NCAA Tournament Futures Odds and Predictions
by Nicholas Tolomeo - 3/16/2011
There are almost as many betting props out there as potential bracket combinations. It can be a little overwhelming sorting through all the potential wagers and all the games and sorting out the best bets for this tournament. Couple that with the countless March Madness brackets you have filled out for your office pool, your dad’s office pool, your roommate’s pool, etc., and the phrase ‘March Madness’ could be used to describe your evolving state of mind this week.
But just because you entered more pools than a lifeguard has doesn’t mean you should neglect other future wagering opportunities in the NCAA Tournament. Here are a few other NCAA Tournament futures odds and predictions.
National Championship Odds
Courtesy of Bodog
Any time you can get a No. 1 seed at 15/2 you should take advantage, especially when that team is as tournament-tested as Pitt. Even better than the Panthers’ March Madness experience is their path to the Final Four. The No. 2 seed in the Southeast is Florida, easily the weaker of the second seeds. The three seed is a weakened BYU team without Brandon Davies. The four and five seeds that could see Pitt in the Sweet 16 are No. 4 Wisconsin and No. 5 Kansas State. Both have a very good shot at losing in the first round to Belmont and Utah State, respectively. Pitt may not be the best No. 1 seed, but they have the best odds and the best path.
North Carolina 20/1
The Tar Heels are in the toughest region by far (East) and they are young and lack tournament experience unless you count their run to the NIT semifinals last year. But this is still North Carolina and this is still a No. 2 seed. Roy Williams has led UNC to the Final Four three out of the last six years where they have won two championships. Even with a potential Sweet 16 showdown with No. 3 Syracuse and top seed Ohio State looming at the top of the region, 20/1 odds are tough to turn down with a two seed, especially North Carolina.
Odds to win Regions
No. 5 West Virginia 22/1
It is not easy to reach the Final Four two years in a row, especially when your top two players graduate and you get placed in the region of death that is the East Region. But West Virginia is an under-looked wild card in this year’s tournament. Their guard play hurts them with turnovers, but they make up for it with tournament experience. Joe Mazzulla has played in more than 150 NCAA basketball games, including 9 NCAA Tournament games over the course of three different tournaments. They also have size with Kevin Jones and John Flowers and they have coach Bob Huggins, who has now taken two teams to the Final Four (West Virginia and Cincinnati).
No. 4 Louisville 5/1
Those aren’t great odds for a No. 4 seed, but there is still value. The oddsmakers are well aware of what Louisville is capable of. This is more of a No. 3 seed, but the Cardinals likely got bumped to No. 4 to avoid a potential early clash with conference rival Notre Dame. Louisville has the easiest path of any No. 4 seed to the Sweet 16 with Morehead State in the first round and either Vanderbilt or Richmond in the second round. After that it is likely Kansas, an underwhelming No. 1 seed with a checkered tournament past. The Cardinals will be heavy favorites in their first two games and after that, anything can happen.
No. 12 Utah State 20/1
Obviously the deck is stacked against any No. 12 seed, especially a mid-major like Utah State who has to play Kansas State in the first round. A No. 12 seed has never reached the Final Four and only one has ever even reached the Elite Eight. But notice the odds. Utah State’s odds to win the Southeast region are 20/1, or to put that in context, they are better than No. 7 UCLA (30/1), No. 8 Butler (50/1) and No. 9 Old Dominion (40/1). They are the same as No. 10 Michigan State and Gonzaga. I’ve never bet on Utah State, but I have learned not to bet against the oddsmakers, and this is simply a case of the oddsmakers knowing something most don’t.
No. 3 Connecticut 9/2
So much has been made of long Big East Tournament runs hurting a team when it comes to March Madness. That didn’t seem to hurt West Virginia last season. The Mountaineers caught fire at Madison Square Garden and rode the wave all the way to the Final Four. Now it is UConn who has caught fire. Just like West Virginia rode DaSean Butler last season, the Huskies are riding Kemba Walker this year. Their region does them a favor too with No. 2 San Diego State on their side of the region, but, of course, No. 1 Duke could be waiting in the Elite Eight.
Doc’s Sports is your home for NCAA Tournament betting information! We have our Main March Madness page HERE where you can find our very popular updated March Madness Brackets, up-to-the-minute March Madness Odds and daily exclusive NCAA Tournament betting articles. If you don’t want to fill out the brackets yourself, be sure to look at Doc’s March Madness Mock Bracket Predictions. Check Doc’s every day until the Final Four for all the information you need to beat your bookie throughout the tournament. Also, if you don’t have the time to do your own homework, Doc has a team of expert college basketball handicappers that are working 24/7 on their March Madness picks and you can get a package from each one through the Final Four for only $199.
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