10,000 NCAA Tournament Simulations Reveal Prop Betting Values
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Earlier this week, the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee revealed its top 16 teams and here are how the country’s best squads stack up:
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) February 11, 2018
Selection Sunday is a month away and there are plenty of games left to be played, but it’s hard to imagine a scenario where one of these teams would play themselves out of the tournament. Projected No. 1 seed Virginia could lose its last four regular season games and get bounced in the first round of the ACC tournament and still have fewer losses than Kentucky (17-9), a current 9-seed.
Which props are offering value?
We can identify schools with positive expected value by converting each team’s future price into an implied probability, then comparing it to our simulations. For example, Villanova is +620 to win the NCAA tournament. In order for us to feel comfortable wagering on the Wildcats, Nova would need to win it all 13.9% (which is 100/(100 + 620)) of the time. Jay Wright’s team is projected to cut down the nets 10.5% of the time, meaning there is no value placing a “yes” bet at +620 odds.
Of the 10 prop bets available (yes and no), only four have value:
- Virginia: Yes +615 (Implied odds: 14.0% | Actual odds: 17.9%)
- Michigan State: No -800 (Implied odds: 88.9% | Actual odds: 91.3%)
- Duke: No -900 (Implied odds: 90.0% | Actual odds: 91.5%)
- Purdue: Yes +850 (Implied odds: 10.5% | Actual odds: 11.7%)
That said, the edges are small. If you are looking to get down on a team, I recommend shopping around for the best price. For example, BetOnline lists Purdue at +1000 rather +850.
Want to run your own bracket simulations? Pick your rating system, set an upset level and press Simulate!
Photo via Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports