College Basketball Betting: 5 Key Transfer Portal Additions For National Title Odds

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Written By Eli Hershkovich | Last Updated
college basketball odds

Welcome to the new age of college basketball odds. The transfer portal will give and take like no other, as money is no object, and teams you are fond of will have more turnover than you could have imagined. Let’s assess the most impactful moves, one of which triggered my first wager on 2025 March Madness odds.

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2025 college basketball championship odds

1. Rylan Griffen

New school: Kansas ()

Kansas ranked No. 56 in Haslametrics’ adjusted offensive rating in 2023-24, the worst finish in Bill Self’s 21-year run. Although AJ Storr (Wisconsin), Zeke Mayo (South Dakota State), and Riley Kugel (Florida) will boost that ranking themselves, the importance of shot gravity and spot-up shooting cannot be ignored.

The Jayhawks addressed this glaring need with Griffen, who transferred in from Alabama after ranking in the 82nd percentile of corner 3-point attempt rate last season (via CBB Analytics). Assuming Johnny Furphy is one-and-done, their roster lacked a single player with an above-average grade before Griffen’s arrival. Hence, Griffen will immediately step in as their top catch-and-shoot option. That’s significant for Dejaun Harris, an elite distributor, and when defenses collapse on Hunter Dickinson in the low post.

Griffen even shot 64.3% at the rim, a notable bonus for their transition-heavy attack. Moreover, at 6-foot-6, he is an underrated defensive insertion, locking up RJ Davis in the Crimson Tide’s Sweet 16 upset over North Carolina.

2. Tramon Mark

New school: Texas ()

Mark notched 16.2 points per game on 48% shooting at Arkansas last season after spending his first three years at Houston. The 6-foot-5 guard is only a career 32% perimeter shooter, yet he is a dynamic scorer because of his prowess for finishing at the rim. Mark ranked in the 97th percentile in that regard (per CBB Analytics).

He’s an instrumental piece for the Longhorns after they lost their top four scorers, including two-time transfer Tyrese Hunter. Mark will play alongside Indiana State transfer Julian Larry, who’s more proficient as a second or third option but can space out opposing defenses when Mark works out of isolation and pick-and-roll sets.

Under now-USC head coach Eric Musselman, Arkansas’ offense showcased similarities to Texas, utilizing spacing and undecorated action to accumulate open looks.

3. Oumar Ballo

New school: Indiana ()

Ballo’s physical frame (7-foot and 260 pounds) makes him a load for the opponent. In his second season as a starting center, the Arizona transfer averaged 12.9 points and 10.1 rebounds while shooting 72.3% at the rim (81st percentile). Ballo’s game isn’t very versatile, and his free-throw shooting shrunk to a career-worst 49.5% last season. That said, Ballo will undoubtedly fill the void left by incoming NBA draftee Kel’El Ware.

The Hoosiers have paired Ballo with Washington State transfer Myles Rice, who won Pac-12 Rookie of the Year. The point guard propelled Washington State to the NCAA tournament and a second-place finish in the conference while tallying 14.8 points and 3.8 assists per game.

Nevertheless, Ballo has struggled to limit turnovers when his teammates are cold from deep. The paint could be clogged if fellow big man Malik Reneau fails to improve his mid-range game. But even if Rice doesn’t refine his own shotmaking, Indiana tacked on reinforcements in grad transfer Luke Goode (38.7%) and budding sophomore Kanaan Carlyle (32%).

4. Milos Uzan

New school: Houston ()

Uzan delivered 4.7 assists versus 2.1 turnovers per game against Big 12 foes last season. The 6-foot-4 guard started 56 games during his two campaigns with the Sooners and will now aim to replace point guard Jamal Shead.

Granted, Uzan isn’t the powerful scorer that Shead was. He lacks elusive footspeed, shooting 46% at the rim while occasionally visiting the free-throw line. Two-guard LJ Cryer must reemerge as a primary scorer, which he demonstrated during his tenure at Baylor, for the Cougars’ offensive efficiency to remain intact.

But Uzan is well-schooled at manufacturing takeaways, supplying 1.5 steals per game — critical for the Cougars’ pressure-centric defense.

5. JP Pegues

New school: Auburn ()

Pegues is arguably the most underrated transfer addition yet. The 2022 Southern Conference Tournament MVP played his way onto this year’s All-Tournament team after nabbing first-team All-SoCon honors. Pegues collected 18.4 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 4.8 assists versus 2.1 turnovers per game.

He ranked in the 93rd percentile of pick-and-roll efficiency, making him a valuable commodity for All-American returnee Johni Broome. He also embraced more primary shot-creation responsibilities in Furman’s five-out, Princeton-driven offense, which employs similar principles to Bruce Pearl’s flex-heavy attack. He’s always been a crisp cutter in these instances and a trustworthy spot-up option from deep. His off-the-dribble jumper ranked in the 92nd percentile, to boot.

The 6-foot-1 senior is a career 35.4% perimeter marksman and is an ideal lead guard replacement. Aden Holloway, Tre Donaldson, and KD Johnson entered the portal themselves. The Tigers’ biggest flaw was their inconsistent backcourt, especially in close games.

For context, five of their eight losses came by six points or less, including a first-round exit in the NCAA tournament against upset-minded Yale. Holloway, Donaldson, and Johnson combined for a mere 12 points in that matchup, going 1-of-8 from behind the arc.

Along with Pegueus, Auburn returns eight seniors, with highly-touted freshmen Tahaad Pettiford and Jakhi Howard joining the ranks. The Tigers are more than capable of maintaining their top-10 adjusted efficiency margin (per Haslametrics). With that in mind, I’ve bet on their national title futures for a second straight year.

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