March Futures (02/13/14)

By John Ewing
Utilizing our most recent Bracket Analysis and the Bracket Simulator, we find value in March Madness futures. Odds courtesy of

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, Iowa is listed at 33/1 to win the national title; in order for us to feel comfortable wagering on the Hawkeyes they would need to win it all 2.9% (which is 1/(1+33)) of the time. We project Iowa to win it all 4.2% of the time, meaning there is value in placing a bet at 33/1 odds.
Top 3 - Teams with value
Creighton (19-4, 9-2 Big East)
Current odds: 33/1, Odds needed in order to place a wager: 2.9%
Creighton wins the tournament 10.5% of the time
We are not going to take credit for it but last week Creighton was listed at 50/1 to win the national championship. Then we published our Bracket Analysis which projected the Bluejays to win it all, now their odds are down to 33/1 - just saying.
Duke (19-5, 8-3 ACC)
Current odds: 8/1, Odds needed in order to place a wager: 11.1%
Duke wins the tournament 12.9% of the time
The Dukies have won seven of their last eight games and look like a comfortable 2-seed. If the Blue Devils can maintain this level of play they will likely get to play the sub-regionals (Rounds 2 and 3) in their own backyard (Raleigh).
Villanova (22-2, 10-1 Big East)
Current odds: 25/1, Odds needed in order to place a wager: 3.8%
Villanova wins the tournament 5.3% of the time
Nova has marquee wins over Kansas and Iowa with no bad losses on their resume. The Wildcats are currently No. 6 in the AP Top 25; a couple losses by the teams in front of them could propel Villanova to a No. 1 seed.
Additional teams with value: Iowa, Virginia, Pittsburgh, Tennessee and Oklahoma
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 (22-2, 11-0 SEC)
Current odds: 6/1, Odds needed in order to place a wager: 14.3%
Florida wins the tournament 3.8% of the time

The Gators are a seemingly impressive 11-0 in conference play but the goose egg in the loss column starts to lose its shine when you take a closer look at the conference as a whole. There are more SEC teams outside the top 100 in RPI (6) than inside the top 50 (4). Florida has played the 67th toughest schedule
Syracuse (24-0, 11-0 ACC)
Current odds: 6/1, Odds needed in order to place a wager: 14.3%
Syracuse wins the tournament 7.5% of the time
While we only give the Orange a 4.8% chance to finish the regular season undefeated, this is a very talented team that can go far in the tournament. There just isn’t any value in betting them at 6/1.
Kansas (18-6, 9-2 Big 12)
Current odds: 15/2, Odds needed in order to place a wager: 11.8%
Kansas wins the tournament 5.3% of the time
Lets keep this simple. Remember what can happen when Kansas is given a top seed - Bucknell, Northern Iowa, and VCU.

Below are the current odds for each team to win the NCAA tournament.

Team NCAA Odds Odds Needed Projected Odds
 Duke 8/1 11.1% 12.90%
 Creighton 33/1 2.9% 10.50%
 Arizona 7/1 12.5% 8.70%
 Syracuse 6/1 14.3% 7.50%
 Villanova 25/1 3.8% 5.30%
 Kansas 15/2 11.8% 5.30%
 Iowa 33/1 2.9% 4.20%
 Virginia 25/1 3.8% 4.10%
 Wichita St. 14/1 6.7% 3.90%
 Florida 6/1 14.3% 3.80%
 Michigan 20/1 4.8% 3.70%
 Louisville 14/1 6.7% 3.40%
 Kentucky 12/1 7.7% 2.60%
 Michigan St. 15/2 11.8% 2.60%
 Wisconsin 33/1 2.9% 2.10%
 Ohio State 40/1 2.4% 2.10%
 Pittsburgh 66/1 1.5% 1.80%
 San Diego St. 25/1 3.8% 1.60%
 St. Louis 40/1 2.4% 1.50%
 Iowa St. 33/1 2.9% 1.40%
 UCLA 66/1 1.5% 1.20%
 Tennessee 150/1 0.7% 0.90%
 Cincinnati 33/1 2.9% 0.80%
 Oklahoma 150/1 0.7% 0.70%
 Oklahoma St. 40/1 2.4% 0.60%
 UCONN 66/1 1.5% 0.60%
 UNC 66/1 1.5% 0.40%
 Texas 40/1 2.4% 0.20%