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Las Vegas Releases March Madness Betting Odds

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- Over 12 BILLION dollars is expected to be wagered on the 2009 NCAA Basketball Tournament by over 40 million Americans. RJ Bell of tells us what we need to know about
  the Sweet 16 from a Las Vegas perspective.

Most amazingly, if you had picked teams to advance based upon who Las Vegas favored in the games, you would have correctly predicted 15 of the 16 third round teams! Purdue, the only exception, was the smallest of underdogs (1-point) vs. Washington.

#16 seeds are now 0-100 in round 1. #15 seeds are now 4-96 in round 1. No seed lower than #12 advanced to the 3rd round this year; of the last 400 Sweet 16 teams, only 6 have been lower than a #12 seed.

After only two rounds, the odds against still having a perfect bracket are 8.7 quadrillion to 1 (that's 8,700 trillion). None of the over five million participants in the ESPN Tournament Challenge have a perfect bracket after two rounds.

Here are the true Las Vegas odds (followed by percent chance) to win the NCAA championship:

North Carolina: 5.5 to 1 (18%)
Louisville: 8.5 to 1 (12%)
Pitt: 9 to 1 (11%)
UConn: 10 to 1 (10%)
Memphis: 11 to 1 (9%)
Duke: 14 to 1 (7%)
Michigan St: 22 to 1 (4.5%)
Syracuse: 22 to 1 (4.5%)
Oklahoma: 22 to 1 (4.5%)
Gonzaga: 22 to 1 (4.5%)
Kansas: 30 to 1 (3.5%)
Villanova: 36 to 1 (3%)
Purdue: 36 to 1 (2.5%)
Arizona: 36 to 1 (2.5%)
Missouri: 50 to 1 (2%)
Xavier: 71 to 1 (1.5%)

The odds stated above have been adjusted through a proprietary formula to remove the commission charged by sportsbooks. Without this adjustment, the odds against a result are understated substantially (often upwards of 50%). For example, an event whose true odds are 10-1 against will be incorrectly stated as 7-1 against (the difference is the commission charged by the sportsbook). As a result, there is an overstatement of the chances of the event happening. The failure of nearly all widely circulated odds to account for this adjustment makes the numbers unreliable and misleading.


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