Major Conference Market Prices

With Oddsmaker Nick Bogdanovich


I promised last week that I'd put together some market prices for you in college basketball. That series of reports begins today with a look at the six "major" conferences (the BCS conferences from football). I'll come back again Friday morning to look at the six mid-major conferences who are involved in the Bracket Buster games Friday and Saturday. Then, a Sunday morning report will run the numbers from any conferences who have been left out to that point.

The numbers you're about to see today represent an assessment of how the MARKET is currently rating college teams. These aren't my personal Power Ratings. I use those for my work as Sportsbook Director and Oddsmaker for Cal-Neva, and as a handicapper for you! I have to protect that information as best I can. They will strike you as similar in style and presentation to many of the computer ratings you see out there. The only difference is that they represent more of a "Wisdom of the Crowds" amalgam of opinions rather than one computer formula.

I think most of these will come very near the numbers you'll see on the board tonight and through the weekend. There may be some differences of course because of injuries, unique schedule situations, or possible steam effects on game day if big money professional wagerers decide to come in strong on one team. As I mentioned the other day, I think it's very important for YOU to have a sense of how the market rates teams so you can look for edges. In terms of your pesonal handicapping, it's YOU AGAINST THE MARKET! Know your enemy.

I'll present the six majors in alphabetical order. The higher the number, the better the team. To project a line for a game, add in 4 or 4.5 points for home court advantage, then compare the ratings.

Duke 93
North Carolina 88
Maryland 85
Virginia Tech 84
Clemson 84
Florida State 83
Miami 79
NC State 79
Boston College 78
Georgia Tech 76
Virginia 75
Wake Forest 68

Duke is way ahead of the field this year. North Carolina has made a nice run lately. Wake Forest may be the worst ACC team I've seen in years. I should mention here that some handicappers will add in a half a point or a point for revenge. I personally don't do that. Though, I might make an adjustment in a game if a top team has revenge over a weak opponent. The majority (but not all) conference games from this point forward will be revenge games. It's my view that revenge will hardly matter in any of them. It will matter A LOT in a handful. 

Pittsburgh 93
Villanova 89
Georgetown 88
Syracuse 88
Notre Dame 87
Connecticut 87
West Virginia 87
Louisville 86
Marquette 86
St. John's 85
Cincinnati 84
Providence 81
Seton Hall 81
Rutgers 79
South Florida 76
DePaul 73

What a great conference! If they don't beat each other up too bad, the Big East is likely to be a big force in March. I like what I'm seeing from St. John's lately. They have a big game with Pitt this weekend. They've already defeated Duke from the ACC at MSG. Lines are going to be tight when any of those teams from 84-89 play each other.

Ohio State 93
Wisconsin 90
Purdue 89
Illinois 85
Michigan State 85
Minnesota 84
Michigan 82
Northwestern 81
Penn State 80
Indiana 80
Iowa 77

Nice depth here. The market has a lot of respect for the Big Ten. I have to say that, up and down, I'm less impressed now than I was a few weeks ago when conference play started. We won't know for sure how the Big Ten stacks up to other leagues until the postseason. It could be that everyone's a point or two too high compared to teams in this range from other conferences. But, the market is influenced by the computer types...and the computers like the Big Ten this year.

Kansas 92
Texas 91
Missouri 87
Kansas State 84
Texas A&M 84
Baylor 84
Colorado 82
Nebraska 81
Oklahoma State 80
Iowa State 78
Oklahoma 76
Texas Tech 74

Even though Texas beat Kansas in Lawrence, and even though Kansas just lost to Kansas State, my read is that the market still rates them better than Texas. We'll have to see this weekend if the market punishes Kansas for that poor showing on Big Monday. Remember, we're not evaluating the teams with these numbers. We're assessing how the market is rating teams. Kansas has been getting more respect in the market this year than Texas (and the Horns are 15-5 ATS as a result!).

Washington 87
Arizona 86
Washington State 79
USC 78
Oregon 78
California 77
Stanford 77
Arizona State 75
Oregon State 73

This conference has been giving everyone headaches all year. Washington has some great home results, but got swept by the Oregon schools. USC has a win over Texas, but can't get anything going consistently in league play. It wouldn't shock me if the market jumbles everyone in that 77-81 range between now and the end of the season. The teams are erratic, and the market is doing its best to chase everyone down. You might think it odd that Arizona State doesn't rank last at 1-11 straight up. They SHOULD. But the market has been giving them surprising respect. The Sun Devils are 7-14 ATS for the year as a result. Remember, we're looking for market mistakes when we study the market. Arizona State looks to be on that list.

Kentucky 87
Florida 85
Tennessee 84
Vanderbilt 84
Alabama 83
Georgia 82
Mississippi 80
Arkansas 77
South Carolina 74
Mississippi State 73
LSU 70
Auburn 66

People are saying it's a down year in the SEC because Kentucky isn't quite a superpower any more. That's a nice hunk of teams right behind Kentucky. I wouldn't be surprised if somebody in that group got hot in the Big Dance and made a good run. The difference between 88 and 85 isn't that much on a netural court when teams blow so hot and cold on three-pointers. And, there aren't a lot of teams at 88 or higher at this point anyway.

That's it for today's look at the "big six" conferences. I'll run numbers for the six regular board conferences involved in the Bracket Busters when we get together again Friday morning. Sunday's report will cover everyone that's left.

I hope to update these periodically down the stretch, and then pay close attention to market prices during the tournaments. We'll probably do some combination articles in the tourneys looking at what the sharps are thinking as that relates to market prices.

As an oddsmaker, handicapper, and big bettor, I need to cover college hoops from every angle. I'm grateful so many of you stay with me so regularly here at the website. Don't forget that you can purchase my BEST BETS every night with your credit card. Selections go up a few hours before the first games start. Discounted seasonal rates are also available. If you have any questions, call the office at 1-877-822-2276

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