It is that time of the year when the hottest sports action is centered in campus, the 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is scheduled to begin on March 14, 2017, and will conclude with the national championship game on April 3. The NCAA awards 32 automatic bids to the tournament, with the other 36 bids being awarded by the selection committee. Regardless of what happens during the upcoming conference tournaments, several teams have already firmly clinched a postseason berth.
Online sportsbooks have already posted odds on which teams will reach the Final Four, with “yes” or “no” options for eleven of the nation’s best teams. The table below displays the current odds, along with the latest probabilities from bracket simulators.
SCHOOL YES NO BRACKET SIM
North Carolina +200 -260 36.1%
Kansas +230 -310 19.8%
UCLA +230 -310 11.9%
Villanova +240 -320 22.5%
Duke +250 -330 12.2%
Gonzaga +300 -400 49.7%
Oregon +315 -425 13.0%
Kentucky +350 -500 29.6%
Louisville +415 -625 20.4%
Arizona +450 -700 8.9%
Baylor +900 -1800 18.5%
By using this bracket simulator predictions to determine which schools are offering value in the futures market can be made. By converting each school’s future price into an implied probability, you are able to identify several schools with a positive expected value. The bracket simulator also offers probabilities to reach the Final Four, the purpose is to determine which schools were offering the best value.
There’s are several schools with limited value to reach the Final Four (Kentucky +350, Louisville +415 and North Carolina +200) and several with limited value to be eliminated earlier in the tournament (Arizona -700, Kansas -310, Oregon -425 and Villanova -320) but the edge is so small that it’s not actionable. That said, there are four teams with significant value:
Gonzaga (+300) to reach Final Four
UCLA (-310) to miss Final Four
Duke (-330) to miss Final Four
Baylor (+900) to reach Final Four
The NCAA tournament bracket won’t be released until Selection Sunday on March 12, so Joe Lunardi’s weekly Bracketology predictions has been used to determine the tournament field. The one problem with this strategy is that some teams have much easier competition. Although Oregon and Kentucky are both two-seeds, our numbers believe that Kentucky is the far superior team. That gives Gonzaga a much easier path to the Final Four than Kansas.
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If none of the contestants of the Heritage Sports March Millions Contest score the maximum 3,381 points, Heritage Sports will give out 500 prizes to the top scorers. Prizes are listed in this table
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