March Madness best future bets for teams to reach Sweet 16 and Final Four of men’s NCAA Tournament

GettyImages 2011899005

The field is set, meaning March Madness is officially upon us. The NCAA Tournament begins this week, beginning on Tuesday night with the First Four in Dayton, Ohio. There will be 67 games played over the next three weeks. While many across the country will be filling out (multiple) brackets, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the madness via the futures market at your favorite sportsbook.

Most sportsbooks will offer odds to win it all, reach the Final Four, and make the Sweet 16, so I’ll focus on those. There may be some Elite Eight odds, so be sure to compare those odds or message me on X/Twitter (@amock419) if you have any questions.

What’s my process, you ask? Well, if you’ve followed me for any time over the years, you must be aware that I create models to project outcomes of various sports. College basketball is one of those sports. I take a barrage of metrics, adjust them for the opponent, and boom, out comes a projection for each team on how likely they are to win a game against an average opponent. How does that translate to the NCAA Tournament? From there, I set up the bracket and simulate the tournament — all 67 of those games — one million times to get my projected odds. With this method, I can have odds for how likely it is for every team to reach each round of the tournament.

But enough of that, let’s talk about my strategy. I’m strictly going off my projected chances versus the book’s odds so it’s a simple process to find my edge. But when it comes to building out a portfolio, sometimes I may reduce risk on some bets if I have multiple bets on a team. For example, I have three bets on Tennessee this year. I could risk more on them to reach the Final Four, but considering I also have them to reach the Sweet 16 and to win it all, I reduced that bet. Or maybe it’s because I’m terrified of being on a Rick Barnes team in March as recent history has not been favorable to Barnes’ teams.

As always, please shop around at various sportsbooks as prices can vary and every penny counts.

Odds are from BetMGM. Find the best ticket deals on StubHub to see your favorite team.

Best bet to win the NCAA Tournament

Heading into the tournament, Tennessee ranks 17th in offensive efficiency and third in defensive efficiency per my opponent-adjusted metrics. That’s good for the third-best team in the country behind UConn and Purdue. Usually I don’t love backing defensive-minded teams in the tournament, but Tennessee has a “bucket-getter” in Dalton Knecht that I think will pay dividends in March. Knecht led the SEC in scoring this year at 21.1 points per game and shot 39.7 percent from distance. He is a high-usage player that scores at a high rate while not turning the ball over. Without Knecht to lean on, I’m not sure I’m very fond of this Tennessee pick. But I think he’s the missing piece that Barnes and this Volunteer program needs to get over the hump in March.

Best bets to reach Final Four

  • Tennessee +350 (risk 0.25 units)
  • Saint Mary’s +1600 (risk 0.1 units)
  • Gonzaga +1400 (risk 0.1 units)
  • Michigan State +2200 (risk 0.1 units)
  • Nevada +3000 (risk 0.1 units)
  • McNeese +10000 (risk 0.1 units)
  • Texas Tech +2000 (risk 0.1 units)
  • Drake +5000 (risk 0.1 units)
  • New Mexico +2500 (risk 0.1 units)

Best bets to reach Sweet 16

  • McNeese State +850 (risk 0.1 units)
  • Drake +575 (risk 0.25 units)
  • Tennessee -210 (to win 1 unit)
  • College of Charleston +1400 (risk 0.1 units)
  • Oregon +450 (risk 0.25 units)
  • Saint Mary’s +150 (risk 0.5 units)
  • Nevada +475 (risk 0.1 units)
  • Colgate +1900 (risk 0.1 units)
  • New Mexico +250 (risk 0.1 units)
  • UAB +2500 (risk 0.1 units)
  • Michigan State +275 (risk 0.25 units)
  • Morehead State +1800 (risk 0.1 units)

(Photo of Rick Barnes: Wesley Hitt / Getty Images)

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top