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    2013 March Madness Future Odds

    John Ewing, Director of Research and Analytics
    By John Ewing

    After 50,000 simulations of the 2013 NCAA Tournament using the Bracket Simulator we take one last look at the March Madness future odds and look for some value. Below are the preseason odds for teams and where their odds have moved after nearly five months of basketball.

    To determine if a team has value we look at what their current odds are to win the National Championship and compare that to our projected odds that they win the tournament. For example, Indiana is listed at 5/1 to win the title, in order for us to feel comfortable wagering on Indiana they would need to win the tournament 16.7% (which is 1/(1+5)) of the time. We project the Hoosiers to win it all 23.5%, meaning there is value in placing a bet at 5/1 odds.

    Top 3 - Teams with value

    Indiana (27-7, 14-4 Big Ten): opened 7/1 odds

    Current odds: 5/1, Odds needed in order to place a wager: 16.7%

    Indiana wins the tournament 23.5% of the time

    The selection committee’s third overall seed, Indiana might have drawn the easiest path to the Final Four by being placed in the East region. The Hoosiers will contend with one of the weaker two seeds in Miami (10th in our rankings) and an over seeded Marquette (22nd in our rankings). Indiana makes the Final Four 49.8% of the time and is our most likely tournament winner at 23.5%.

    Michigan (26-7, 12-6 Big Ten): opened 20/1 odds

    Current odds: 25/1, Odds needed in order to place a wager: 3.8%

    Michigan wins the tournament 4.4% of the time

    Michigan, while under-seeded as a 4 seed, still drew a favorable path to the Final Four. The South region is headlined by Kansas and Georgetown but it is the three and four seeds, Florida and Michigan, which are more likely to advance out of the region. Trey Burke may be the best player on the court regardless of whom the Wolverines play and usually the team with the best player will win.

    Creighton (27-7, 13-5 MVC): opened 75/1 odds

    Current odds: 100/1, Odds needed in order to place a wager: 1.0%

    Creighton wins the tournament 1.4% of the time

    The recipe for success in the tournament is to either be seeded well or have favorable matchups, the selection committee basically hosed Creighton. The Bluejays are 18th in our Power Rankings, having the 5th most efficient offense in the entire country. As a seven seed Creighton is horribly under-seeded, so that hurts. Then they were placed in the most difficult region. The Midwest has eight teams ranked in our top 25. Nevertheless, Creighton, with Doug McDermott, is still dangerous and at 100/1 they have value. The little engine that could from the Missouri Valley Conference is 6.9% likely to make the Final Four, not bad for a seven seed.

    Top 3 – Teams to avoid

    (Note: We are not saying these teams will not win the tournament (they all have a shot), we are just saying the value has been bet out of them)

    Florida (26-7, 14-4 SEC): opened 40/1 odds

    Current odds: 7/1, Odds needed in order to place a wager: 12.5%

    Florida wins the tournament 7.6% of the time

    We have been on Florida all season, then Vegas started to notice and the Gator’s odds began to go down, then the pollsters started to notice and Florida moved up in the rankings. But then something funny happened, over Florida’s last six regular season games they went 3-3, then they blew a 12-point half time lead to Ole Miss in the SEC tournament. The Gators are now a three seed, we still like them more than most projecting them as the most likely Final Four representative out of the South region, but at 7/1 odds the Gators just do not win the tournament enough to justify a wager.

    Georgetown (25-6, 14-4 Big East): opened 50/1 odds

    Current odds: 20/1, Odds needed in order to place a wager: 4.8%

    Georgetown wins the tournament 1.3% of the time

    There is an old gambling adage, fade the public, this includes many of the “experts” that are on TV as well. Last night I heard numerous pundits picking Georgetown to make a deep tournament run. I would not be surprised if Obama picks them to go deep as well when he does his bracket. Georgetown is only 10.1% likely to represent the South region in the Final Four; they only win the tournament 1.3% of the time. Stay away.

    Kansas (29-5, 14-4 Big 12): opened 18/1 odds

    Current odds: 10/1, Odds needed in order to place a wager: 9.1%

    Kansas wins the tournament 3.6% of the time

    The Jayhawks got a one seed, mostly due to winning the Big 12 tournament but do not forget this is the same team that lost to TCU and got blown out by Baylor 81-58. Kansas is only the third most likely team to make it out of their own region and they only have a 3.6% chance of winning it all. If you feel like I am being unfair to the Jayhawks here are some examples of capable Kansas teams not living up to their potential like against Bucknell, or Northern Iowa, or VCU.

    Below are the odds for each team, preseason and updated, plus odds needed in order to place a wager and our projected odds for each team to win the tournament.

    Team Current Preseason Odds Needed Projected Odds
    Louisville 19/4  8/1 17.4% 16.2%
    Indiana 5/1  7/1 16.7% 23.5%
    Florida 7/1  40/1 12.5% 7.6%
    Gonzaga  10/1  60/1 9.1% 8.9%
    Kansas 10/1  18/1 9.1% 3.6%
    Duke 12/1  20/1 7.7% 6.8%
    Ohio State 16/1  20/1 5.9% 4.8%
    Michigan State 18/1  20/1 5.3% 2.1%
    Georgetown 20/1  50/1 4.8% 1.3%
    Syracuse 22/1  20/1 4.3% 2.5%
    Michigan 25/1  20/1 3.8% 4.4%
    New Mexico 25/1  200/1 3.8% 0.7%
    St. Louis 25/1  100/1 3.8% 0.8%
    Wisconsin 25/1  100/1 3.8% 1.5%
    Pittsburgh 33/1  50/1 2.9% 2.6%
    VCU  40/1  100/1 2.4% 0.8%
    North Carolina 60/1  25/1 1.6% 1.4%
    Arizona 60/1  35/1 1.6% 0.6%
    NC State 60/1  25/1 1.6% 0.6%
    UNLV 60/1  30/1 1.6% 0.2%
    Marquette 66/1  100/1 1.5% 0.8%
    Butler 75/1  100/1 1.3% 0.1%
    Kansas State 75/1  100/1 1.3% 0.3%
    Memphis 75/1  60/1 1.3% 0.1%
    Minnesota 75/1  100/1 1.3% 0.6%
    Missouri 75/1  25/1 1.3% 0.5%
    Oklahoma State 75/1  200/1 1.3% 0.4%
    UCLA 75/1  12/1 1.3% 0.1%
    Creighton 100/1  75/1 1.0% 1.4%
    Notre Dame 100/1  75/1 1.0% 0.4%
    San Diego State 100/1  50/1 1.0% 0.3%
    California 150/1  100/1 0.7% 0.1%
    Colorado 200/1  300/1 0.5% 0.1%
    Colorado State 200/1  300/1 0.5% 0.4%
    Illinois 200/1  100/1 0.5% 0.1%
    Iowa State 200/1  100/1 0.5% 0.4%
    Temple 200/1  100/1 0.5% 0.0%
    Villanova 200/1  100/1 0.5% 0.1%
    Wichita State 200/1  100/1 0.5% 0.1%
    Cincinnati 250/1  75/1 0.4% 0.1%
    Oklahoma 250/1  200/1 0.4% 0.1%
    Oregon 300/1  200/1 0.3% 0.0%
    Davidson 500/1  200/1 0.2% 0.1%
    Harvard 500/1  300/1 0.2% 0.0%
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    Odds to win Regions (03/19/2013)
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