March Value (02/10/15)

By John Ewing Director of Research and Analytics @johnewing
Utilizing our most recent Bracket Analysis, we find value in March Madness futures. Odds courtesy of Bovada.lv.



To determine if a team has value we look at what their current odds are to win March Madness and compare that to our projected odds that they win the National Championship. For example, Villanova is listed at 25/1 to win the National Championship, in order for us to feel comfortable wagering on the Wildcats they would need to win it all 3.8% (which is 1/(1+25)) of the time. We project Villanova to win it all 4.4% of the time, meaning there is value in placing a bet at 25/1 odds.

Utah Runnin' Utes

Current odds: 25/1, Odds needed in order to place a wager: 3.8%
Utah wins the tournament 4.9% of the time

The Utes are a team that the general public and the oddsmakers continue to undervalue. Utah is seventh in our Power Rankings and one of just six teams to be in the top 25 in both offensive and defensive efficiency.

Utah has a decided advantage that many other teams do not, actual NBA talent. Senior Delon Wright is averaging 14.2 points, 4.5 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 2.1 steals per game. Wright is 25/1 to win the Player of the Year Award, the seventh best odds.

Baylor Bears

Current odds: 100/1, Odds needed in order to place a wager: 1.0%
Baylor wins the tournament 2.0% of the time

What would March Madness be without a longshot making a deep run in the tournament? Last year's Cinderella and eventual champion, UConn, shocked the world winning it all as a seventh seed. Before the tournament began the Huskies had less than a one percent chance to win it all.

It's called a longshot for a reason. It would be improbable for Baylor to win it all but the Bears are more than 50% likely to reach the Sweet Sixteen and have a double-digit chance of reaching the Final Four. Stranger things have happened.

Kentucky Wildcats

Current odds: 11/10, Odds needed in order to place a wager: 47.6%
Kentucky wins the tournament 29.7% of the time

Kentucky is undefeated and a deserved overall number one seed. While the Wildcats may be the best team in college basketball, betting them at nearly even money to win an unpredictable tournament is crazy.

We are not saying Coach Cal's team will not win the tournament (they have the best odds), we are just saying the value has been bet out of them.

Below are the odds for each team with at least a one percent or greater chance to win the NCAA Tournament. Click here to see the odds for all teams.

Team Odds Odds Needed Proj. Odds
Kentucky 11/10 47.6% 29.7%
Wisconsin 9/1 10.0% 10.2%
Gonzaga 9/1 10.0% 9.8%
Virginia 8/1 11.1% 9.7%
Arizona 12/1 7.7% 6.1%
Duke 8/1 11.1% 5.9%
Utah 25/1 3.8% 4.9%
Villanova 25/1 3.8% 4.4%
Oklahoma 40/1 2.4% 2.5%
Baylor 100/1 1.0% 2.0%
Kansas 22/1 4.3% 1.8%
Notre Dame 20/1 4.8% 1.7%
Louisville 25/1 3.8% 1.7%
UNC 33/1 2.9% 1.6%
Iowa St. 66/1 1.5% 1.2%