The 18th annual ESPN Events Invitational tips off on November 23rd from Walt Disney World Resort in Kissimmee, Florida.
The eight-team tournament features 12 games over the course of three days.
Using the college basketball odds on FanDuel Sportsbook, let’s break down the field.
ESPN Invitational Bracket
ESPN Invitational Odds
Aggies Slight Favorites
The No. 12 Texas A&M Aggies are the favorites to win the event at +260.
The Aggies were picked to finish second in the SEC. They are led by the preseason SEC Player of the Year, Wade Taylor IV, and reigning SEC Co-Coach of the Year, Buzz Williams. Taylor is a six-foot guard who’s averaged 17.0 points and 4.8 assists per game through A&M’s first four outings.
Outside of Taylor, Tyrece Radford (15.5 points; 5.3 rebounds) and Henry Coleman III (13.3 points; 11.0 rebounds) do most of the heavy lifting for the Aggies.
Coming into the week, Texas A&M was ranked 18th overall on KenPom. They’ve started the season 4-0 with notable wins over Ohio State (52nd) and SMU (96th), with the win over OSU coming in Columbus. The Aggies slide in at No. 16 in adjusted offensive efficiency and No. 29 in adjusted defensive efficiency, per KenPom.
Florida Atlantic, Iowa State Close Behind
The 19th-ranked Florida Atlantic Owls and unranked Iowa State Cyclones share the second-shortest odds to win the invitational at +290.
Florida Atlantic was a co-favorite along with Texas A&M prior to dropping their first game of the season last week. The Owls dropped from No. 10 to No. 19 in the AP Poll following a 61-52 loss to Bryant.
Still, FAU remains a formidable team. They return 90.3% of minutes from last year’s Final Four team, the third-most returning minutes in the country. That includes a pair of All-Conference USA First-Team guards — Johnell Davis (10.0 points; 7.0 rebounds) and Alijah Martin (6.7 points; 5.7 rebounds) — as well as Third-Team big man Vlad Goldin (15.0 points; 6.3 rebounds).
The Owls are ranked just 49th on KenPom but 21st on Bart Torvik.
As for Iowa State, the Cyclones may quietly be the best team in the field. They’re 4-0 thus far and — while they haven’t played anyone inside KenPom’s top 250 — are the event’s highest-ranked KenPom team at No. 13. While they’re only 52nd in adjusted offensive efficiency, the Cyclones are No. 2 in adjusted defensive efficiency.
All five of Iowa State’s starters average double-digit points. Top-50 recruit Milan Momcilovic (14.8 points) leads the way, followed by guards Keshon Gilbert (14.5 points) and Tamin Lipsey (14 points; 7.0 assists).
Iowa State has won all four of their games by at least 30 points thus far.
Distance Between the Rest of the Pack
After the top three, there’s a real drop in odds. Virginia Tech comes in at +1000, followed by VCU, Penn State, and Boise State — all of whom are at +1100.
Butler rounds out the field with +2200 odds.
Virginia Tech (55th), Boise State (68th), and Penn State (72nd) are all ranked inside the top 100 on KenPom.
However, Penn State is all the way down at No. 127 on Bart Torvik, while Virginia Tech (51st) and Boise State (67th) remain in the top 70.
The Nittany Lions are undefeated thus far (something the rest of the bottom-feeders can’t say), but they have yet to play a team inside KenPom’s top 200 and draw Texas A&M first.
If you’re looking for a real sleeper, Butler fits the bill. The Bulldogs have by far the longest odds in the tournament, yet rank 75th on KenPom and 90th on Bart Torvik. They got 20-pieced by Michigan State in their most recent game but have four guards who average double-digit points.
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