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    Sweet 16 Value (03/24/15)

    By John Ewing Director of Research and Analytics @johnewing
    Finding value in the Sweet Sixteen odds, plus updated odds for each team to win the NCAA Tournament. Odds courtesy of

    Your bracket is likely busted as there were nine upsets by seed in the opening weekend of the NCAA Tournament including major upsets with No. 14 seeds UAB and Georgia State defeating No. 3 seeds Iowa State and Baylor. Also gone from the tournament are top contenders Villanova, Virginia and Kansas.

    Below we look for value in the odds to win the 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship as well as the odds to win each region. We utilize our updated Bracket Odds to find the likelihood of a given team cutting down the nets.

    To determine if a team has value we look at what their current odds are to win the NCAA Tournament and compare that to our projected odds that they cut down the nets in Indianapolis. For example, Arizona is listed at 13/2 to win the title, in order for us to feel comfortable wagering on the Wildcats they would need to cut down the nets 13.3% (which is 2/(2+13)) of the time. We project Arizona to win it all 13.8% of the time, meaning there is value in placing a bet at 13/2 odds.

    NCAA Championship Value Bets

    Wisconsin Badgers
    Current odds: 8/1, Chance needed in order to place a wagers: 11.1%
    Wisconsin wins the tournament 15.0% of the time

    The Badgers are back in the Sweet Sixteen and looking for a return trip to the Final Four. Wisconsin will be a hard out with one of the best offenses in the country. In its first two games of the tournament Frank Kaminsky, Sam Dekker and Nigel Hayes combined to score 109 points.

    Gonzaga Bulldogs
    Current odds: 12/1, Chance needed in order to place a wagers: 7.7%
    Gonzaga wins the tournament 8.7% of the time

    Gonzaga has advanced to the Sweet Sixteen for the first time since 2009. The Bulldogs championship odds have more than doubled since the start of the tournament, mostly due to an easier path to the Final Four when potential Sweet Sixteen opponent Iowa State was eliminated. The Zags are greater than 80% likely to beat UCLA, a team they already beat on the road 87-74 earlier this season.

    NCAA Tournament Odds

    Team (seed) Odds Proj. Chance Proj. Chance Needed
    Kentucky #1 1/1 45.7% 50.0%
    Arizona #2 13/2 13.8% 13.3%
    Duke #1 8/1 10.2% 11.1%
    Wisconsin #1 8/1 15.0% 11.1%
    Gonzaga #2 12/1 8.7% 7.7%
    Michigan State #7 14/1 1.2% 6.7%
    Utah #5 20/1 1.8% 4.8%
    Louisville #4 25/1 0.2% 3.8%
    Oklahoma #3 25/1 1.2% 3.8%
    North Carolina #4 33/1 0.2% 2.9%
    Notre Dame #3 33/1 1.5% 2.9%
    Wichita State #7 33/1 0.2% 2.9%
    NC State #8 50/1 0.2% 2.0%
    UCLA #11 100/1 0.1% 1.0%
    West Virginia #5 100/1 0.0% 1.0%
    Xavier #6 100/1 0.0% 1.0%

    Regional Value Bets

    Kentucky Wildcats
    Current odds: 1/4, Odds needed in order to place a wager: 80.0%
    Kentucky advances to the Final Four 85.3% of the time

    The Wildcats took another step toward 40-0 and becoming the first undefeated team since Indiana in 1975-76. A championship seems likely but a Final Four trip is inevitable. Kentucky is the only team that is greater than 50% likely to advance to Indianapolis.

    Oklahoma Sooners
    Current odds: 12/5, Odds needed in order to place a wager: 29.4%
    Oklahoma advances to the Final Four 35.3% of the time

    Oklahoma advanced to the Sweet Sixteen for the first time since 2009 when Blake Griffin was still on campus. The Sooners are slight underdogs to Michigan State but if Oklahoma can edge the Spartans they will get a winnable game against either Louisville or NC State for the right to represent the East Region in the Final Four.

    Other teams with value: Wisconsin and Gonzaga.

    Region Team (seed) Odds Proj. Chance Proj. Chance Needed
    Midwest Kentucky #1 1/4 85.3% 80.0%
    Midwest Notre Dame #3 7/1 10.3% 12.5%
    Midwest Wichita State #7 7/1 3.4% 12.5%
    Midwest West Virginia #5 18/1 0.9% 5.3%
    West Arizona #2 5/6 49.6% 54.5%
    West Wisconsin #1 3/2 45.9% 40.0%
    West North Carolina #4 8/1 3.2% 11.1%
    West Xavier #6 18/1 1.3% 5.3%
    South Duke #1 3/2 38.5% 40.0%
    South Gonzaga #2 3/2 41.9% 40.0%
    South Utah #5 3/1 16.0% 25.0%
    South UCLA #11 14/1 3.6% 6.7%
    East Michigan State #7 7/4 30.6% 36.4%
    East Louisville #4 12/5 21.0% 29.4%
    East Oklahoma #3 12/5 35.3% 29.4%
    East NC State #8 6/1 13.0% 14.3%

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    Final Four Value (04/01/15)
    March Value (03/16/15)
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