How Did UConn College Basketball Title Odds Change After Dan Hurley Rejects Lakers?

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Written By Eli Hershkovich | Last Updated
UConn Odds

According to multiple reports, Dan Hurley has turned down the Los Angeles Lakers’ six-year, $70 million offer to become their next head coach. Hurley will stick around with the Huskies in search of a third straight national championship. Let’s analyze how this news impacted UConn college basketball odds and the rest of the market.

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hurley report alters UConn title odds

Before ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski first reported the Lakers’ interest in Hurley, the Huskies were tied with the Kansas Jayhawks at +1000 atop the betting board. Following this announcement, they soared as high as +1400 at FanDuel Sportsbook, behind 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.

But UConn has reclaimed its rightful spot as the betting favorite, with consensus odds near +1000. Caesars Sportsbook has the shortest odds among the best sports betting sites at +900 while sliding the Jayhawks to +1100. Circa Sports also went from +950 to +900.

After the Huskies’ consecutive national championships matched the 2006-07 Florida Gators, Hurley will attempt to glorify the program to new heights. The only three-peat in men’s NCAA tournament history came via the UCLA Bruins under the legendary John Wooden, winning nine national championships from 1964 to 1973. Starting in 1967, the program claimed a record-setting seven straight titles, with the late great Bill Walton-led ’73 team capping off the streak by routing Memphis State, 87-66.

The Lakers were in line to make Hurley one of the NBA’s six highest-paid head coaches. Per Wojnarowski, contract negotiations between Hurley and UConn will continue to secure him one of the highest-paid NCAA coaching contracts. Hurley originally signed a six-year, $32.1 million deal with the Huskies after the 2022-23 season. For now, Kansas’ Bill Self is earning an NCAA-high roughly $9.6 million annually.

UConn’s Roster Construction

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, the backup point guard behind Tristen Newton for the last two years, must border on Newton’s production for the Huskies to contend for a three-peat.

Still, UConn’s rim protection without 7-foot-2 center Donovan Clingan is worth monitoring. When Clingan sat on the bench in 2023-24, the Huskies surrendered 99.4 points per possession (PPP), a difference of 5.5 PPP, with Clingan governing the paint. In the win over Zach Edey and Purdue in the title game, they allowed 11 PPP more without Clingan’s imposing length near the basket.

My 2024-25 futures portfolio doesn’t include the Huskies. For more, check out my first college basketball championship bet.

Photo by Associated Press