South Carolina is ready to take part in its first Final Four in program history. The Gamecocks were a whopping +30000 odds to win it all prior to the season.
SBR forum users posed the following questions in the run up to the Final Four: If you are holding a South Carolina futures ticket for $100 at +30000 odds, do you hedge? If so, how?
Another question worth posing is if anyone was lucky, or daring enough to make such a wager. South Carolina alum Kyle Gardner displayed his $5 bet to win $1000 on Twitter, which he placed in January at +20000 odds. William Hill US reportedly took a $150 bet on the Gamecocks at +20000 to win it all on January 30. South Point in Las Vegas, meanwhile, accepted a $1000 bet at +10000 odds two weeks ago. One of the more popular wagers was to snag the Gamecocks at +5000 odds as bracket cover following its 88-81 upset of Duke in the second round. Nonetheless, each futures ticket offers a handsome payday potentially. Do you hedge?
Nearly five days out from the Final Four, the 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball futures prices at 5Dimes are as follows: North Carolina +148, Gonzaga +170, Oregon +490, and South Carolina at +825. It’s mathematically possible to take the field and guarantee a profit, but one will lose a huge chunk of profit in doing so, and will need to lay a lot of money in the process. The field to win against the Gamecocks is -1300 odds. Shopping the best prices at the more favorable top-rated online sports books will help you maximize return.
One could also work out a guaranteed profit if they parlayed Gonzaga with the North Carolina-Oregon winner, dually wagering the 5Dimes prop of South Carolina to lose the title game at +372 in case the Zags come up short. The Gamecocks are 6.5-point underdogs in the semi-final matchup.
Live betting could also present lucrative opportunities, particularly if South Carolina jumps to a lead in the Gonzaga matchup, or if it progresses to the finals. Still, there is a lot of risk involved, and the numbers may not be beneficial enough for hedge opportunity.
Of course, there is the let-it-ride camp. One risked the wager for a big reward and will get maximum return in letting it stand. Many long-term investors subscribe to the latter. Bravo to those sharp enough to pick up the Gamecocks at a price; most will not wrangle with the hedge dilemma proposed. Best of luck!