Iowa Men's Basketball

Would you take Iowa men's basketball at 50-1 to win it all next season?

There already are odds, and for the Wisconsin-Iowa football game as well

(Andy Abeyta/The Gazette)
(Andy Abeyta/The Gazette)

One of my favorite recurring sketches from Conan O’Brien’s oldest NBC late-night show was “In the Year 2000.”

The studio houselights would be turned off, Conan and sidekick Andy Richter would put on some ridiculous grab of psychics, and shine flashlights to their faces as they made absurd predictions about the future. The bits started well before 2000, but were continued afterward. Those were still called “In the Year 2000,” which is all you need to know about the sensibility of it all.

Every time I hear someone mention the future, I’m always tempted to blurt “The future, Conan?” which Richter did every time before they launched into their skit.

The future, Conan? Yes, let’s look into the future, all the way to the year 2020.

I get emails on a regular basis from a promoter with the latest betting odds, almost none of which seem like especially good wagers to me. They’re interesting, though. The promoter, a persistent fellow named Jimmy Shapiro, touts an online site that will have to pay me to be named here and surely will not do so. He sent me the site’s odds for the 2020-21 NCAA men’s basketball championship.

Which is a little curious, since no one yet knows which players will be turning pro and which will not, let alone who will abruptly transfer to or from the good teams. Dayton star Obi Toppin apparently is headed to the NBA, but that’s little surprise since he’s regarded as a lottery pick.

So is Iowa State’s Tyrese Haliburton, by the way. Kyle Boone of CBSsports.com has him fourth in the NBA mock draft he released Monday. His colleague, Gary Parrish, has Haliburton sixth. Wow.

Anyway, Iowa is 50-to-1 to win the whole shooting match next season according to the website that will go unnamed. If you’re like me, you’re saying let’s wait to see if Luka Garza, Joe Wieskamp, Jordan Bohannon, Joe Toussaint, Jack Nunge, Connor McCaffery and the rest of the non-seniors are returning, and no one is in the “unlikely” camp right now.

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If all return, that’s a team. It’s a long, long shot no matter how you chop it up, but 50-1 seems like pretty good value.

The favorites, by the way, are Gonzaga and Virginia at 9-1. Kansas and Michigan State are 10-1. Wisconsin is 20-1, Michigan and Ohio State 28-1, and Indiana, Illinois, Penn State and Iowa are 50-1.

If Illinois guard Ayo Dosunmu returns for another season there, that 50-1 on the Illini isn’t a bad bet, either.

The future, Conan?

Yes, let’s go all the way to the year 2020. A different online website I’ve seen has a select number of point spreads for 2020 college football games.

Iowa is listed once, and it’s the Hawkeyes’ new season-finale (only for this year and next). Wisconsin is favored by 2.5 points at Iowa on Nov. 28.

Don’t get too jumpy on that, Hawkeye fans. Wisconsin has won its last four games against Iowa, and covered the spread in all but the Badgers’ 24-22 win in Madison last year.

The future, Conan?

Yes, let’s go all the way to the year 2020. The Big Ten has three conference games on the first full weekend of the season, Sept. 4-5. Indiana is at Wisconsin, Northwestern’s at Michigan State, and Purdue is at Nebraska. Iowa hosts Northern Iowa, while South Dakota is at Iowa State.

Also on Sept. 5: Michigan at Washington, and Alabama vs. USC in Arlington, Texas. That also is the same day of the rescheduled Kentucky Derby, so plan accordingly.

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A third online site that shall remain anonymous here has Iowa at 200-1 to win the 2020 FBS championship, at least as of Jan. 13. Iowa State was 100-1.

Clemson is the favorite at 2-1.

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