Vegas Odds – Preseason Check-In

Posted by rtmsf on November 2nd, 2008

You may recall that during the summer – after the NBA Draft was completed and team rosters were essentially set – we did a quick check-in with Vegas futures odds on the winner of the 2009 National Championship.  There were no surprises – Carolina was a clear #1, but now that we’re in the preseason and season start is just over a week away, we thought it would make sense to do another check-in to determine if the futures market has seen fit to make any changes.  Comments after the table…



  • As you can see, the AP Poll and the futures market don’t seem to correlate much outside of the #1 Tar Heels.  If you believe the pollsters know what they’re doing (a fair argument given last year’s top four teams making the F4), then there is tremendous value in grabbing UConn, Louisville, UCLA, Pitt, and a few other top teams.  In fact, if you leave UNC off your card, and instead you take the AP #2 through #15 teams plus the field, you would have a great shot at winning something back if the Heels should falter along the way. 
  • Only 14 of the 59 teams listed sustained a change since July 29, which may represent a market inefficiency or a general lack of interest during the offseason, we’re not sure which.  Of the 14, only four (UNC, Tennessee, Pittsburgh and Marquette) showed an uptick.  The other ten, which includes UConn, Florida, Kentucky, Kansas, Ohio St., Notre Dame, Arizona St., BC, Kansas St. and Stanford, all fell in value. 
  • Are SEC East brethren Florida and Tennessee really getting that much action to justify their odds at +1200?  Unranked Ohio St. at +1500?  Team Turmoil Arizona at +3000?  Can we short these numbers?  On the other end, Gonzaga at +4000, Baylor and Washington at +6000, Wake Forest at +8000?  With the talent on those teams, why not take a bender on any or all of them?
  • One bet we sure wouldn’t take – Indiana, even if you gave us a million to one odds.  Isiah Thomas and Quinn Buckner aren’t walking through that door for Tom Crean and Kyle Taber.
  • If we were filling out a card, we might be intrigued by UConn, Notre Dame, Michigan St., Gonzaga and Wake Forest at those numbers.  Just sayin…

We’ll continue tracking this table throughout the season.

rtmsf (3954 Posts)

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3 responses to “Vegas Odds – Preseason Check-In”

  1. This comes with the caveat that I speak hypothetically because sports gambling would be a gigantic conflict of interest given what I do now and my prior involvement with several collegiate programs…

    But Wake +8000? Geez. That would definitely be worth a flier.

    UCLA is undervalued too. Howland still doesn’t get the credit he deserves (likely because he’s a West Coast coach). His teams are generally painful to watch given their style of play, but they are always built well to make a run in the NCAA Tournament.

  2. rtmsf says:

    Hypothetically, of course, no kidding on UCLA. I’m still not sure how they’re going to replace Love, but in 06 and 07 the Bruins didn’t have him and still made the F4 anyway. With the right matchup, they could definitely win it all this year.

  3. smoothron says:

    Wake is obviously the best bet on the board, if you’re looking for a longshot. Their freshmen are all studs and should be peaking in March.

    Vegas obviously preys on Kentucky’s rabid, sometimes blind fanbase. There are people in the state who think they will win the National Title regardless of the product actually being put on the court.

    UConn at +1400 is pretty intriguing as well.

    If Hansbrough’s shin stays ‘reacted’ for a longer period of time than expected, this could be very interesting.

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