Which College Basketball Futures Are Offering Value?

Before releasing our March Madness Bracket Simulator earlier this month, we posted an article detailing which College Basketball futures were being overvalued and which teams were good buys for opportunistic bettors. Our ultimate conclusion was that although Kentucky was undoubtedly the best team in the country, their future price was simply too expensive.

After running one million simulations, Kentucky was crowned the National Champion 27.2% of the time. However, that implied probability correlated with a future price of +267 — not the -115 that was being offered at 5Dimes.

One team that jumped out was the Virginia Cavaliers who won the championship in 18.1% of our simulations, but whose future price equated to an implied probability of just 11.76%. That would indicate that Virginia should have been listed at +452 instead of +750.

Although Kentucky still remains undefeated, a lot has changed in the College Basketball landscape over the past month. Despite an undefeated record over the past month, Virginia’s title futures have slipped from +750 to +1000 while their odds of winning the title on our bracket simulator have slipped from 18.1% to 14.3%.

Even with both of these figures curiously dropping, the +5.21% difference between our simulator projections for Virginia and their 5Dimes futures remains the highest of any team in the nation.

It’s also interesting to note that one month ago, there were nine teams that were offering value on the futures market. That number has now dropped to just four teams with Virginia (+1,000), Villanova (+2,000), Gonzaga (+1,500) and Arizona (+1,800). Gonzaga is the only new addition to this list, while we’ve seen major line movement for the other six teams.

  1. Oklahoma: +7,500 to +5,500
  2. Butler: +75,000 to +6,600
  3. Northern Iowa: +17,500 to +4,000
  4. Xavier: +125,000 to +25,000
  5. Wichita State: +10,000 to +7,000
  6. Georgetown: +30,000 to +10,000

It would seem that both Butler and Xavier were both accidentally mispriced by the sportsbook with oddsmakers tacking an extra zero onto Butler’s price and forgetting a one before Xavier’s odds. There were likely bets placed on the other four teams, leading to shorter odds.

The table below uses the current College Basketball Futures from 5Dimes to produce an implied probability of winning the title. We then compared those implied probabilities with our own simulation results to determine which teams were offering value in the futures market, and which should be avoided.

Team Odds Implied Odds Probability Difference
Virginia 1000 9.09% 14.30% 5.21%
Villanova 2000 4.76% 8.60% 3.84%
Gonzaga 1500 6.25% 9.40% 3.15%
Arizona 1800 5.26% 8.30% 3.04%
Seton Hall 500000 0.02% 0.00% -0.02%
Michigan 500000 0.02% 0.00% -0.02%
Memphis 500000 0.02% 0.00% -0.02%
Georgia Tech 500000 0.02% 0.00% -0.02%
UTEP 485000 0.02% 0.00% -0.02%
UNLV 500000 0.02% 0.00% -0.02%
Wake Forest 500000 0.02% 0.00% -0.02%
California 500000 0.02% 0.00% -0.02%
Vanderbilt 500000 0.02% 0.00% -0.02%
Alabama 500000 0.02% 0.00% -0.02%
Creighton 500000 0.02% 0.00% -0.02%
Clemson 500000 0.02% 0.00% -0.02%
Florida State 300000 0.03% 0.00% -0.03%
Massachusetts 200000 0.05% 0.00% -0.05%
Louisiana Tech 200000 0.05% 0.00% -0.05%
Florida 100000 0.10% 0.00% -0.10%
Iowa 50000 0.20% 0.10% -0.10%
Minnesota 100000 0.10% 0.00% -0.10%
Cincinnati 50000 0.20% 0.00% -0.20%
Xavier 25000 0.40% 0.20% -0.20%
Harvard 50000 0.20% 0.00% -0.20%
Oregon 50000 0.20% 0.00% -0.20%
Dayton 50000 0.20% 0.00% -0.20%
Murray State 50000 0.20% 0.00% -0.20%
Texas A&M 50000 0.20% 0.00% -0.20%
New Mexico State 47500 0.21% 0.00% -0.21%
LSU 30000 0.33% 0.10% -0.23%
Mississippi 30000 0.33% 0.10% -0.23%
Georgia 30000 0.33% 0.10% -0.23%
San Diego State 30000 0.33% 0.10% -0.23%
Connecticut 40000 0.25% 0.00% -0.25%
UCLA 40000 0.25% 0.00% -0.25%
Purdue 30000 0.33% 0.00% -0.33%
Illinois 30000 0.33% 0.00% -0.33%
Baylor 6600 1.49% 1.10% -0.39%
Pittsburgh 25000 0.40% 0.00% -0.40%
VCU 25000 0.40% 0.00% -0.40%
Oklahoma State 25000 0.40% 0.00% -0.40%
St. John's 25000 0.40% 0.00% -0.40%
Utah 2500 3.85% 3.40% -0.45%
Texas 17500 0.57% 0.10% -0.47%
Michigan State 10000 0.99% 0.50% -0.49%
BYU 20000 0.50% 0.00% -0.50%
Kansas 3300 2.94% 2.40% -0.54%
Georgetown 10000 0.99% 0.40% -0.59%
Oklahoma 5500 1.79% 1.20% -0.59%
Wichita State 7000 1.41% 0.80% -0.61%
Providence 15000 0.66% 0.00% -0.66%
Colorado State 15000 0.66% 0.00% -0.66%
Stanford 12500 0.79% 0.00% -0.79%
SMU 10000 0.99% 0.10% -0.89%
West Virginia 6600 1.49% 0.60% -0.89%
Miami Florida 10000 0.99% 0.00% -0.99%
Indiana 10000 0.99% 0.00% -0.99%
NC State 9000 1.10% 0.10% -1.00%
Arkansas 8500 1.16% 0.10% -1.06%
Butler 6600 1.49% 0.30% -1.19%
Louisville 4000 2.44% 1.00% -1.44%
Northern Iowa 4000 2.44% 1.00% -1.44%
Maryland 5000 1.96% 0.30% -1.66%
Ohio State 4000 2.44% 0.40% -2.04%
Iowa State 3300 2.94% 0.70% -2.24%
Notre Dame 3300 2.94% 0.50% -2.44%
North Carolina 2800 3.45% 0.50% -2.95%
Duke 1000 9.09% 5.90% -3.19%
Wisconsin 650 13.33% 6.60% -6.73%
Kentucky -115 53.49% 30.3% -23.19%

Kentucky (28-0), who has only three games left on their schedule before the SEC tournament, is currently listed at +180 at Sportsbook.com to win the National Championship with their undefeated record still intact. Other vastly overpriced teams include:

  1. Wisconsin (+650)
  2. Duke (+1,000)
  3. North Carolina (+2,800)
  4. Notre Dame (+3,300)
  5. Iowa State (+3,300)

Bettors can view the latest College Basketball odds and trends at our free NCAAB odds page, but we’re also curious about your opinion. Will you be betting any futures? Are we overlooking any teams? Please leave your thoughts and comments in the section below.

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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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