If you’re like me and every other Syracuse fan under the age of 65, you never, ever, read Bud Poliquin. Thus, I feel I should pass along something he wrote in a column recently, since I’m pretty sure you didn’t see it. I only saw it myself because the headline his Syracuse.com editors provided was intriguing enough that I couldn’t resist clicking. That headline was:
After the usual Poliquin yammering and bloviating, he got to the crux of the article, which was that the powers-that-be in Las Vegas have a surprisingly different interpretation of SU’s quality vis-a-vis the rest of the Big East than do the national opinion-makers. To wit, Vegas gives us a significantly better shot in the post-season than three Big East teams picked ahead of us in the preseason rankings: Notre Dame, Marquette, and Villanova. Here are Vegas’ posted odds for Big East teams to win the national championship, as reported by Bud:
Notre Dame: 40-1
West Virginia: 40-1
St. John’s: 500-1
The league’s other four clubs — Rutgers, Seton Hall, South Florida and Providence — didn’t get a sniff.
25-1 odds for Syracuse are notably better than Villanova’s down at 60-1. West Virginia gets some love as well, suggesting that Vegas values high-profile coaches with track records for success. That would explain Marquette’s relatively lower standing as well, if not Villanova’s. Irrespective of their reasoning, I’ll take the props from Vegas happily. Even I wouldn’t have picked SU as high as fifth for the regular season, but maybe the gamblers are on to something regarding what kind of team we’ll be by the time the post-season rolls around.