Nevada a NCAA favorite?

NCAA Tournament Odds 10/15/18, Nevada a 12/1 Cinderella

The Nevada Wolf Pack aren’t a team with rich NCAA Tournament history, but oddsmakers see something in this year’s team.

According to oddsmakers at BetNow.eu, Nevada is currently listed with 12/1 odds to win the NCAA Tournament this year. Duke is the current favorite with 5/1 odds while Kentucky has 11/2 odds and Gonzaga is listed at 15/2.

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Nevada hasn’t been overwhelming with his success in the NCAA Tournament, as it has made just eight appearances in program history. However, the team reach the Big Dance the last two years and matched its best finish in 2018 when it reached the Sweet 16.

Eric Musselman is entering his fourth season as head coach. He has won at least 24 games in each of the first three years, tallying an 81-29 record over three seasons. His first season saw him lead Nevada to the CBI Championship. Last year, the Wolf Pack defeated Texas and Cincinnati to reach the Sweet 16 before falling to Loyola-Chicago by one in the regional semifinal.

Unlike most teams, Nevada had a lot of players test the NBA Draft waters only to decide to return. Caleb Martin, Cody Martin and Jordan Caroline all decided to return. The three combined for 50.6 points, 20.3 rebounds, 9.5 assists and 3.7 steals per game last year. They were the three leading scorers as well. Along with them, they added McDonald’s All-American center Jordan Brown, 1 6-10 player out of Prolific Prep in California.

Playing in the Mountain West doesn’t provide a ton of consistent challenges, so Nevada should certainly earn a lot of victories. The non-conference schedule features some Pac-12 teams, but the Wolf Pack likely need to push for 30 wins to really generate a top-3 seed in the Big Dance. From there, anything is possible. If Nevada stays healthy, they have a chance to shock the world. However, I don’t love the value at 12/1. Most times a non-power 5 conference school wouldn’t sniff these types of odds to win it all.

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