Vegas Odds Update: Duke and Indiana Up, UCLA and Louisville Down…Posted by rtmsf on December 17th, 2012
We’re now five full weeks into the 2012-13 college basketball season, plenty of time to get a read on some of the teams that everyone thought was better or worse than their preseason projections. So how does Las Vegas view it? Check the following list, which shows a number of popular schools with three correlated columns: each school’s preseason odds to win the national title (“Preseason”); its current odds to win the national title (“1st Qtr”); and the plus/minus in the interim. Note that we’ve normalized these odds to add up to 100% so that you’re viewing true odds relative to all of the other teams vying for the title this year. All odds were taken from TheGreek.com.
One other editing note is that these odds were taken and calculated prior to Saturday’s action (i.e., Butler’s upset win over Indiana and Arizona’s win over Florida).
Some QnD analysis…
- Indiana and Duke are clearly the favorites at this point in the season. Combined the Hoosiers and Blue Devils account for 28% of the available odds. In terms of the eye test so far this season, those estimates seem reasonable, as IU hasn’t given us much reason to disbelieve in their team while Duke has certainly shot up with its stellar resume to date.
- The other team that Vegas really likes compared to the start of the season — and keep in mind these odds were calculated prior to Saturday’s action — is Arizona. According to these odds, the Wildcats at 5.8% are the third most likely team to win the national championship next April, ahead of other highly-ranked notables such as Syracuse (2.5%), Ohio State (2.8%), Louisville (3.3%), and Michigan (4.0%).
- Speaking of Louisville, there’s something that Vegas clearly doesn’t like with the Cardinals, as Rick Pitino’s team has experienced the biggest drop in its odds during the first quarter of the season — from 7.2% down to 3.3%. Defensive stalwart Gorgui Dieng injured his wrist, of course, but he should be back at 100% sooner rather than later, and the Cards have mostly lived up to the preseason hype from our general perspective.
- Some other teams whose stocks have dropped significantly from the preseason are UCLA (-3.0%), an obvious choice, but also Kansas (-1.7%), Missouri (-1.5%), and Michigan State (-1.4%). Kentucky has also made a bit of a drop in the first quarter of the season (-1.2%).
- With a limited sample size and teams playing vastly disparate schedules at this point in the season, there’s not a lot of great takeaways here yet. We’ll have a much better sense of who the real title contenders are when we start getting into the heart of the conference season. We’ll do another one of these updates in mid-January.