College basketball 2021-22 opening night mega parlay (+831 odds): Rock, chalk, Jayhawk
The 2021-22 college basketball season is here!
As usual, the early-season festivities are tipping off with an intriguing lineup at the Champions Classic in New York. Madison Square Garden will be home to Kansas, Michigan State, Duke, and Kentucky on Tuesday night. It will be Kansas vs Michigan State followed by Duke vs Kentucky, and both showdowns are part of our first mega parlay of the season.
Ohio ML (+140)
Kansas to win by 6+ points (+100)
Jeremy Roach over 9.5 points (-106)
For this parlay we are going with an underdog on the money line, a favorite teased up to a 6-point winning margin, and a player points prop bet. Let’s break down each leg.
Ohio Bobcats ML over Belmont Bruins (+140)
This could be the most underrated game on the entire opening day slate. In Ohio and Belmont, we have 2 of the best mid-major programs squaring off. Each team is coming off a stellar 2020-21 campaign, with Ohio winning an NCAA Tournament game and Belmont picking up 26 victories despite falling short of the big dance. Belmont has been one of the most consistent mid-major programs over the past decade, winning the Mid-American Conference regular-season title 10 times since 2010. That is part of the reason why the Bruins are favored in their opener against Ohio. However, the Bobcats are formidable foes.
Although they lost Jason Preston to the NBA, the ‘Cats return the rest of their key players who will play a huge role this year. Ohio boasts enough talent to compete for a championship once again in the Mid-American Conference and make back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances. A step back is expected after losing an NBA player, but the Bobcats are still a top-tier mid-major team with prior tournament experience. Playing at home, they have a good chance at pulling off a minor upset.
Check out our Belmont Bruins vs Ohio Bobcats preview
Kansas Jayhawks to win by 6+ points over Michigan State Spartans (+100)
Kansas can’t be thrilled that upstart Baylor won a national title last season. The Jayhawks will be out for vengeance in 2021-22, starting with this season-opening battle against Michigan State. This year’s KU club returns 4 starters and also filled in some gaps in the transfer market. Lead guard Remy Martin from Arizona State gives the Jayhawks a nice scoring bump, but the heart of the team is going to be the established returning players. If you had to make a National Championship futures bet right now, Kansas would be a good one.
Meanwhile, Michigan State is one of those teams that you always expect to be in the mix but there are some question marks heading into a new season. Last year’s leading scorer, Aaron Henry, is gone and head coach Tom Izzo is hoping that transfer Tyson Walker is the answer at point guard. The Spartans will play hard and probably do well on the boards, but they need players to emerge alongside Joey Hauser. It may take a while before that happens. For now, the Jayhawks are title contenders and the Spartans are looking like a second-tier Big Ten team. KU should cover both the actual spread and this alternate number.
Check out all our college basketball previews and picks for Tuesday
Jeremy Roach over 9.5 points (-106)
We have one of college basketball’s oldest rivalries revisited in the Champions Classic, as Duke and Kentucky renew their long-time rivalry. With both programs coming off extremely disappointing campaigns last season, it is hard to predict what will be in store for the 2021-22 opener. I feel better about a player prop bet on this game, and it is Roach’s points total. The sophomore averaged 8.7 ppg in 2020-21 and came on strong with 6 double-digit efforts in the last 10 regular-season contests, including a pair of 16-point performances. Duke’s 3 leading scorers from last season (Matthew Hurt, DJ Steward, and Jalen Johnson) are all gone. With a bigger role this time around, Roach’s numbers should only improve.
Check out our full game preview for Duke Blue Devils vs Kentucky Wildcats