Vegas: Villanova is best Big East bet to win 2015 NCAA national basketball title; St. John's fifth-best

Jeff Bottari

The Big East as a whole is more lightly regarded than it was last year by Vegas.

It's April, and the draft deadline has passed for players who want to enter the NBA. So why not run some Vegas odds of winning a championship? We turn our eyes to Bovada for some intel from their freshly published post-deadline day odds - and then parse where the Big East schools land.

First on the national scene, Kentucky is the title favorite with 5/1 odds - and rightfully so, with nine McDonald's All-Americans on the roster, with actual sophomores and juniors playing in the post. Duke (9/1) follows, with Wisconsin (12/1), Kansas (14/1) and Arizona/ Florida/ North Carolina (16/1 odds) sharing the fifth spot.

The first Big East school is the list of odds? Villanova, with 25/1 odds of standing under the falling confetti at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis is tied for eighth with Louisville and Michigan State.

Before last season (in the fall), Kentucky, Kansas, Louisville, Duke, and Michigan State were the title contenders by Vegas' odds. Creighton was the first Big East school listed at 50/1 odds.

So in a sense, the top of the Big East is getting more cred this year than it did last year.

But that's only the top. Last year's predictions were an indicator of the parity in the league, with six teams with 100/1 odds or better in the Big East.

This coming season, Seton Hall, Georgetown and Marquette have 100/1 odds, while the rest of the league doesn't rate positively in Vegas' eyes.

Big East teams: odds to win the 2014-15 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship
Big East Team
2014-15 Prediction
Last year's prediction
Villanova
25/1
75/1
Georgetown
100/1
50/1
Marquette
100/1
66/1
Seton Hall
100/1
[Off Board]
Providence
150/1
[Off Board]
St. John's
150/1
66/1
Creighton
200/1
50/1
Xavier
250/1
[Off Board]
Butler
500/1
100/1
DePaul
500/1
[Off Board]

Odds are just predictions, easily changed by play on the court; and the 2014 recruiting season is not yet done. But St. John's, in particular, has lower odds to win it all than they had last season, despite returning most of their contributors - JaKarr Sampson and Orlando Sanchez are the players who were expected to make large impacts last season who are now gone.

Your thoughts? Do you think Vegas is underrating the Johnnies - and the rest of the Big East?

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