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Betting Odds Released for Louisville Head Coaching Vacancy

Three coaches with Louisville ties headline the betting favorites to take over the Cardinals.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The head coaching position for the Louisville men's basketball program has been open for less than 24 hours, but the folks in Las Vegas already have early betting odds for the job. is the first site to offer odds as to who will become the next head coach of the Cardinals, and the top three picks all have Louisville ties.

The odds-on favorite is current New York Knicks assistant coach Kenny Payne at +400. He is a member of the Cards' 1986 championship team, made his name as an elite recruiter as an assistant at Kentucky under John Calipari, and is beloved by a multitude of former players. The one thing holding him back is that he has zero head coaching experience.

Related: Louisville Men's Basketball Head Coach Hot Board 1.0

Behind Payne is Bellarmine's Scott Davenport and Seton Hall's Kevin Willard, both tied at +500. Davenport is a Louisville native who had previously served as a Cardinals assistant under both Denny Crum and Rick Pitino, led Bellarmine to a DII championship in 2011, and has had success in their D1 transition. Should Louisville strike out on the big names, Davenport could be a contingency plan.

Willard is a former longtime Louisville assistant under Pitino, and his father Ralph previously served as the associate head coach of the Cardinals. Seton Hall - where Willard has been since 2011 - is struggling a bit this season, but the Pirates have had five 20-win seasons over the previous six years under his watch.

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Below is's full opening betting odds:

  • Kenny Payne +400
  • Scott Davenport +500
  • Kevin Willard +500
  • Steve Forbes +600
  • Wes Miller +700
  • Mark Pope +900
  • Chris Holtmann +1000
  • Ed Cooley +1100
  • Nate Oats +1200
  • Eric Musselman +1300
  • Andy Enfield +1500
  • Mick Cronin +1500
  • Matt McMahon +2000
  • Scott Drew +2500
  • Bruce Pearl +2500

(Photo of Scott Davenport: Stephen R. Sylvanie - USA TODAY Sports)

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