UConn’s College Basketball Championship Odds Dip Amid Hurley, Lakers Rumors

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Written By Eli Hershkovich | Last Updated
Lakers Odds

Before the NBA Finals tipped off, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski announced that the Los Angeles Lakers have targeted UConn head coach Dan Hurley to become their team’s next coach. Hurley has guided the Huskies to consecutive men’s college basketball national titles — a feat that hadn’t been accomplished since the Billy Donovan-led Florida Gators in 2006-07. Let’s gauge how the Lakers’ odds of acquiring Hurley’s services have impacted UConn’s championship aspirations (per the betting market).

Click any of the March Madness odds below to place a wager. These prices are the best available in your state.

lakers’ odds of landing Hurley

Initially, JJ Reddick, the former NBA marksman-turned-ESPN analyst, was the betting favorite after he surfaced as the frontrunner for the job. DraftKings Sportsbook listed him as a -210 favorite as recently as June 5.

Moreover, Reddick was also favored at FanDuel Sportsbook after FanDuel partner Shams Charania reported the franchise was “zeroing in” on Reddick. FanDuel only offered the betting market to its Canadian operators. However, both sportsbooks suspended their markets once the Hurley rumors swelled.

As of this publishing, LeBron James is a -450 favorite favored to return to the Lakers at DraftKings, but his future could depend on which franchise is willing to go the extra mile and draft his son, Bronny James.

According to college basketball insider Jeff Goodman, Dan Hurley met with the Lakers’ brass in Los Angeles on Friday. Goodman believes Hurley is “50-50” on taking a position at the next level.

UConn Odds Shifting

Before Wojnarowski broke the Hurley news, the Huskies were knotted with the Kansas Jayhawks atop the national championship odds board. But they’ve since risen to +1400 at FanDuel following the announcement. They’re behind the likes of Kansas (+1000), Duke (+1200), and Alabama (+1200).

Regarding implied probability, their championship hopes shrunk from 9.09% to 6.67%, a decline of 2.42 percentage points.

Like last season, UConn has reloaded its personnel. Alex Karaban, the lone returnee from the Huskies’ starting lineup, top-10 recruit Liam McNeeley, and Saint Mary’s transfer Aidan Mahaney form one of the sport’s most lethal shooting trios. Veteran Hassan Diarra, who served as the backup behind Tristen Newton the last two years, must border on Newton’s production for UConn to contend for a three-peat.

Even if Hurley departs for the NBA, I anticipate the Huskies will retain their entire roster. This notion revolves around the likelihood of UConn staying in-house for its potential head coaching vacancy. Huskies associate coach Kimani Young or assistant Luke Murray would represent a fine replacement.

Nevertheless, my 2024-25 college basketball futures portfolio doesn’t include UConn. For more insight on this market, check out my first national championship bet.

Photo by Associated Press