NCAA Championship and Final Four Simulations

NCAA Championship and Final Four Simulations

Before the start of the NCAA Tournament, we used research and analysis from our bracket simulator to determine which futures were offering bettors value. Our ultimate conclusion was that Kentucky was being overvalued at +120 and that bettors should be taking the field. We also pinpointed Gonzaga (+1925) as the most undervalued team in the tournament.

We’ve now seen the field whittled down to just sixteen, and we wanted to know what type of impact the opening week of the tournament has had on the futures market. Although in our previous edition we focused solely on Championship futures, this time we also wanted to compare our bracket simulator results with Final Four odds.

The table below compares the current futures and implied odds at Bovada with our bracket simulator analysis. Note: Our simulator results are based on one million simulations.

TeamOddsImplied OddsSimDiffFinal FourImplied OddsSimDiff
Michigan State14006.67%2.60%-4.07%16038.46%27.40%-11.06%
Notre Dame33002.94%1.60%-1.34%70012.50%11.40%-1.10%
Wichita State33002.94%1.80%-1.14%70012.50%10.80%-1.70%
North Carolina40002.44%1.40%-1.04%80011.11%11.80%0.69%
NC State50001.96%0.50%-1.46%50016.67%13.70%-2.97%
West Virginia100000.99%0.30%-0.69%18005.26%4.90%-0.36%

Our research reveals that although Kentucky’s probability to win the title moved from 34.6% to 38.5%, the value is still on taking the field at -120 That’s because -120 equates with an implied probability of 54.55% which is still slightly lower than 61.5% chance we give the field of winning the title.

It’s worth noting that there were three schools offering value to bettors, although not enough to warrant an endorsement. Those teams include:

  1. Gonzaga +1200 | Should be +843
  2. Arizona +650 | Should be +589
  3. Utah +2500 | Should be +2280

When examining Final Four odds, there are five teams offering value although only two (Louisville and Utah) are off by more than one percent. These teams include:

  1. Louisville +260 | Should be +223
  2. Utah +400 | Should be +338
  3. Gonzaga +150 | Should be +144
  4. North Carolina +800 | Should be +747
  5. Oklahoma +260 | Should be +255

It’s interesting to see that this list features two teams apiece from the East Region and South Region, while there are no teams offering value in the Kentucky led Midwest Region. This would seem to indicate that oddsmakers and analysts agree that the only teams capable of knocking off the Wildcats will be playing in the Final Four or National Championship game.

One fascinating aspect to monitor is that our bracket simulator believes that Gonzaga has the highest probability to advance from the South Region — not Duke. Although our simulator gives Duke a 50.2% chance of winning in a head-to-head matchup, the Bulldogs are an 8.5-point favorite against UCLA (81.6% on bracket simulator) while the Blue Devils are favored by just 5.5 against Utah (57.3% on bracket simulator).

Getting ready for the Sweet 16 and Elite 8? Make sure to bookmark out free College Basketball odds page for the latest lines and public betting trends.

David Solar

David was the Content Manager at Sports Insights. He has since moved on to greener pastures.

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