Big news out of the Midwest: Michigan basketball head coach John Beilein is leaving the Wolverines to become the head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Michigan’s John Beilein has agreed to a five-year deal to become coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 13, 2019
The latest Wojbomb came pretty much as a surprise to everyone, as Beilein had been at Michigan for 12 years. His list of accomplishments is quite impressive, he leaves as the winningest coach in program history, two conference titles, nine NCAA tournament appearances, five Sweet 16s, and two finals.
Beilein is entering the NBA late in his career. As 66 years old, he’s a surprising pick by the Cavaliers, when they could have gone after a younger up-and-coming coach. But there’s something to be said for the veteran college boss, who turned Michigan into a contender during his decade plus with Michigan.
Title Odds for Michigan Skyrocket
Unfortunately for Michigan, their legendary coach leaving meant that they lose a huge part of their program, and bookmakers know it. College basketball betting odds on Michigan wining the national title in 2020 entering the day were simply +1200. They immediately jumped to +2000 upon then news breaking.
The Wolverines were expected to lose a handful of players but reload for another run, and were labeled as 5th favorite to take the NCAA next season. They opened the day trailing in-state rivals Michigan State (+800), Duke (+800), Kentucky (+700), and defending champion Virginia (+700).
With the news of Beilein leaving, the Wolverines plummet down the favorites list. They now sit tied with teams like Arizona, Kansas, Louisville, and Oregon. Individual conference odds haven’t been released yet, but one can figure the Wolverines won’t be nearly as close to favorites as they once were.
The Wolverines have seen three of their players enter the NBA draft this offseason. Senior Charles Matthews was inevitable, but two additional players have also declared for the NBA draft. Junior Jordan Poole and freshman Ignaz Brazdesikis also declared for the draft, though Poole could return if undrafted.
Expect Odds on Cleveland to Shorten
While Michigan’s odds lengthened considerably, the NBA betting odds on the Cleveland Cavaliers can be expected to shorten some going into the new season.
Futures odds on the NBA 2019/2020 season aren’t widely available yet due to playoffs this year not even being close to over. But one can look ahead and speculate what the new coach will do for the franchise.
Odds on the Cavaliers, as reported by Cleveland.com, were +3000 to win the NBA title next season according to the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook. They were tied with Detroit, Charlotte, Washington, Minnesota, Memphis, and New Orleans for longest odds going into next season.
While the addition of Beilein is going to make them a surefire winner, his experience should help significantly. Michigan’s defense was one of the stalwart standouts in the NCAA, and Cleveland was bottom 10 in points allowed per game.
There probably won’t be odds out until the NBA Draft and the beginning flurry of free agency. But one can expect that Cleveland won’t be dead last when odds do finally start appearing online. They’ll be an underdog for sure, but there’s reason to think they won’t be bottom of the pile anymore.