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Arizona Wildcats

Updated Nov 4, 2013 - 5:37 pm

ESPN insider: Wildcats one of the better long shot bets to win NCAA title

Arizona's Jordin Mayes (20) knocks the ball away from Augustana's Austin Saugstad (1) in the first half of an college exhibition basketball game, Monday, Oct. 28, 2013 in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/john Miller)

The season hasn't even started, but already Sean Miller and the Arizona Wildcats seem to be a popular target of praise and optimism from around the college basketball community.

ESPN.com's Seth Greenberg already said that the Wildcats, ranked No. 6 in the preseason polls, behind a talented freshman class, junior transfer T.J. McConnell and junior guard Nick Johnson have a high ceiling in 2013-14 and the potential to make it to the Final Four.

Monday, Greenberg's colleague, ESPN insider and Vegas handicapper Ted Sevransky, went a step further, calling the Wildcats one of the better long shot bets to win the NCAA title this season.

In his Insider piece called '2013-14 CBB betting guide,' Sevransky broke down six areas -- biting off more than you can choose, riding the hot team, covering the spread with free throws, the ugly underdog, teams with inside/outside balance and halftime wagers -- fans should keep in mind when betting on the upcoming season.

And while he noted that he has yet to bet on a 'college basketball future,' Sevransky believes that for fans looking to make a preseason wager, Arizona has plenty of value with its 15-1 odds to hoist the National Championship trophy inside AT&T Stadium.

Arizona Wildcats (15-1)

The Wildcats are a top-5 team heading into the season, but they're offering a substantially better return on investment than the other elites (Kentucky, Louisville, Kansas, Michigan State and Duke are all 10-1 or lower). Sean Miller's squad has won 80 games in his past three seasons, including runs to the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight in March. With juniors T.J. McConnell and Nick Johnson manning the backcourt and frosh sensation Aaron Gordon joining a big, physical frontcourt rotation, Zona is poised to make a deep tourney run.

The Wildcats officially open their 2013-14 campaign Friday night against Cal Poly at the McKale Center.

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