College football is over, the NFL Playoffs are winding down, and the focus of the American sports fan is about to turn to their bracket pool. But let’s jump ahead and search for some college basketball teams that could turn into Cinderella come March.
I can’t take full credit for this projection, as I needed the help of some outside sources. The first help comes from Joe Lunardi of ESPN and his projected bracket. Lunardi will continue to update his bracket as the season progresses and the corresponding odds for each team will change. The second help comes from Ken Pomeroy with his forward-looking ratings he provides for 351 college basketball teams.
With the ratings and projected bracket in hand, I was able to assign a projected score and therefore a win percentage for each possible game that could come up. I simulated the entire bracket 10,000 times and here are the results of who won the tournament:
|Arkansas Little Rock||0.1%||124900|
You can compare these odds to the futures your book is providing to see if there are some bets that are offering some value. For example, here were some that I offered via twitter (click here to follow) last night.
Working on a college basketball simulation for tomorrow, here are 8 teams offering futures value right now: pic.twitter.com/zdn8VM2ZjV
— Bet Labs Sports (@Bet_Labs) January 12, 2016
Now there are some inherent issues with this method. For one thing, there are many teams that are not projected to make the tournament now, but could improve during conference play and get in the tournament. Those teams have a non-zero chance of winning the tournament which is not displayed in the table above. Also, the brackets can be uneven and you may find a team you bet on end up in a “region of death” or other position where the selection committee did them a disservice. While it’s not perfect, it is a great starting point to find teams that you can start rooting for on Selection Sunday.