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    Region Value Bets (03/18/14)

    John Ewing, Director of Research and Analytics, @johnewing
    By John Ewing
    After 50,000 simulations of the 2014 NCAA Tournament using the Bracket Simulator, we find value in the March Madness future odds. Odds courtesy of

    To determine if a team has value we look at what their current odds are to win the region and compare that to our projected odds that they reach the Final Four. For example, Wichita State is listed at 4/1 to win the Midwest, in order for us to feel comfortable wagering on the Shockers they would need to win the region 20.0% (which is 1/(1+ 4)) of the time. We project the Wichita State to advance to the Final Four 20.1%, meaning there is slight value in placing a bet at 4/1 odds.

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    East Region
    Harvard (26-4, 13-1 Ivy)
    Odds: 50/1, Odds needed in order to place a wager: 2.0%
    Harvard wins the region 2.5% of the time
    Everyone loves a long shot but Harvard is not your typical Cinderella. This will be the Crimson’s third straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Harvard upset New Mexico as a 14-seed last year. It is unlikely that Cincinnati, Harvard’s opening round opponent, or any other school will take the Ivy League Champion lightly. Vegas sure isn’t, the Crimson are only 2.5 point underdogs as a 12-seed this year in the opening round. 
    Midwest Region
    Michigan (25-8, 15-3 Big Ten)
    Odds: 11/2, Odds needed in order to place a wager: 15.4%
    Michigan wins the region 17.7% of the time
    It is easy to forget about Michigan. The Wolverines lost the Big Ten Championship in unceremonious fashion and drew the 2-seed in the Region of Death. Conversely, there isn’t much separating the Maize and Blue from the region favorites: Louisville, Duke, and Wichita State. You could do a lot worse than backing one of the most offensively efficient teams in the country.
    Additional Teams with Value: Wichita State
    South Region
    Ohio State (25-9, 10-8 Big Ten)
    Odds: 14/1, Odds needed in order to place a wager: 6.7%
    Ohio State wins the region 8.3% of the time
    The Buckeyes have had an up and down season, to say the least. Ohio State lost five of six games in January including at home vs. Penn State but then turned around to win six of their next seven games including on the road at Wisconsin. The Buckeyes are a streaky squad, if Ohio State gets consistent play on the offensive side of the court, this is a team that could march to the Final Four.

    Additional Teams with Value: VCU, UCLA, Stanford, Dayton
    West Region
    Gonzaga (28-6, 15-3 WCC)
    Odds: 18/1, Odds needed in order to place a wager: 5.3%
    Gonzaga wins the region 5.8% of the time
    Could the Bulldogs be underrated again? For years, Gonzaga played the role of Cinderella each March culminating in a No. 1 seed last year. The Bulldogs were not locks to make this year’s tournament until winning the WCC tournament title. The Bulldogs will be a hard out with a top 15 defense.

    Additional Teams with Value: Creighton, Baylor, Oregon, North Dakota State
    Below are the odds for the teams with at least a 1.0% chance of winning the their respective region, plus the odds needed in order to place a wager and our projected odds for each team to advance to the Final Four.

    Region Team Odds Odds Needed Projected Odds
    East  Michigan St. 9/4 30.8% 25.30%
    East  Virginia 3/1 25.0% 24.50%
    East  Villanova 15/4 21.1% 15.30%
    East  Iowa St. 6/1 14.3% 8.20%
    East  UNC 14/1 6.7% 5.60%
    East  UCONN 16/1 5.9% 5.30%
    East  Cincinnati 18/1 5.3% 4.00%
    East  Memphis 25/1 3.8% 1.80%
    East  Providence 33/1 2.9% 2.80%
    East  G. Wash. 50/1 2.0% 1.80%
    East  Harvard 50/1 2.0% 2.50%
    East  St. Joe's 50/1 2.0% 1.80%
    Midwest  Louisville 8/5 38.5% 22.60%
    Midwest  Duke 7/2 22.2% 19.10%
    Midwest  Wichita St. 4/1 20.0% 20.10%
    Midwest  Michigan 11/2 15.4% 17.70%
    Midwest  Kentucky 12/1 7.7% 4.60%
    Midwest  St. Louis 20/1 4.8% 2.30%
    Midwest  Tennessee 25/1 3.8% 3.40%
    Midwest  Iowa 25/1 3.8% 1.80%
    Midwest  Kansas St. 33/1 2.9% 1.10%
    Midwest  Texas 33/1 2.9% 1.80%
    Midwest  Mass. 40/1 2.4% 1.20%
    Midwest  Arizona St. 50/1 2.0% 1.60%
    Midwest  Manhattan 75/1 1.3% 1.00%
    South  Florida 8/5 38.5% 30.60%
    South  Kansas 4/1 20.0% 9.80%
    South  Syracuse 11/2 15.4% 8.70%
    South  VCU 9/1 10.0% 11.30%
    South  UCLA 10/1 9.1% 9.60%
    South  New Mexico 12/1 7.7% 6.80%
    South  Pittsburgh 14/1 6.7% 6.60%
    South  Ohio State 14/1 6.7% 8.30%
    South  Stanford 40/1 2.4% 2.60%
    South  Dayton 50/1 2.0% 2.00%
    South  Tulsa 66/1 1.5% 1.40%
    West  Arizona 9/5 35.7% 17.90%
    West  Creighton 17/4 19.0% 19.70%
    West  Wisconsin 17/4 19.0% 14.80%
    West  San Diego St. 10/1 9.1% 8.70%
    West  Oklahoma St. 12/1 7.7% 5.70%
    West  Baylor 14/1 6.7% 7.00%
    West  Oregon 14/1 6.7% 7.00%
    West  Oklahoma 16/1 5.9% 5.70%
    West  Gonzaga 18/1 5.3% 5.80%
    West  Nebraska 40/1 2.4% 2.00%
    West  ND St. 50/1 2.0% 2.30%
    West  New Mexico St. 50/1 2.0% 1.40%
    West  BYU 66/1 1.5% 1.00%
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