2016 March Madness: Which Sweet 16 Teams Are Being Underrated by Oddsmakers?

Last week in this space we utilized our bracket simulator predictions to determine which schools were offering value in the futures market. By converting each school’s championship futures into an implied probability, we were able to find three schools with a positive expected value: West Virginia (+3000), Texas A&M (+4000) and Virginia (+1200).

Although West Virginia fell to Stephen F. Austin in one of the tournament’s most surprising upsets, Virginia and Texas A&M both advanced to the Sweet 16. By winning two consecutive games and reaching the tournament’s second weekend, the Cavaliers’ odds of winning the national championship jumped from +1200 to +575 while the Aggies moved from +4000 to +2000.

The table below displays the future movement for all 16 remaining teams.

Team Current Pre-Tournament
North Carolina +360 +500
Kansas +420 +500
Virginia +575 +1200
Oklahoma +800 +1500
Oregon +1200 +1500
Villanova +1250 +1200
Duke +1800 +1800
Indiana +1800 +3500
Texas A&M +2000 +4000
Gonzaga +2200 +10000
Miami Florida +2300 +3000
Iowa State +2800 +4000
Maryland +3000 +3000
Wisconsin +3300 +6500
Notre Dame +4500 +5000
Syracuse +5000 +20000

Virginia clearly benefitted from Michigan State’s shocking loss to Middle Tennessee State, which according to our historical database, ranks as the second biggest NCAA Tournament upset. With the Spartans eliminated, Virginia’s path to the Final Four becomes significantly easier.

It was also interesting to see that after the opening weekend our bracket simulator gives Virginia the second highest probability of winning the championship (15.5%) while oddsmakers give them the third highest probability (14.81%). This indicates that there is still slight value on Virginia, but probably not enough to warrant a new wager.

On the flip side, Texas A&M is no longer offering value after moving from +4000 to +2000. According to the probabilities from our bracket simulator, the Aggies should be listed at +2280 and the Cavs should be listed at +545. We should also point out that our value picks do account for the -120 juice being charged at 5Dimes.

The table below compares the current futures and implied probabilities at 5Dimes with the probabilities from our bracket simulator. Any values of above “1” indicate positive expected returns.

Team Seed Probability 5Dimes (3/21) Implied Odds Value
Villanova 2 12.30% 1250 7.41% 1.66
Virginia 1 15.50% 575 14.81% 1.05
Gonzaga 11 4.50% 2200 4.35% 1.04
Iowa State 4 3.60% 2800 3.45% 1.04
Indiana 5 4.80% 1800 5.26% 0.91
Texas A&M 3 4.20% 2000 4.76% 0.88
Duke 4 4.20% 1800 5.26% 0.80
Miami Florida 3 3.30% 2300 4.17% 0.79
North Carolina 1 17.00% 360 21.74% 0.78
Kansas 1 14.10% 420 19.23% 0.73
Maryland 5 2.10% 3000 3.23% 0.65
Notre Dame 6 1.40% 4500 2.17% 0.64
Oklahoma 2 6.70% 800 11.11% 0.60
Oregon 1 4.00% 1200 7.69% 0.52
Syracuse 10 1.00% 5000 1.96% 0.51
Wisconsin 7 1.30% 3300 2.94% 0.44

Our research indicates that aside from Virginia there are three additional schools offering value in the futures market: Villanova (+1250), Gonzaga (+2200) and Iowa State (+2800). Although the Bulldogs and Cyclones are offering very limited value, our model shows a massive opportunity for the Wildcats. Based on our bracket simulator results, Villanova should be listed at +713, not +1250. Furthermore, our results indicate that Villanova is the fourth best team remaining while oddsmakers rank them as the sixth best team.

As always, we strongly encourage everybody to shop for the best line before betting any of these futures. Ideally bettors should have access to three sportsbooks: one sharp (like CRIS or the Greek), one square (like Bovada, SIA or Sportsbook.com) and one reduced juice (like Pinnacle or 5Dimes). Some of the better available lines are Gonzaga +2800 (Bovada) and Iowa State +3006 (Bookmaker).

North Carolina ranks as the consensus number one team, however, they are still being vastly overpriced. Unless you can find the Tar Heels listed at +488 or longer, bettors should lay off entirely.

The first round of the tournament proved that the Pac-12 was arguably the weakest major conference, and our analysis seems to confirm that fact. According to our research, Oregon should be listed at +2400 instead of +1200. In fact, there appears to be slight value on anybody but Oregon winning the championship at -1750, although I typically avoid laying that type of money.

This season our college basketball Best Bets have gone 177-138 ATS with +24.8 units won. That includes a 10-5 ATS record over the past week. These picks are exclusively available to our Sportsbook Insider Pro subscribers, so make sure to sign up for an extended 7-day trial. Schedule a one-on-one demo and we’ll tack on four additional days for free!

Bettors should also be sure to visit our free college basketball odds page for the latest lines, injuries, public betting trends and more.

Have any questions for the staff at Sports Insights? Utilize our live chat to speak with a customer service representative or e-mail us at help@sportsinsights.com.

David Solar is the Content Manager for Sports Insights and can be reached directly at David@SportsInsights.com

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David Solar

David Solar has been the Content Manager at Sports Insights for over four years. He specializes in sports betting analytics and has created several popular data-driven betting systems. He can be reached directly at david@sportsinsights.com or on twitter at @TheDavidSolar.

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