Sanity will prevail when Nate Oats turns down UK but don't tell the oddsmakers

According to oddsmakers, Nate Oats is the betting favorite to become the next Kentucky Wildcats coach. Advice to Alabama basketball fans is to save your money.
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Swirling sound and fury on Monday has Nate Oats being snatched from Alabama Basketball by the Kentucky Wildcats. The Big Blue Nation is flush with cash after John Calipari voided his $30M-plus buyout by pursuing a different coaching home.

Since the news broke on Sunday night, several big-name coaches have been mentioned as Calipari's replacement. The names include Dan Hurley, Jay Wright, Billy Donovan, Rick Pitino, and Bruce Pearl. And to the dismay of every Alabama basketball fan, Nate Oats.

In an earlier story, I wrote the Big Blue Nation can't have Nate Oats. The basis for that conclusion is a belief that Nate Oats and his family are locked in to Tuscaloosa and the University of Alabama. Added to that is the close relationship that Oats has with Alabama AD, Greg Byrne. Byrne is astute and I suspect in the recent new deal for Oats the two men had an understanding that when Kentucky and others came calling, Nate Oats would say thanks but no thanks.

There is another good reason for Nate Oats to remain with Alabama. It is explained by Kevin Scarbinsky and Mike DeCourcy in the tweet below.

Nate Oats has won big in Tuscaloosa and any close follower of college basketball sees that what Oats has accomplished is just the beginning. The Alabama Crimson Tide are exploding to the top of the college basketball world.

Decourcy and the Sporting News recently published a way-to-early ranking for the 2024-25 season. Perched at No. 1 in the nation was the Alabama Crimson Tide. Being pursued by Kentucky is a tribute to what Oats has accomplished but Kentucky with more projected talent on its roster (and John Calipari) was ranked at No. 4.

Betting Odds for Nate Oats to Kentucky

Based on multiple sportsbooks, the betting favorite to become Kentucky's next coach is Nate Oats.

  • Nate Oats +350 (22.2%)
  • Scott Drew, Baylor +450 (18.2%)
  • Bruce Pearl, Auburn +600 (14.3%)
  • Billy Donovan, Chicago Bulls +625 (13.8%)
  • Dan Hurley, UConn +650 (13.3%)
  • TJ Otzelberger, Iowa State +800 (11.1%)
  • Rick Pitino, St. John's +100 (8.3%)
  • Jay Wright, formerly Villanova +1200 (7.7%)
  • Mark Pope, BYU +1200 (7.7%)
  • The Field +1500 (6.3%)

More interesting would be the odds on how many of Cal's players Kentucky loses. Not all of them will follow him to Arkansas. Some may find their way to Tuscaloosa.