by Ken Thomson
Let’s Go, jump it up already! The 2018-19 season should be an interesting one to say the least. With the FBI still doing it’s due diligence to try and clean up shady, under-the-table pay-outs, the playing court may level out just a bit. The incoming freshmen class may be the strongest for a long time, maybe ever with the NBA G-League now opening up their wallets to some kids that have no interest in going to College just to be looked at on the hardwood. The sad thing for a lot of these kids that don’t take advantage of the FREE Education is that many will fall through the cracks and have no back up plan. Injuries and just plain out not being good enough, will send many around the world competing for jobs in foreign countries. It is sad that so many agents give these kids bad evaluations and input into their future and when the ones who don’t make it have reality set in we often find their names in the police blotter. I’ve been around this game for four decades and nothing surprises me anymore.
Only seven months ago the Ramblers of Loyola Chicago reminded everyone that college basketball is indeed the greatest sport of all. Porter Moser and company made an improbable run into the final four and into everybody’s hearts. Can another mid major pull off the same feat? Both Nevada and Gonzaga are in the preseason top Ten which is rarefied air to have more than one mid major in the mix this early. For a mid major to have a shot, you have to have an excellent coach at the helm. Eric Musselman of Nevada and Mark Few of Gonzaga certainly check that box. Gonzaga is no stranger to the top ten but Nevada is definitely in unfamiliar territory. The Wolfpack return the Martin twins, Jordan Caroline, and a host of talented newcomers and i do believe have a legitimate shot at the Final Four. Both them, and Gonzaga, are around 12 to 1 to win it all and it would not surprise me if one of those two teams are chopping down the nets come early April.
But when it comes to betting futures, I prefer to go for longer shots. The two I have in mind for this year are Virginia Tech and TCU. The Hokies program is led by Buzz Williams and if you can find a price around 100 to 1, I think its worth a buck or two. TCU is coached by Jaime Dixon who is entering his third season in Fort Worth. He did a wonderful job at Pitt and I do believe this is the year the Frogs go deep into the tourney. The key might be the health of point guard Jaylen Fisher. He has not been able to stay healthy in either of his two years as a frog but i do believe this is the year he does and when he is on the court he has a special presence about him. November is nearly upon us and the first two months of the season present a myriad of betting opportunities as power rankings can easily be off by as many as ten points. Enjoy the season – without question the best sport of all !!!!