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    March Value Bets (3/18/2013)

    John Ewing, Director of Research and Analytics
    By John Ewing

    After 50,000 simulations of the most recent Bracketology 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, Florida is listed at 7/1 to win the title, in order for us to feel comfortable wagering on Florida they would need to win the tournament 12.5% (which is 1/(1+7)) of the time. We project the Gators to win it all 10.2%, meaning there is no value in placing a bet at 7/1 odds.

    (Note: It is important to note that college sports are a little different than pro sports because the final field is subjective. We based these bracket simulations off of one recent example from a Bracketology expert. A change in seeding or the teams in a region can greatly impact a team's odds to win the tournament.)

    Top 3 - Teams with value

    Indiana (26-5, 14-4 Big Ten): opened 7/1 odds

    Current odds: 9/2, Odds needed in order to place a wager: 18.2%

    Indiana wins the tournament 24.0% of the time

    Indiana is 9-3 in their last twelve games. They are 8-3 against the RPI Top 25; the Hoosiers have a combined 9-3 record on the road and at neutral sites. Indiana's five losses are against Butler, Wisconsin, @ Illinois, @ Minnesota, and Ohio State, all tournament teams. Indiana is going to get a 1-seed and going into the tournament that is all you can hope for.

    Pittsburgh (24-7, 12-6 Big East): opened 50/1 odds

    Current odds: 40/1, Odds needed in order to place a wager: 2.4%

    Pittsburgh wins the tournament 3.2% of the time

    Pittsburgh has been on a run lately, winners of four in a row and nine of their last twelve. Two of their losses during the run came on the road against Louisville and Marquette, no shame in that. The Panthers share the ball and look to get each other involved ranking 8th in the country in assists per game. They also have the 15th highest field goal percentage at .479.

    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 1.5% of the time

    Creighton is currently a 7-seed, they have wins over tournament bound teams Wisconsin, California, Wichita State, and Akron, plus an additional win over bubble team Arizona State. None of that really matters. The reason why the Bluejays are dangerous is because of Doug McDermott. McDermott is a Wooden Award finalist, he is second in the country in scoring and in basketball having the best player on the court can propel you to a victory.

    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.)

    Duke (27-4, 14-4 ACC): opened 20/1 odds

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

    Duke wins the tournament 9.9% of the time

    Did you know the Blue Devils are undefeated this season when Ryan Kelly is in the lineup? If you have not heard that yet you will be assaulted with it throughout Duke's tournament run. The Dukies are 7-1 against teams in the RPI Top 25, they are 10-2 in their last twelve games and they have done this against the most difficult schedule in the country. But then again they have been known to have letdowns, cough, Lehigh.

    Georgetown (24-5, 14-4 Big East): opened 50/1 odds

    Current odds: 12/1, Odds needed in order to place a wager: 7.7%

    Georgetown wins the tournament 1.2% of the time

    The Hoyas have one of the best players in college basketball in Otto Porter Jr. He can score, rebound, and pass the ball. Outside of Porter the team consists of a bunch of also-ran players. Georgetown ranks 236th in the country in points per game and 250th in rebounding.

    Kansas (26-5, 14-4 Big 12): opened 18/1 odds

    Current odds: 15/1, Odds needed in order to place a wager: 6.3%

    Kansas wins the tournament 2.8% of the time

    Like Georgetown, Kansas has a star in Ben McLemore. Unlike the Hoyas, the Jayhawks are able to combine his talent with the likes of Jeff Withey and Travis Releford to make team capable of a deep tournament run. Then again, we have 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 Preseason 1/14 2/2 3/13 Odds Needed Projected Odds
    Indiana 7/1 6/1 11/2 9/2 18.2% 24%
    Louisville 8/1 8/1 12/1 6/1 14.3% 13.8%
    Kentucky 10/1 12/1 100/1 100/1 1.0% 0.1%
    UCLA 12/1 25/1 50/1 50/1 2.0% 0.1%
    Kansas 18/1 8/1 14/1 15/1 6.3% 2.8%
    Syracuse 20/1 15/1 20/1 25/1 3.8% 1.4%
    Michigan 20/1 7/1 15/2 10/1 9.1% 5.4%
    Michigan State 20/1 40/1 10/1 12/1 7.7% 2.5%
    Ohio State 20/1 25/1 30/1 20/1 4.8% 3.3%
    Duke 20/1 6/1 9/1 5/1 16.7% 9.9%
    North Carolina 25/1 40/1 75/1 60/1 1.6% 0.3%
    Missouri 25/1 40/1 75/1 100/1 1.0% 0.7%
    North Carolina State 25/1 30/1 40/1 60/1 1.6% 0.4%
    UNLV 30/1 40/1 66/1 100/1 1.0% 0.1%
    Arizona 35/1 10/1 20/1 40/1 2.4% 0.5%
    Florida 40/1 10/1 5/1 7/1 12.5% 10.2%
    Georgetown 50/1 100/1 60/1 12/1 7.7% 1.2%
    San Diego State 50/1 50/1 100/1 200/1 0.5% 0.0%
    Pittsburgh 50/1 100/1 40/1 40/1 2.4% 3.2%
    Memphis 60/1 100/1 100/1 100/1 1.0% 0.1%
    Gonzaga 60/1 18/1 12/1 10/1 9.1% 9.1%
    Creighton 75/1 30/1 66/1 100/1 1.0% 1.5%
    Notre Dame 75/1 60/1 75/1 100/1 1.0% 0.4%
    Cincinnati 75/1 40/1 50/1 1000/1 0.1% 0.1%
    Wisconsin 100/1 100/1 50/1 60/1 1.6% 1.2%
    Kansas State 100/1 100/1 60/1 50/1 2.0% 0.3%
    St. Louis 100/1 200/1 100/1 30/1 3.2% 0.3%
    California 100/1 500/1 150/1 200/1 0.5% 0.0%
    VCU 100/1 100/1 50/1 75/1 1.3% 0.5%
    Minnesota 100/1 25/1 60/1 75/1 1.3% 0.4%
    Virginia 100/1 500/1 150/1 500/1 0.2% 0.1%
    Marquette 100/1 200/1 60/1 75/1 1.3% 0.6%
    Iowa State 100/1 500/1 200/1 500/1 0.2% 0.4%
    St. Johns 100/1 500/1 1000/1 1000/1 0.1% 0.3%
    Temple 100/1 300/1 1000/1 300/1 0.3% 0.1%
    Villanova 100/1 500/1 250/1 300/1 0.3% 0.0%
    Illinois 100/1 50/1 100/1 200/1 0.5% 0.1%
    Stanford 100/1 500/1 500/1 1000/1 0.1% 0.0%
    Wichita State 100/1 100/1 150/1 200/1 0.5% 0.1%
    Butler 100/1 60/1 40/1 100/1 1.0% 0.0%
    Oklahoma State 200/1 75/1 50/1 50/1 2.0% 0.5%
    New Mexico 200/1 150/1 50/1 30/1 3.2% 0.4%
    Oklahoma 200/1 500/1 200/1 300/1 0.3% 0.2%
    Oregon 200/1 300/1 75/1 200/1 0.5% 0.0%
    Davidson 200/1 500/1 500/1 500/1 0.2% 0.0%
    Colorado 300/1 300/1 150/1 200/1 0.5% 0.0%
    Harvard 300/1 500/1 1000/1 1000/1 0.1% 0.0%
    Colorado State 300/1 500/1 75/1 100/1 1.0% 0.6%
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