College Basketball’s Opening Night Sees Upsets

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The Louisiana State Tigers are the No. 1 women’s basketball team in the country. They are the defending national champions, having beaten Iowa in the finals of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament last season, and they are the favorites to repeat this season. Or should we say, were the favorites.

LSU, entering the season at +300 at to win another national championship, lost to Colorado on Monday night, 92-78. It marks the first time the reigning women’s champion has lost its opening game since 1995, and it comes after LSU began last year with 24 straight wins.

For Colorado sports bettors, the 20th-ranked Buffaloes are paying +5000 to win the national championship.

Frida Foremann led the way for Colorado with 27 points and seven 3-pointers.

Michigan State Loses on Men’s Side

The men also saw one of their best teams take an opening night loss, with No. 4 Michigan State losing to James Madison, 76-74, in overtime. It is the first loss at home for Michigan State in November since 1986, and it was just the second time James Madison beat a ranked team in its history. The other came in 1992, when they beat then-No. 19 California.

At +1400 at, the Spartans were tied with Kentucky for the fourth-shortest odds to win the national championship on the men’s side. But those odds are expected to rise in the wake of this surprising start.

This is the first time an AP top-five team lost its season opener to an unranked team since 2005. That team was… Michigan State.

The Spartans were 1-for-20 shooting 3-pointers, so you have to think that much better days are ahead. So if you placed a preseason bet on the Green and White at a Michigan online sportsbook, don’t give up. However, a November 14th date with the No. 2 Duke Blue Devils now looms very large.

Men’s National Championship Favorites

Kansas Jayhawks (+1000)

Duke Blue Devils (+1100)

Purdue Boilermakers (+1200)

Kentucky Wildcats (+1400)

Michigan State Spartans (+1400)

Connecticut Huskies (+1600)

Arizona Wildcats (+2000)

Houston Cougars (+2000)

Kansas was the national champion in 2022, and then a second-round loser last March to Arkansas. But basketball bettors and oddsmakers believe that they will turn it around this year, and they are the early season favorites.

UConn was last year’s NCAA Men’s Tournament champions, and they are at +1600 to repeat. Houston, which won a school-record 34 games a season ago, is tied with Arizona at +2000. Last year, Arizona won 28 games and won the Pac-12 Tournament, earning a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament. However, they lost to 15th-seeded Princeton in the First Round.

Women’s National Championship Favorites

LSU Tigers (+300)

Connecticut Huskies (+550)

Iowa Hawkeyes (+800)

Utah Utes (+1000)

Virginia Tech Hokies (+1000)

South Carolina Gamecocks (+1000)

Indiana Hoosiers (+1200)

Stanford Cardinal (+1400)

Four of the top-eight teams on the odds board have won the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament before. LSU won its only title last year, South Carolina won its second championship in 2022, Stanford was the winner for a third time in 2021, and Connecticut is the winningest team in women’s college basketball history with 11 NCAA titles.

UConn is bolstered by the return of Page Bueckers, who missed all of last season because of a torn ACL. Angel Reese of LSU was last year’s NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player, and the senior is the preseason SEC Player of the Year. Caitlin Clark of Iowa was the AP and Naismith Player of the Year last season, and as a senior, she is the preseason Big Ten Player of the Year.

Last year’s NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament, which featured Reece and Clark, saw a 30% increase in handle over the year before. LSU fans can place wagers at online sportsbooks in 55 of the 64 parishes in Louisiana. Online sportsbooks in Iowa operate across the entire state.

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