There are an almost endless amount of ways to bet on this year's NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, and Bovada is contributing to the cause with some special team props that will test the confidence level in your picks.
Since I am already feeling pretty good about my bracket, I am going to tackle a pair of these props with picks that offer the best value in the betting odds. I also added a bonus pick on the number of buzzer-beating victories in this year's Big Dance.
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Will a No. 1 Seed Win the 2016 NCAA Men's Championship?
The Kansas Jayhawks come into this year's NCAA Tournament as the overall top seed, and Bovada has them listed as +550 second-favorites to win it all this year. The next best odds for a No. 1 seed to win go to North Carolina at +650, followed by Virginia at +1200 and Oregon at +1400.
Also in the mix is Michigan State (No. 2 seed in the Midwest) as the top favorite at +525 and Kentucky (No. 4 in the East) as a +1000 fourth-favorite to win the national title. Oklahoma is the No. 2 seed in the West, and its odds to win are set at +1200, and joining Oregon at +1400 is Villanova as the No. 2 seed in the South Region.
The betting odds that one of these four No. 1 seeds does go on and win the 2016 national title are set at +120 for "yes" and -160 for "no".
While there is a logjam of teams at the top of the list to win this year's NCAA Tournament, I still love the value in the betting odds of going with a No. 1 seed to end up in the top spot. My personal pick of North Carolina winning it all may be a bit biased given my affinity with the ACC, but when you add a red-hot Kansas team to the mix I really like my chances to cash in on this prop.
How Many No. 1 Seeds will Advance to the Final Four?
Bovada has set the "over/under" for this prop at 1.5, with the betting odds on the over set at +110 and the moneyline for the under listed at -150.
For many of the same reasons I am going with a "yes" in the first prop, I will take the added value in these odds with a play on "over" in this prop. While I am not sold on Oregon or Virginia surviving the gauntlet both teams will have to face in their respective regions to make it all the way to the Final Four, I do believe that Kansas and North Carolina are firmly on a collision course to meet in the 2016 National Championship Game.
The Jayhawks in the Big 12 and the Tar Heels in the ACC completed a successful sweep of both the regular-season title and the tournament title in two of the most competitive conferences in college basketball this season. While anything can happen in a single-elimination contest, Kansas is riding a 14-game winning streak into this tournament, and North Carolina got past the likes of Duke on the road and Virginia in the ACC Tournament title game during its current five-game run to lock up the No. 1 seed in the East.
Riding a hot hand has proven to be a viable betting strategy for picking winners in this tournament in the past, and I am going with that theory again with the "over 1.5" in this prop pick.
Bonus Prop Pick- How Many Games Will be Won on a Buzzer-Beating Shot?
Buzzer-beating victories have been woven into the history of the NCAA Tournament over the years. And while there are bound to be more in the future, the betting question for this year's Big Dance is how many will take place over the course of the next few weeks?
Bovada has set the betting odds at -150 that there will not be any buzzer beaters in this year's tournament. The betting line for one is set at +220, followed by odds of +700 for two, +1200 for three, +2000 for four, +4000 for five and +5000 for six or more.
It is hard to rely on past trends in this category since a buzzer beater is a highly unpredictable event, but when it comes to finding the best value in this prop I would have to lean towards the +220 betting odds that we will see at least one game end on a last-second shot in this year's tournament. We have already seen our fair share of upsets, close calls and dramatic finishes during the regular season. And in the recent Big Ten Tournament, Michigan up ended favored Indiana on a three-point shot with .02 seconds left on the clock.
Technically, there has to be no time left on the clock when the shot goes in to be considered a buzzer beater, but I think some team in this year's field has one of the plays up their sleeve to help me cash in on this prop.
Read more articles by Dave Schwab
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