Big upsets have little impact on NCAAB futures odds

Feb 8, 2013 |
Big upsets have little impact on NCAAB futures odds
Illinois' upset over Indiana won't shake the NCAA futures that much.
Photo By - USA Today Sports
Illinois' upset over Indiana won't shake the NCAA futures that much.
Photo By - USA Today Sports
If the volatile state of college basketball is any indication, hoop heads are in for one wild March.

Top-ranked teams are dropping like drunken freshmen at a kegger, most recently No. 1 Indiana’s loss to Illinois Thursday night. That 74-72 defeat marked the fifth straight week the top team in the country has fallen.

But while the foundation of the Top 25 polls crumble, sportsbook stay pat when it comes to the NCAA futures odds. Top teams, which started the season atop the futures board, remain among the favorites to win the national championship despite a trying conference calendar.

“We adjust according to perception, performance and where the action is,” Peter Korner, founder of Nevada-based odds service The Sports Club, told Covers. “Even if a top team is getting beat but getting bet, you still have top odds on them.”

Indiana, the preseason No. 1, opened the schedule at +700 to win the NCAA tournament. The Hoosiers enter the weekend as a +600 futures favorite with a game against No. 10 Ohio State Sunday.

Kansas, last week’s No. 1 in the Coaches Poll, is +1,400 down from its opening of +2,000 despite an upset loss to TCU this week. Duke, which topped the poll in Week 12 of the season, is sitting at +700 after opening at +1,800. Louisville, the No. 1 team in Week 11, is +1,200 to win the NCAA after opening at +1,000.

“It’s been another topsy-turvy season for the No. 1 spot,” Aron Black of, told Covers. “But the top of the market is still fairly similar. I think by now people should see that it’s not such a big deal to lose as a No. 1.”

That’s not to say there hasn’t been significant movement outside of those top-tier programs. Teams like Miami, Gonzaga, North Carolina and Kentucky have jumped up and down the futures board since the start of the schedule.

The Hurricanes and Bulldogs both opened at +5,000 to win the NCAA but are now +1,800 and +1,600 respectively. The Tar Heels entered the season at +1,000 and are now +5,000 and the Wildcats have moved as far as +700 to +2,000, taking a 16-6 record into the weekend.

As for the rest of the contenders, the incredible amount of parity showing up during conference play gives added value to those teams routinely showing among the Top 25. Oddsmakers are excited about the unpredictable nature of the NCAA heading into the biggest betting stretch of the year.

“It’s not a year where you can only look at about four or five teams. This season, I would say there are a good 12 to 15 teams that could win it all,” says Black. “March Madness looks like it will be some tourney to watch. The best value in North American sports for entertainment is the NCAA tournament.”

Here’s a look at the current NCAA tournament futures odds:

Duke Blue Devils +700
Indiana Hoosiers +600
Michigan Wolverines +1000
Louisville Cardinals +1200
Florida Gators +700
Syracuse Orange +1600
Arizona Wildcats +1600
Kansas Jayhawks +1400
North Carolina State Wolfpack +1800
Kentucky Wildcats +2000
Ohio State Buckeyes +2000
Missouri Tigers +5000
UNLV Rebels +2500
Creighton Bluejays +2500
Michigan State Spartans +2500
Georgetown Hoyas +3300
Cincinnati Bearcats +3300
UCLA Bruins +3300
Gonzaga Bulldogs +2500
North Carolina Tar Heels +3300
Pittsburgh Panthers +5000
Wisconsin Badgers +5000
San Diego State Aztecs +5000
Illinois Fighting Illini +5000
Oklahoma Sooners +5000
Baylor Bears +5000
Memphis Tigers +5000
Minnesota Golden Gophers +5000
Notre Dame Fighting Irish +6600
Texas A&M Aggies +6600
Oklahoma State Cowboys +6600
Florida State Seminoles +6600
Miami Hurricanes +2000
Kansas State Wildcats +8000
California-Berkeley Golden Bears +8000
Marquette Golden Eagles +8000
St. John's Red Storm +8000
Butler Bulldogs +6600
Maryland Terrapins +8000
Colorado Buffaloes +8000
Texas Longhorns +10000
Tennessee Volunteers +10000
Alabama Crimson Tide +10000
Washington Huskies +10000
Stanford Cardinal +10000
Oregon Ducks +10000
New Mexico Lobos +6600
Murray State Racers +10000
Virginia Commonwealth Rams +12500
Wichita State Shockers +12500
Brigham Young Cougars +12500
Saint Louis Billikens +15000
Seton Hall Pirates +15000
West Virginia Mountaineers +15000
Villanova Wildcats +15000
Xavier Musketeers +15000
Iowa Hawkeyes +15000
Clemson Tigers +15000
Vanderbilt Commodores +20000
Virginia Cavaliers +20000
Saint Joseph's Hawks +20000
Temple Owls +20000
LSU Tigers +20000
Belmont Bruins +20000
Ohio Bobcats +25000
Arkansas Razorbacks +25000
Purdue Boilermakers +25000
Ole Miss Rebels +5000
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets +25000
Virginia Tech Hokies +25000
Colorado State Rams +25000
Georgia Bulldogs +30000
Providence Friars +35000
Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles +35000
Saint Mary's Cal Gaels +35000
Rutgers Scarlet Knights +35000
Drexel Dragons +50000
USC Trojans +50000
South Carolina Gamecocks +50000
Mississippi State Bulldogs +75000

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