Why Have The Creighton Odds Moved So Much, and Is There Value at +1800?

profile image of testmultisiteuser
Arthur Kaluma #24 of the Creighton Bluejays reacts after shooting the ball in the second half of the game against the Kansas Jayhawks. Ron Jenkins/Getty Images/AFP.

The Creighton Bluejays lost their top scorer from last season, but there’s more hype surrounding the program anyway. The odds have dropped to +1800. Is there value on Creighton? Let’s see what the NCAAB odds tell us at the sportsbooks.

Creighton released their schedule for the 2022-23 season, and let’s just say it’s hard. The Bluejays will open up the season with four easy opponents, but in its fifth game, it will play Texas Tech in Hawaii.

After that game, there’s a good chance that Creighton takes on Louisville or Arkansas, which also won’t be easy.

Depending on how things go after that game, there’s a chance that Creighton would have to play Ohio State, San Diego State, Cincinnati, or Arizona on Day 3 of the trip.

What’s in for the Bluejays After Hawaii?

After that trip in Hawaii, the Bluejays will visit Texas, play Nebraska, and take on BYU and Arizona State at home. Eventually, Big East play begins after a lethal non-conference.

If we’re being honest, Creighton could finish the non-conference slate with a losing record. I’ve got them potentially going 5-5 on the non-conference slate. That won’t help them when seeding in March Madness takes place.

Creighton dropped to +1800 or worse on most top-rated sportsbooks to win March Madness. This is practically due to the schedule being so tricky.

They’re likely not going to get a high enough seed to have a perfect road in March Madness. But there are other factors too. Let’s break it down.

The Bluejays are Projected to be a Top Big East Team

Many analysts have pointed out that despite having a demanding Big East schedule, Creighton should be at the top of the standings. The Bluejays got massive commitments from Baylor Scheierman and Francisco Farabello. Farabello is a 4-star transfer from TCU, while Scheierman was an elite player for South Dakota State before transferring.

Meanwhile, breakout point guard Ryan Nembhard missed the remainder of the 2021-22 season and will be back this year. He already has a Big East Freshman of the Year award and will be one of the better players in the Big East this year.

And let’s be honest. The Bluejays weren’t even a top-25 team last season. They won’t have Ryan Hawkins or Alex O’Connell back, and while getting Nembhard and Scheierman will help this team, it’s still hard to tab them as one of the better Big East teams in the nation.

Creighton is going to be young and unproven, and to me, that could be their downfall. Of course, Creighton also has a lot of upside on their team. But it’s a show-me league. We’ve seen nothing from this group that would indicate that they’ll be a top team in college basketball this year.

The Analytics

The Bluejays finished 50th in KenPom last year and fourth in the Big East, behind UConn and in front of Maquette. Can they do better than that this year? Creighton was a nine-seed in this year’s NCAA Tournament. They made it to the second round after putting away San Diego State in overtime but eventually lost to Kansas, who ended up winning the entire thing.

We already talked about Hawkins and O’Connell being out of the program. Hawkins led the team in scoring and rebounding and hit 36% from long range last season. Hawkins was the identity of Creighton, but now he’s gone. O’Connell averaged 11.8 points per game, along with 5.3 rebounds per game last year.

Although he only shot 32.7% from deep, O’Connell did a lot of the little things for Creighton to help them in tight games. On top of that, Creighton won’t have KeyShawn Feazell anymore. He didn’t get a ton of minutes, but he was a rotation guy who won’t be on the team anymore. But with just three guys going, that means many players are returning.

That’s why the hype is all over Creighton, despite the odds shifting.

PLAY NOW: $25,000 Free-To-Play NFL Contest: BMR’s 2022 Pick’Em Pool Opens for Registration

The Roster Outlook

Nembhard and Ryan Kalkbrenner

Nembhard and Ryan Kalkbrenner should be the two stars for this squad this season. If Nembhard didn’t break his wrist last year, we’d be talking about him a little more often.

But it’s hard to expect a lot from a guy coming off a season-ending injury. Kalkbrenner was second on the team in scoring and rebounding. He averaged 13.1 points per game and 7.7 rebounds per game.

Arthur Kaluma

Another returner, Arthur Kaluma, will return after averaging 10 points a game at the center position. He added 10.4 points and 5.4 rebounds per game.

The final two key returners would be Trey Alexander, who also started for Creighton when injuries occurred. They’ll also have Rati Andronikashvili, who was heavily recruited and has a lot of upside.

Baylor Scheierman

Plus, Creighton has two transfers to go along with five incoming freshmen. Scheierman will be the key transfer after averaging 15.9 points and 8.4 rebounds for SDSU last year.

He was also a sneaky passer, earning 4.3 assists per game. His role likely won’t be as big with the Blue Jays, but he’ll be a solid addition to this team to take over for Hawkins.

Francisco Farabello

Then there’s Francisco Farabello, the Argentinian from TCU. He’s an excellent three-point shooter and has experience playing college ball with 73 appearances.

That should help this young team a bit. Of the five freshmen, Mason Miller and Zander Yates are both former redshirts who could see action this season.

They were both teammates in Tennessee, with Miller being a top 75 prospect. But again, this team is very young with many question marks.

How will Nembhard play after dealing with a wrist injury? Is the Big East too big of a jump for Scheierman? Creighton’s ceiling is high, but the floor is pretty low.