Latest Wooden Award Odds: Iowa’s Luka Garza Remains Leader
Just months after LSU quarterback Joe Burrow came out of nowhere to win the Heisman Trophy, college basketball’s Wooden Award race is taking a similar path.
Iowa junior center Luka Garza wasn’t even on the board when Wooden Award futures odds were posted in November. Now he’s +150 on DraftKings and is the frontrunner with less than a month to go before March Madness.
Just as Burrow took a massive statistical leap in his senior year, Garza is averaging 10 points more than he did as a sophomore and hauling in more than twice as many rebounds. Should he go on to win the award, it will serve as another Burrow-like reminder that bettors need to at least consider options beyond the top five to 10 candidates on college basketball futures odds.
Sometimes way beyond.
John Wooden Award 2020 Odds
Odds current as of publication and subject to change.
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C Luka Garza, Iowa
Current odds: +150
Up next: at Minnesota (2/16), Ohio State (2/20)
Expected betting impact: Garza’s odds held steady this week after a 26-point showing in a blowout loss at Purdue and a 22-point game with eight rebounds in a home win over Nebraska. The consistency is most impressive at this point — he’s had 21 points or more in nine straight games and leads the Big Ten with 23.1 points a game. Tougher assignments are on the horizon against two of the better defensive teams in the conference. His matchup against elite Minnesota center Daniel Oturu will be worth watching.
G Payton Pritchard, Oregon
Current odds: +200
Up next: Utah (2/16), at Arizona State (2/20)
Expected betting impact: Pritchard cooled off a bit this week with 16 points in losses to Oregon State and Stanford. But the betting odds remain the same for the Ducks’ senior guard and might present some value given how he played against Utah and Arizona State last month. Pritchard had 19 points and five assists in a road win over the Utes and matched his career high with 29 points against the Sun Devils. Two similar showings could see Pritchard inch closer to Garza.
F Obi Toppin, Dayton
Current odds: +300
Up next: at UMass (2/15), at VCU (2/18)
Expected betting impact: Toppin put up 22 points and 10 rebounds in a blowout win over second-place Rhode Island. The sophomore forward’s odds went down from +350 to +300 after another stellar week and he should stay on cruise control with a particularly good matchup against VCU. Toppin had 24 points and nine boards against the Rams in January. He’s also leading a Flyers team with serious potential at 22-2, the only losses coming in overtime against No. 16 Colorado and again in overtime against No. 3 Kansas.
G Markus Howard, Marquette
Current odds: +500
Up next: No. 23 Creighton (2/18), at Providence (2/22)
Expected betting impact: Howard still got his in a tough one-point loss at No. 15 Villanova, tallying 24 points and five rebounds. He also had 17 points in a subdued effort in a big win over No. 19 Butler. Creighton held Howard to 18 points in their first meeting, but he scored 39 in an overtime loss against Providence. Howard already leads the nation in scoring at 27.3 points per game and could make a serious Wooden push by holding the top spot come March.
G Cassius Winston, Michigan State
Current odds: +700
Up next: No. 9 Maryland (2/15), at Nebraska (2/20)
Expected betting impact: The senior point guard got caught up in foul trouble and struggled with just 12 points during a one-point win at Illinois. He also had four turnovers to just two assists. Throw in a loss at rival Michigan and you’ll see why Winston slipped from fourth to fifth on this list, his odds dropping from +500 to +700. But Saturday’s home game against the Terrapins might be MSU’s biggest to date. If he can lead the Spartans to an upset win, you’ll likely find him with less value and further up the list a week from now.