2017 College Basketball Futures Offering Value (Part 2)

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 future price into an implied probability, we were able to find several schools with a positive expected value including Florida (+4000), Louisville (+1700) and Gonzaga (+1000). In the past week, all three of those schools have seen their odds to win the championship improve, and many readers have asked whether that previously mentioned value still exists.

For anybody unfamiliar with our bracket simulator, it combines information from our historical database along with data from well-respected basketball sources including ESPN, Ken Pomeroy, and Jeff Sagarin. Although the actual tournament bracket won’t be released until Selection Sunday, we are able to use Joe Lunardi’s weekly Bracketology predictions throughout the regular season.

After importing these Bracketology predictions, we run 10,000 simulations to determine the probability for each team to win the national championship. By comparing these probabilities with the implied odds for each team to win the national championship, I’m able to determine which futures are offering a positive expected value. This becomes more complicated with lower seeds since there’s no guarantee they make the tournaments, but it provides an excellent overview of which teams are being overvalued and undervalued.

The table below compares the implied probabilities at 5Dimes and The Greek with the probabilities from our bracket simulator. Any values of above “1” indicate positive expected returns. This only represents two offshore sportsbooks, and we always encourage bettors to shop for the best line before placing a wager.

School Probability 5Dimes 5Dimes Implied 5Dimes Value Greek Greek Implied Greek Value
Gonzaga 22.9% 650 13.33% 1.7175 800 11.11% 2.061
Louisville 10.4% 1500 6.25% 1.664 1200 7.69% 1.352
West Virginia 7.9% 2000 4.76% 1.659 2000 4.76% 1.659
Florida 6.2% 2500 3.85% 1.612 2500 3.85% 1.612
Virginia 7.7% 1800 5.26% 1.463 2500 3.85% 2.002
SMU 1.5% 8000 1.23% 1.215 12500 0.79% 1.89
Wichita State 1.2% 10000 0.99% 1.212 15000 0.66% 1.812
Baylor 5.3% 2000 4.76% 1.113 3000 3.23% 1.643
Minnesota 0.2% 50000 0.20% 1.002 50000 0.20% 1.002
Purdue 2.1% 4000 2.44% 0.861 3000 3.23% 0.651
Villanova 7.0% 1000 9.09% 0.77 800 11.11% 0.63
Creighton 1.1% 6500 1.52% 0.726 6500 1.52% 0.726
Kentucky 5.3% 1200 7.69% 0.689 800 11.11% 0.477
Iowa State 0.4% 15000 0.66% 0.604 12500 0.79% 0.504
Oklahoma State 0.3% 20000 0.50% 0.603 30000 0.33% 0.903
Wisconsin 2.0% 2500 3.85% 0.52 2500 3.85% 0.52
TCU 0.1% 50000 0.20% 0.501 N/A N/A N/A
Saint Marys CA 0.6% 8000 1.23% 0.486 12500 0.79% 0.756
North Carolina 3.6% 1100 8.33% 0.432 800 11.11% 0.324
Cincinnati 0.8% 5000 1.96% 0.408 5000 1.96% 0.408
South Carolina 0.4% 10000 0.99% 0.404 7500 1.32% 0.304
Northwestern 0.2% 20000 0.50% 0.402 N/A N/A N/A
Kansas 3.9% 850 10.53% 0.3705 800 11.11% 0.351
Dayton 0.1% 35000 0.28% 0.351 20000 0.50% 0.201
Notre Dame 0.4% 8000 1.23% 0.324 5000 1.96% 0.204
Butler 0.4% 7500 1.32% 0.304 8000 1.23% 0.324
Florida State 1.6% 1800 5.26% 0.304 3000 3.23% 0.496
California 0.1% 30000 0.33% 0.301 50000 0.20% 0.501
Miami Florida 0.1% 30000 0.33% 0.301 25000 0.40% 0.251
Duke 2.3% 1200 7.69% 0.299 800 11.11% 0.207
Oregon 1.6% 1600 5.88% 0.272 1200 7.69% 0.208
Kansas State 0.1% 22500 0.44% 0.226 25000 0.40% 0.251
Michigan 0.1% 20000 0.50% 0.201 12500 0.79% 0.126
Arizona 1.1% 1300 7.14% 0.154 1000 9.09% 0.121
UCLA 1.0% 1000 9.09% 0.11 800 11.11% 0.09
Xavier 0.1% 8000 1.23% 0.081 10000 0.99% 0.101
Maryland 0.1% 4000 2.44% 0.041 3500 2.78% 0.036

Based on these simulations, there are eight schools offering value at both sportsbooks. That said, the odds for five of these teams are significantly more favorable at The Greek. It’s also worth noting that although Bookmaker recently took their college basketball futures down, they were offering better prices on West Virginia (+2600), Florida (+2900) and Baylor (+3150) on Thursday evening.

Additionally, the odds for nearly every team here — with the exception of West Virginia, who blew a huge lead against Kansas earlier in the week — have dropped since the last analysis. Despite these shorter odds, the following teams are still offering value:

*Indicates best price

5Dimes Values

  • Gonzaga (+900 to +650)
  • *Louisville (+1700 to +1500)
  • West Virginia (+1800 to +2000)
  • Florida (+4000 to +2500)
  • Virginia (+1900 to +1800)
  • SMU (+15000 to +8000)
  • Wichita State (+15000 to +10000)
  • Baylor (+2200 to +2000)

Greek Values

  • *Gonzaga (+1000 to +800)
  • *Virginia (+3000 to +2500)
  • *SMU (+12500 to +12500)
  • *Wichita State (Unchanged at >+15,000)
  • West Virginia (Unchanged at +2,000)
  • *Baylor (+3500 to +3000)
  • Florida (+4000 to +2500)
  • Louisville (Unchanged at +1200)

Technically Minnesota (+50000) qualifies as a value play, however, I didn’t feel comfortable including them in this analysis. They’re hardly a lock to make the tournament based on their current record (18-7, 6-6 Big Ten) and their difficult upcoming schedule. Even if there’s a 90% chance they make the tournament, that would be enough to change their expected value from positive to negative.

It’s interesting to note that all of these teams were offering value when I did this analysis last week with the exception of SMU (+12,500). That’s because their probability of winning the national championship improved from 0.66% to 1.5% while their implied probability at The Greek has remained 0.79%. The Mustangs have largely flown under the radar this season despite their impressive record (22-4, 12-1 AAC) and current eight-game winning streak. Furthermore, Duke-transfer Semi Ojeleye (18.2 PPG, 6.7 RPG) may be one of the more underrated players in the country.

Joe Lunardi releases his updated Bracketology projections every Monday morning, so make sure to check back for the latest bracket simulations and undervalued futures.

Our college basketball Best Bets have gone 165-149 (52.54%) with +3.96 units won this season and 1,034-855 (54.74%) with +92 units won since the start of the 2011 season. These picks are exclusively available to our Sportsbook Insider Pro subscribers, so make sure to sign up for a 4-day trial. Members also receive real-time odds, public betting trends, money percentages and much 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.

 

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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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