College Basketball Odds, Picks, Futures: 2022-23 Horizon League Betting Preview

College Basketball Odds, Picks, Futures: 2022-23 Horizon League Betting Preview article feature image

Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images. Pictured: Jerrod Calhoun (Youngstown State)

Many conferences across America tout their collective uprising as a league, some with more credible ammo than others.

However, this league — the Horizon League — is in need of a defibrillator, and fast.

Per KenPom's conference-level adjusted efficiency rankings, the Horizon fell to 26th overall last season (out of 32 conferences), the lowest mark in the KenPom era (dating back to 1997).

Outside of Oakland, the other Horizon members squandered in non-conference play. These 10 teams went a combined 35-56 against the spread in non-league action, equating to a dismal 38% cover rate.

From the other side of the coin, could the Horizon's downfall offer more fade opportunities early in the year? Possibly, but the preseason analytical metrics appear to already price this in.

Look no further than KenPom, who pegs the Horizon as the 26th-ranked conference yet again this year in his model's preseason rankings.

In fact, there may be an against the grain contrarian angle here. That is, targeting undervalued teams within a potentially undervalued conference, especially ones with a large chunk of last year's nucleus back in action.

2022-23 Horizon League Regular Season Futures Odds

Odds (Via Caesars)
Northern Kentucky+200
Purdue Fort Wayne+300
Wright State+500
Youngstown State+800
Detroit Mercy+1000
Robert Morris+1500
Green Bay+1800
Cleveland State+2200

Continuity Kings

Two of the league's frontrunners bring back a roster nearly identical to last year: Purdue Fort Wayne and Northern Kentucky.

In today's transfer laden landscape, a squad with cohesion is one worth backing early and often.

Ironically, the Mastodons and Norse both limped out of the gates last season. However, they found their stride during conference play and are poised for fast starts this year.

Youngstown State Penguins

Youngstown State is the real wild card.

Not only do the Penguins return three integral starters, but head coach Jerrod Calhoun overloaded the roster with transfer talent over the summer.

The 'Guins grabbed rebounding warrior Adrian Nelson from Northern Kentucky, along with three double-digit scorers from other destinations, Bryce McBride (Eastern Michigan), Brandon Rush (FDU) and Malek Green (Canisius).

McBride, Rush and Green are all starting-caliber contributors.

The Best of the Rest

As for the rest of the Horizon, the other eight teams will look and feel much different this year.

Wright State, the league's perennial power, is the midst of its own identity crisis. Scott Nagy and the Raiders escaped with the league crown last year, but never solved serious defensive deficiencies, which could linger again in 2023.

Cleveland State and Milwaukee usher in new program directors this season, and, bluntly, the latter may go down as one of the biggest coaching upgrades in college basketball.

Under newly-minted head honcho Bart Lundy, the analytically-infused Panthers could be a rapid riser in the betting markets. The roster is littered with unknowns, but the Lundy factor may not be properly priced in.

Compared to the Motor City natives Oakland and Detroit, Robert Morris and Green Bay's retooled rosters lack potency.

However, last year's demise may offer a sneaky buy-low opportunity for both programs, especially if you believe in the coaching prowess of Andrew Toole and Will Ryan.

The must-have app for college basketball bettors

The best NCAAB betting scoreboard

Free picks from proven pros

Live win probabilities for your bets

And then, the IUPUI Jaguars

It's rare that a team qualifies as an auto fade for an entire season, but IUPUI was a special kind of bad last year. Congrats to those who sniffed out the stink early on and faded the Jaguars accordingly.

A year removed from finishing dead last in most analytical rankings, the Jags are starting from the bottom of the barrel this season.

The question is, are the Jaguars that bad again?

The roster is devoid of top-notch transfer talent and lauded freshman prospects — though, there's a few enticing newcomers joining the fold.

In summary, it's a roster that holds more quantity than quality, but that's a boon in the wake of last season's roster carnage. Remember, this team played with five and a half players for much of the year, so simply having able bodies at the ready will matter.

That means you shouldn't expect to get rich auto-fading the Jags again this season, given the market will price them as a penny stock out of the gate.

Horizon League Futures & Picks

Be sure to keep an eye on the Horizon's upper echelon for potential wagers: Northern Kentucky, Purdue Fort Wayne, Wright State, Youngstown State, Oakland and Detroit.

There's no true long shot in this group of six, so look to pull the trigger on one or two teams — such as Oakland and Detroit — that are priced categorically cheaper than the others.

How would you rate this article?

This site contains commercial content. We may be compensated for the links provided on this page. The content on this page is for informational purposes only. Action Network makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information given or the outcome of any game or event.