Vegas Odds to Win the National Title

Posted by rtmsf on March 23rd, 2011

Sixteen teams with visions of glory dancing through their heads.  But only one can be left standing twelve days from now at around 11:30 pm ET on the hardwood court at Reliant Stadium in Houston.  Everyone has their own opinions on which teams will remain after this coming weekend and those most likely to ultimately cut the nets down, but we here at RTC are always interested in knowing what the people who make it their job to set gambling markets have to say. 

Everybody’s Angling to Play Here on Monday Night

To that end, here’s what one online sportsbook has to say about the odds for each of the sixteen remaining teams to win the national title.  We’ll have a few brief comments after the table (note: the arrows represent how the odds are trending, where up is more of a favorite, down is less of one).

Some QnD Thoughts:

  • We’ve been tracking the odds this week and it’s interesting that Duke is dropping even with the news that Kyrie Irving will play significant minutes and there’s a reasonable expectation that he could make the Blue Devils a much more dangerous team quickly.  The oddsmakers are also boffo on Florida State this week, as they’ve risen a full percentage point over the past couple of days (that may not seem like much, but in the world of futures, it’s a significant increase). 
  • The top three teams are #1 seeds and obvious favorites, but things start to break down a little bit after the first two #2 seeds, SDSU and FloridaNorth Carolina is behind a couple of #4 seeds, Kentucky and Wisconsin, while #3 BYU is getting worse odds than #10 Florida State!  Did the Seminoles just sign Sam Cassell or something over the last couple of days?
  • It’s somewhat surprising to see #8 Butler so low after knocking off #1 Pittsburgh and of course the distinct memory of how close the Bulldogs came last year to cutting the nets down.  Last year isn’t this year, of course, but many of the same players are there, and so is Brad Stevens; furthermore, with games against #4 Wisconsin and/or #2 Florida/#3 BYU, there’s nobody in that region with the ability to simply overwhelm BU.
  • We think #12 Richmond at the bottom of the odds may in fact be a better team than #11 Marquette and #11 VCU, but those two teams don’t have to play top-seed Kansas in the Sweet Sixteen.  This indicates that there’s probably as much weight given to the path in front of a team as there is to its actual record, seeding and historical performance from this season.
  • Speaking of which, #5 Arizona is the third-lowest team on this list, and not all that much higher than Richmond!  This must have a lot to do with the fact that, according to the odds, three of the six most likely teams to win the title are located in the West Region along with the Wildcats.
  • If you normalize the odds to equal 100%, then according to the oddsmakers, the three #1 seeds have a roughly 61% chance to win it all.  The rest of the field correspondingly has a 39% chance.  We’re just not sure that the #1 seeds are that much better than the rest of the field this year.  If you’re looking for value, it might be worth a look at those #2-#4 seeds. 
rtmsf (3998 Posts)

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