Overvalued and Undervalued College Basketball Futures

Overvalued and Undervalued College Basketball Futures

Last season we introduced a bracket simulator for March Madness which allowed users to view the implied winning percentage for every matchup in the tournament. However, in the past year we have made a number of improvements to the simulator including additional sources for our rating system, the ability to toggle the number of upsets in each bracket, and a matchup tool allowing users to compare any two teams.

Using this data, we ran one million simulations to determine the probability for each team to win the national championship (along with their odds of reaching the Sweet 16, Elite Eight and Final Four). We then compared these probabilities with the implied odds for each team to win the national championship in order to determine which College Basketball futures were offering value.

Our research revealed that Kentucky has a 34.6% probability of winning the National Championship, which is nearly three times higher than their second best competitor (Wisconsin at 10.6%). However, Kentucky is currently listed as a +120 favorite at the market-setting 5Dimes sportsbook with the field listed at -140. That means that the implied odds of a team other than Kentucky winning the title are 58.33%.

Our bracket simulator indicates that the odds of a team other than Kentucky cutting down the nets at 65.4%, meaning that “the field” should actually be listed at -189. Coach Calipari’s team is clearly the favorite to win it all, but the public is clearly overvaluing the Wildcats which has created value on the field.

The list below compares the current 5Dimes futures with our estimation for their implied odds. Note: The implied odds do not account for juice.


  1. Kentucky +120 | Should be +189
  2. Duke +975 | Should be +1233
  3. Iowa State +3900 | Should be +7042
  4. Kansas +4700 | Should be +9900


  1. Gonzaga +1925 | Should be +1269
  2. Virginia +1450 | Should be +1062
  3. Wisconsin +925 | Should be +843
  4. Villanova +975 | Should be +930
David Solar

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

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