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AAC Basketball Preview and College Basketball Betting Odds

With the 2021-22 college basketball season rapidly approaching, it’s time we show some love to the American Athletic Conference (AAC). Historically one of the most overlooked conferences in all of the NCAA, AAC basketball demands attention this season. The conference is headlined by two top-15 teams in the preseason polls. Houston and Memphis both looked nearly unbeatable to end of the 2020-21 season. Add in the notoriously underrated Wichita State Shockers and SMU Mustangs, and this conference will no doubt be producing fireworks all season.

The question every conference faces right now is the old “What should we expect?” With plenty of departures and new additions across AAC basketball, there are plenty of unknowns. We are still about a month and change away from conference play, with plenty of storylines left to unfold. For those of you college basketball betting fans, this conference will not only be interesting to follow, but it will surely keep you on the edge of your seat from November to March.

aac basketball college betting memphis houston
Credit: Sam Greenwood/ Getty Images

AAC Basketball Preview and College Basketball Betting Odds

College basketball betting odds are courtesy of Bovada Sportsbook

Odds to Win AAC

  • Houston (+250)
  • Memphis (+250)
  • Wichita State (+550)
  • UCF (+750)
  • Cincinnati (+750)
  • SMU (+800)
  • Tulsa (+3500)
  • Temple (+4000)
  • Tulane (+7000)
  • East Carolina (+12500)
  • South Florida (+12500)

AAC Basketball Preseason Betting Odds Reactions

The preseason AAC college basketball betting odds suggest a race between Houston and Memphis at the top. Wichita State, Central Florida, Cincinnati and SMU are not too far behind. Six teams in the conference have lower than 10-1 odds to win the conference. Each conference game can, and likely will, have massive ramifications come the end of the season.

Will Houston and Memphis dominate and make this a two-horse race? Can a preseason long-shot make a run with a couple of upsets? Here are three takeaways for bettors to note.

Memphis and Houston Basketball Reign Supreme

Both Memphis and Houston had impressive postseason runs and will look to keep that momentum going into the new season. Memphis was left out of the NCAA tournament last year, after finishing third in the AAC. They put together an impressive run to win the National Invitational Tournament (NIT), winning three of four games by double-digits. Houston received a second seed in the NCAA tournament and got all the way to the Final Four. Unfortunately, they ran into a buzzsaw in the eventual champion in Baylor.

Houston will have a tough challenge replacing key players such as Quentin Grimes and DeJon Jarreau, among others. They will however be able to rely on returning players Marcus Sasser and Tramon Mark who will surely take on bigger roles this season. As for Memphis, they will return most of their players while also bringing in the top-ranked 2021 recruiting class. Coach Penny Hardaway was able to sign two top seven recruits in forward Emoni Bates and center Jalen Duren. Will the new guys live up to the hype or will an adjustment period slow their rise?

Wichita State Ready to Pounce?

Last season’s regular-season champions have the third-best odds in the conference and only lost two of their top six scorers from last season. With two more three-star recruits coming to Wichita, in guard Jalen Ricks and center Kenny Pohto, they will certainly be able to add even more firepower to an already good team. Both players are big for their positions, with Ricks at 6-6 and Pohto at 6-11, so they at the very least will be able to wreak havoc with their length.

Although they played in fewer games last season than most teams in the conference thanks to implications from COVID-19, the Shockers only dropped two conference games. We will quickly see just how good Wichita State can be as they have tough matchups, with Missouri, Oklahoma State and Kansas State, before they play their first conference game. In his first season as permanent head coach after the departure of former head coach Gregg Marshall, can Isaac Brown bring the Shockers to the top again?

Potential Value of SMU

SMU had another disappointing season last year and has been mediocre at best since finishing on top of the conference two out of three years from 2014-16. The Mustangs only lost two players, in guard Tyson Jolly and forward Ethan Chargois, who averaged more than 20 minutes per game last season and bring in a hell of a recruiting class.

According to 247 Sports, SMU brings in the 33rd-ranked recruiting class in the nation and the second in AAC basketball, only behind Memphis. Not only do they bring in four-star forward Stefan Todorovic to headline their 2021 recruiting class, but they also get some key transfers including the transfer of former four-star forward Tristan Clark from Baylor. With plenty of new talent and not much lost from last season, the Mustangs could certainly be a dark horse in the AAC race.

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