NCAA Tournament Market Prices

With Oddsmaker Nick Bogdanovich


I've put together estimated market ratings for all 68 teams in the NCAA tournament. You can use these to get a sense of what the lines will be throughout the event. Just remember to update teams who play well. It's not uncommon to see some teams take it to a new level of play (as Butler did last year, or Connecticut did last week in the Big East tournament) in a way that must be reflected in your numbers.

I'll present the regionals in the order they were announced on Selections Sunday on CBS. All games are considered neutral site games by the market. Though, some studies have come out recently that suggest good teams playing very close to home may deserve an additional numerical boost in their projections. Feel free to make those assessments on your own. Right now, the market is basically treating all games as purely neutral.

Ohio State 94
North Carolina 91
Kentucky 90
Syracuse 89
West Virginia 87
Washington 86
Xavier 86
Marquette 85
George Mason 84
Clemson 84
Villanova 83
Georgia 81
UAB 81
Indiana State 78
Princeton 76
Long Island 72
Texas-San Antonio 68
Alabama State 63

Ohio State is the #1 seed for the whole tournament. But, you can see that their only a bucket or two better than many of their top threats. An off day, and they can be defeated. Or, if an opponent just plays a little bit better than usual, the Buckeyes can be taken out.

I think this is a very competitive tournament this year. I wouldn't disagree with the TV pundits saying that the overall field isn't as strong as past fields. But, there are a lot of evenly matched relatively decent teams who are likely to play many very close games against each other. Be sure you show around for the best number for your Las Vegas bets. Every half point is really going to matter this year.

Duke 94
San Diego State 90
Texas 90
Connecticut 88
Missouri 86
Cincinnati 85
Arizona 85
Temple 85
Michigan 83
Tennessee 83
Penn State 83
Oakland 80
Memphis 79
Bucknell 77
Northern Colorado 74
Hampton 71

Many of the guys on TV thought Texas should have been higher than a #4 seed. I can understand why the committee dropped them based on recent results. The market has them even with #2 seed San Diego State entering the event. At least that's my take on the market.

Duke, Ohio State, and the other top seeds are all in the same boat. They've clearly established superiority over the field, but not my margins so dramatic that they should be considered shoe-ins for the Final Four. I think each regional has a few very obvious danger teams, and a few others who could spring a monster surprise if they play their best game.

Kansas 94
Purdue 90
Notre Dame 88
Louisville 88
Georgetown 84
Vanderbilt 84
Texas A&M 83
Florida State 83
Illinois 83
Richmond 83
USC 81
Morehead State 80
Virginia Commonwealth 77
St. Peter's 75
Akron 75
Boston Univ. 72

Yes, the market has been pricing Purdue more aggressively than they have Notre Dame in recent weeks, so they rank higher on this scale. Maybe that will change by the time a possible meeting between the two Indiana schools lines up.

UNLV has been a popular choice for sharps already against Illinois. That's not a team Kansas wants to run into, I can assure you.

Pittsburgh 92
Wisconsin 90
BYU 86
Florida 86
St. John's 86
Kansas State 85
Gonzaga 84
Michigan State 84
Belmont 84
Utah State 83
Old Dominion 82
Butler 82
Wofford 79
Cal Santa Barbara 73
NC Asheville 71
Arkansas Little Rock 68

This strikes me as the weakest of the regionals, at least in terms of threats to Pittsburgh (and Pitt doesn't always sparkle in the Dance themselves). I think Florida was overseeded as a #2 (as does the market). BYU is guesswork right now because a key player was kicked off the team. You never know what you're going to get with Wisconsin...or Kansas State...or Michigan State. St. John's and Gonzaga ended the season well, and may be better than those numbers. Too bad they have to play each other right off the bat! Fun section to handicap.

My next report will come Thursday morning, and I'll tell you what the sharps are thinking about all the Thursday and Friday games at that time. Probably around this time next week I'll provide updated market prices for the Sweet 16. I'll let some of the fat get trimmed from the NIT before posting those numbers early next week.

You regulars know that college basketball is my favorite sport to handicap. I'm VERY excited about this year's tournament. If I start listing games I'm looking forward to, this will take all day! The 8-9 and 7-10 games this year seem better than normal in terms of team quality and potential impact on the tournament. There's a lot of respect from sharps for teams on the 12 or 13 line like Utah State, Belmont, Oakland, Princeton, and Morehead State. And, from a betting point of view, I think there are SEVERAL great opportunities in games lined near pick-em. If you know who the better team is, they barely have to win to get you the money.

My BEST BETS will be available for game day purchase all week long here at the website. Don't forget that we have play-in games Tuesday and Wednesday, plus very busy nights in the NIT and other tournaments. You can sign up for the full college postseason at a great rate. Or, go all the way through the NBA playoffs with your friend behind the line.

If you have any questions, call the office at 1-877-822-2276. I can't talk to you personally because it's such a busy week at Cal-Neva, where I'm Sportsbook Director and Head Oddsmaker. One of my assistants will be happy to help you out.

It's the biggest the biggest legal betting event in all of sports. I'm sure you already know that the best information will come to you DIRECT FROM NEVADA!

This article is part of the VSM MASTERS SERIES presented by For more information on NICK BOGDANOVICH'S handicapping packages, call 1-877-822-2276.


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