St. Jean and I have been preaching on our podcast (go check that out here by the way) that there are three definitive tiers in the conference and Vegas just confirmed our theory with these odds.


The top tier is comprised of four teams; Creighton, Villanova, UConn, and Xavier. These are the only four teams that I would be willing to place a bet on for outright regular season winners.


The people who will pick Creighton to win the Big East are also probably the same people who will pick Buffalo to win the Super Bowl and Golden State to win the NBA Finals. Sure, it's a safe and reasonable bet, but where is the fun in that? The Bluejays are good, the odds are decent, it makes a ton of sense but live a little, ya know?


Moving on, Villanova to repeat at +230 also makes a good deal of sense. The only reason I am hesitant to pull the trigger on that one would be the injury bug plaguing the Wildcats right now. I know how crazy it sounds, but I have more confidence in them to go deep in March than I do to win the conference outright. The Justin Moore injury timetable still is not out and there is a good chance he won’t be ready for the beginning of conference play. Dropping a couple of games early in the conference schedule isn’t out of the realm of possibility, and they have an absolute gauntlet to finish the season (at Providence, at Xavier, vs Creighton, at Seton Hall, vs UConn).


Connecticut would be next up and man are they intriguing. Adama Sanogo, Andre Jackson and Jordan Hawkins are going to anchor UConn into a top four position in the conference, but outside of those two there are a lot of question marks. Four of the Huskies top five scorers have departed and were replaced with four incoming transfers. We have seen success stories as recently as last year with teams in similar positions, but this season is going to ride on the shoulders of Dan Hurley, and for that reason, I am straying away from the Huskies.


Xavier rounds out the top tier in the conference and they are my sleeper (if you want to call it that) team to win the conference. I don’t think I can overstate how bad this team was to finish the season last year in conference play, but as soon as Travis Steele was served his walking papers it was like a switch flipped. The Musketeers went on to win the NIT and brought back a pretty solid core to boot. Add in new head coach Sean Miller and that's a damn good way to bounce back after missing the NCAA Tournament the last four years. Is it likely Xavier will win the regular season title? No. But that is not what a sleeper is. I am much higher on this team than others (except friend of House Enterprises Matt Norlander) and expect to see them dancing in March one way or another.


The middle of the pack in the conference, in no particular order, includes: Saint John’s, Marquette, Butler, Providence and Seton Hall. I am staying away from these teams, as it is going to be a bloodbath in the middle of the conference. That is not to say that one of these teams is not going to prevail, I mean, look at Providence last year, but there is a clear drop off from the top four to these five.


If I had to pick one team in this tier to come out on top it would be Saint John’s. In a significant down-year in guard play in the Big East, Saint John’s is rolling out two of the best defensive guards not only in the conference but in the country. Like most teams, transfers are going to play a big role in the success of the program, but if Mike Anderson can figure out the chemistry and how to run an offense in a half court set, I could see the Johnnies being a team nobody in the conference wants to play come late January.


If you are still reading and expecting me to give any of my thoughts on Georgetown or DePaul to win the conference, unfortunately you are out of luck. It is not going to happen, I am not going to get into it. Maybe next year.


My Pick(s): Creighton +170 (safe) & Xavier +550 (fun)

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