NCAA Basketball Betting: Sooners Lead West Into Elite Eight

Jason Lake

Tuesday, March 22, 2016 5:09 PM UTC

Tuesday, Mar. 22, 2016 5:09 PM UTC

The No. 2 Oklahoma Sooners have the shortest March Madness basketball odds of the remaining four teams in the West Region. But are they the best pick of the bunch?

Jason's 2015-16 record as of Mar. 21: 24-16 ATS, 1-4 Totals

It's been one upset after another at this year's March Madness tournament. But you might not know it just from looking at the West Region. All of the top four seeds have advanced to the Sweet Sixteen round – you can't say that about any of the other regions. They had their brackets busted ages ago.

Of course, if you've been paying attention, you know the West nearly descended into chaos during the second round. We had chalk in all four of our NCAA basketball picks here at the home office, and although we went 1-3 ATS, it was only by a few points here and there. But again, it took some serious work from all four top seeds just to win straight up. They're all under suspicion going into the next round.


Four Strong Winds
Here's how the four teams in question stack up on our NCAA basketball odds board as we prepare for the Elite Eight. We've listed the longest odds available for each club on the futures market at press time, which all happen to be from Heritage Sports:
Oklahoma Sooners +1700
Oregon Ducks +1950

Seems about right. Oregon may be the No. 1 seed in the West, but we all knew the No. 2 Sooners was the stronger team going into the Tournament. Ken Pomeroy's efficiency ratings have these four teams listed in this order. Not everyone agrees, though. Nate Silver's crew at FiveThirtyEight isn't as impressed with the Ducks. Meanwhile, Sports-Reference has Oregon at the bottom of this foursome according to Simple Rating System, Hmmmmm.


Conversion Therapy
Conveniently enough, FiveThirtyEight has projected each remaining team's chances of winning the Tournament, and it's free for everyone, so let's take those percentages and use the SBR Betting Odds Converter to turn them into kayfabe futures odds. Maybe we'll find some betting value along the way:
Oklahoma +1329
Oregon +3233

Well well, what do we have here? The Sooners are being given the best chance of winning at a whopping seven percent, well below the top contenders from the other regions, but still above market expectation – at least at Heritage.

The Ducks, on the other hand, appear to be highly overvalued, even at the longest odds on the board. They beat Duke this Thursday in Anaheim, and will meet Sooners in Elite Eight round so stay tuned for our ATS previews, and may the sphere be with you.

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