March Madness Simulations: 2 NCAA Tournament Futures to Bet Right Now

March Madness Simulations: 2 NCAA Tournament Futures to Bet Right Now article feature image

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: The Duke Blue Devils bench reacts

  • The 2019 NCAA Tournament resumes on Thursday with the Sweet 16.
  • Using The Action Network's March Madness simulations, we offer two value bets to make before the Sweet 16 gets underway.

The first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament are in the books. If your favorite team is no longer dancing, you are probably looking for a new squad to back. The best way to have some skin in the game is to place a future bet, but which team in the Sweet 16 is worth a wager?

To find out, we simulated the NCAA Tournament 10,000 times using our Bracket Simulator to see which teams have the best chance of reaching the Final Four and winning the national championship.

To determine if a team is a good bet we looked at its current odds from the Westgate and compared those to our projected probabilities.

Based on the difference between implied probability and projected chance, these are the best bets to make before the Sweet 16 tips:

Final Four Value Bet

Duke is the most likely team to reach the Final Four according to the oddsmakers and our model. Bettors are getting better than even money wagering on the Blue Devils to advance out of the East region, but the real value is with Kentucky.

John Calipari’s team is preparing for a Sweet 16 matchup with 3-seed Houston on Friday, but the status of forward PJ Washington remains unclear. Washington led the team in scoring (14.8 ppg) and rebounding (7.5 rpg) this season and missed the team’s wins over 16-seed Abilene Christian and 7-seed Wofford due to a sprained foot.

If the Kentucky star is able to play the Wildcats are a steal at +250 odds to win the Midwest. According to our numbers, Kentucky is the most likely team to win the region. With a 42.8% chance of getting to the Final Four, the fair odds of the Cats besting Houston and then the North Carolina-Auburn winner would be +134, not +250.

Our numbers assume Washington plays but there is a chance the sophomore rides the pine. Best advice, proceed with caution.

Championship Value Bet

Duke got lucky against UCF. The Blue Devils advanced, but just barely. Now there is doubt about whether the most talented team in the tournament has what it takes to win it all.

Before March Madness began, Duke was +225 to win it all. After a nail-biter in the Round of 32, the team’s odds have shifted from +225 to +300. Usually the odds shrink as a team progresses through the tournament.

It takes six victories to win a national championship. Duke already has two of them and a better price now than before the tournament began. The chalk dominated the first weekend and our model thinks the trend continues through the title game.

While not a huge edge, there is value to bet Duke to win it all.

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