Vegas Odds to Win It All: Quarterly ReviewPosted by rtmsf on December 14th, 2010
Now that we’re a solid month-plus into the season, we have a much better idea about which teams have the best chance to cut down the nets in Houston next April. Whether measuring statistically through the Pomeroy ratings or the traditional way through our own two eyes, it doesn’t take much to know that, as an example, Connecticut is a lot better than everyone expected and North Carolina is a lot worse. At least at this point in the season. Luckily, Vegas has been keeping its watchful eye on the college basketball season as well, and the bookmakers have adjusted their futures lines accordingly. Some of the results may surprise you.
We’ve presented the schools who have risen and fallen the most (greater than 1% since preseason) below, but if you’re interested in the entire list and our thoughts on these changes, click for it after the jump.
Some Thoughts (Complete List Below).
- Duke Still a Huge Favorite. Ok, we understand Ohio State, Kansas, UConn, Syracuse and even Washington going up in value, but Duke? With the news that Kyrie Irving might possibly be out of commission for the rest of the year? Bizarre. Our only thought to explain that anomaly is that Vegas is running behind on updating its futures, but as we’ve said before, these guys are in the business of making money and rarely is anything left to chance. They’re essentially saying that the Blue Devils would win the title once every four times it’s played, a pretty phenomenal rate considering the number of contenders this season and the knockout format of the Big Dance.
- If Not Duke, Then OSU or Kansas. The three co-favorites account for a huge swath of the available odds, and this generally makes sense. Out of what we’ve seen so far this year, these three teams have more strengths and fewer weaknesses than anybody else on the list. Once you get beyond those squads, you’re basically taking a flyer on a team that you hope solves some core issues in time to make a run at the title in March. This would include teams like Kentucky, Kansas State, Syracuse, Georgetown, etc.
- What Does Vegas Know About Illinois, Louisville & Texas? If anything given their early season performance compared to what was expected from them this year, you probably expected to see these three teams as risers on the above list (especially the Cards and Horns). Yet they all fell in value. Perhaps they were overvalued based on name-brand recognition in the preseason and Vegas corrected based on their actual talent; or perhaps they’re trying to sucker people into wagering on what they feel are three paper tigers?
- Kentucky, Washington & Wisconsin Get More Credit Than They Deserve. At least based on the existing evidence. Each team already has two or more losses, and although none has a “bad” loss on their record, the best win among the trio is Kentucky’s victory over Washington in Maui. After that, it’s Wisconsin’s over Marquette, while Washington has yet to beat anyone of consequence. Still, all three rank in the top ten of the Pomeroy ratings and the math is telling Vegas something that these eyes aren’t yet seeing.
- Anyone Who Thinks Oregon, Texas Tech or Wake Forest Has Any Shot At All Should Be Imprisoned. For stupidity. That is all. Seriously, just light your money on fire if you think there is any possible scenario that one of these three teams makes a run at the championship.
We’ll try to update this again in mid-January as conference play starts to heat up. By then we should really have a good sense as to who the contenders and pretenders are. See you then!