Bronny James, USC Basketball Odds Are Destined To Be Overpriced

min read
Bronny James has committed to USC, but his name might be bigger than his talent.
(AP Photo/Gregory Payan)
Chase Kiddy @chaseakiddy May 08, 2023, 3:34 PM

The college basketball betting world got some major news over the weekend, as Bronny James — the four-star Class of 2023 recruit and son of LeBron James — announced his college commitment. 

Naturally, there are both sports and betting implications from the decision, which will reverberate through the college basketball odds market. 

Where is Bronny James Going to College?

Bronny James has committed to play for head coach Andy Enfield and the USC Trojans. 

Bronny James, USC Basketball Are an Obvious Pairing

Earlier this year, Bronny announced that he had limited his choice of colleges to three options: Oregon, USC, and Ohio State.

Many college basketball soothsayers connected the dots with Ohio State. As everyone knows, LeBron is an Ohio native who has rooted for Ohio State for most of his life. There was a feeling that Bronny might forge his own semblance of an Ohio legacy by playing for the Buckeyes.


Instead, Bronny is staying close to home, since the James family has been in Los Angeles since 2018. And with all the extra attention on James’ college career, which will likely dwarf what most four- and five-star recruits experience, perhaps remaining close to his father’s orbit (and powerful PR machine) is not a bad thing.

LeBron, who skipped college and went straight to the NBA, called Bronny’s college announcement “one of the best days of my life.” 

“Congratulations to Bronny on his decision he made,” LeBron said after the Lakers’ Game 3 playoff win over Golden State. “I’m super proud of him; our family is proud of him. For me personally, it’s even more special to me because it’s the first time someone out of my family [will] go to college.” 

USC Basketball Location: Where is USC Located?

USC is located in Los Angeles, near South Central L.A. The Trojans play their home games at the Galen Center, just two miles south of where the Lakers play home games at Crypto.com Arena. 

USC Basketball: Bronny James Doesn’t Bring the Value That Bettors Might Think

LeBron James is one of the universal stars that modern media and sports programming seems to revolve around, so his oldest son’s basketball career was always going to attract a great deal of attention. 

But Bronny James is not the ready-made superstar that his last name might lead casual viewers to believe. He’s not a five-star recruit; he hasn’t even been the best player on his own high school team at Sierra Canyon for most of his prep career. 

The reality is that Bronny James will likely start his career at USC as more of a role player. He might even come off the bench during his freshman year.

Appropriate expectations are crucial when dealing with cases like Bronny, who will be unfairly compared to his father. A limited role will feel like a disappointment to many fans, when it’s really just a function of how good Enfield’s USC squad is. 

Remember that the Trojans have been to three straight NCAA Tournaments, including an Elite Eight appearance in 2021. They’re arguably the best team in the Pac-12, heading into the 2023-24 season, and they’re currently No. 14 in Jeff Borzello’s most recent way-too-early top 25.

All this is important to remember when we get closer to the 2024 season’s gravitational orbit, and the hype machine starts cranking for Bronny and USC. 

If you want a ticket on USC to win the national championship, the price at the BetMGM online sportsbook is currently 40-to-1. That’s the exact same price as it was a month ago, when the market opened after UConn won the national championship. 

Only 1% of tickets are on USC. More than 20 teams have attracted more championship bets, including Xavier, Arkansas, Michigan, and West Virginia.

Bronny’s commitment hasn’t changed the market at all. That makes sense, given his likely status as a freshman contributor.

But months from now, when Bronny b-roll is a daily staple on sports shows and USC highlights are dominating social media, the Trojans will be climbing up the board. 

When that happens, be very cautious about USC’s place in the market. The addition of LeBron James’ son can only lead to media hype, and that’s one of the fastest ways to create a market inefficiency when it comes to online sports betting.

How To Bet on College Basketball Futures

College basketball betting doesn’t stop when the season ends. At BetMGM, you can bet on futures throughout the offseason!

After the national champion is crowned each April, the online sportsbook immediately releases odds for next year’s champion. And over the next six months before the season starts again, additional futures become available, including conference champion odds and awards.

Visit the sportsbook today to place your bet online

If you don’t have a sportsbook account, sign up for the BetMGM welcome bonus, one of many sportsbook offers at BetMGM.

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About the Author

Chase Kiddy

Read More @chaseakiddy

Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.

Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.