Wise-Guys Ignore Kentucky +110 as Real NCAA Tournament Betting Value Lies Elsewhere

Kevin Stott

Wednesday, March 18, 2015 2:38 PM GMT

Betting Kentucky at +137 odds to win the NCAA College Basketball Tournament and then waiting (and hoping) for the undefeated Wildcats to win 6 straight to try to generate 1.37 on your Futures bet seems a lot like starting a Tomato Garden on your patio in hopes of growing 2 good tomatoes for a future BLT sandwich.

Introduction to Madness, March-style with Bacon and Swiss Cheese
With so many writing and chirping about different ways to win your NCAA Tournament Bracket contest, “bashing your Bookie” and “making a killing” on this College Basketball Tournament and all of that other Modern Nonsense, it’s a good idea right about now to do a little pumping of the ole breaks and remember that the vast majority most people lose money betting on this tournament, most brackets and bets are eventual losers and there is (usually) only one (or maybe a couple more) winner(s) on a standard Bracket contest and just one winner of the 68-school NCAA Tournament itself. Therefore, especially this year with the University of Kentucky (34-0) being such a prohibitive favorite as NCAA Tournament pick heading into March Madness and providing such little potential value—as a Kentucky bet in the Futures championship marketplace currently sits at just near-Even odds in Las Vegas (6/5, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook), offshore (+137, 5Dimes) and across the proverbial pond in Europe (+105, Ladbrokes, +120 William Hill)—having an ‘Anti-Kentucky’ approach to betting this tournament in hopes of some potential profit, while ensuring some fun along the way, as discussed in our 'Ranking the Four Regions' story on Tuesday here at Sportsbook Review, seems maybe like a semi-sane approach for those wanting to avoid the day-to-day stress of having bets on and watching the individual games. In this quirky manner, one would possibly be able to enjoy the NCAA Tournament a little bit more, without having random defenseless baskets determining one’s fate against the point spread. There’s nothing worse than losing a basketball bet when the team you placed your hard-earned money on stops playing defense late in the game. Two ways of avoiding that reality and the Funny Farm and still being able to bet on basketball and the NCAA College Basketball Tournament—which for Legal Purposes has actually already begun with Hampton (9999/1 to win Midwest Region, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) upsetting 9-point favorite Manhattan in the Opener on Tuesday night for the right to get blended into a banana Smoothie by Kentucky in the real First Round—are by making Moneyline bets and Futures bets. Moneyline bets strip away the Pain and Stress of worrying about the point you’ve given or taken, while Futures bets seldom lose the day you put them in—always a good thing in my book. To each his own, right?

And in that vein, instead of generalizing and saying what you, John Q., or his wife, Penelope P. Public, should do—like all of the other zillions of stories by handicappers and touts and sports writers and bloggers and Wise Guys and such—why not show you what I, Monsieur Website Writer-Man have done (so far) with my intended (so far) minimal “Bankroll” with this staunch Anti-Kentucky, maxi-Entertainment policy requested by my pet Maine Coon cat, Sir Louis Smudge so that you may laugh at my action and truly be entertained? Reading why UK will roll the field and go 40-0 is somewhere else on the Web—probably many times over—so if you think you can make money riding a near-Even favorite in games the unbeaten Wildcats will be favored by double-digits in all the way until a (presumed) Final Four, then turn your car around, Bubba. We are heading into some Stupid Waters now and my hip waders (boots) have some holes in them. And before we even get to The Future part and when the NCAA College Basketball Tournament really is the NCAA College Basketball Tournament, let’s catch up with any past bets or Futures bets made involving this Locura de Marzo...

 

It’s Not Impossible to be Down Before the Tournament Has Even Started
The only Futures bet I have placed on this NCAA Tournament which has already lost was made back in November on defending champions Connecticut (50/1) for $5 in an obvious lapse of judgment. The Huskies fought all the way to the American Athletic Conference championship game on Sunday, but were ousted when SMU won, helping the last team to make the Tourney (Dayton) from being the first one out. The Little Things. Anyway, at 50/1 to win it all, the Huskies had about as much value as an 8-track player in a tank. I am glad the bet lost. The potential stress induced from pulling for Connecticut to try to win this particular tournament—knowing the  NCAA Tournament odds would probably have been around 300/1 if the Huskies did win that aforementioned conference championship game—would have required at least $5 in Things To Reduce The Stress. Easily. So, -$5 heading into the Big Dance, brother? Nope. I am sorry Father for I have sinned. I placed a degenerate-driven, Here Comes (The Fake Part Of The) Tournament wager on the Manhattan Jaspers laying 9 points for $5 (flat) and when it was 7-0 Hampton like 2 seconds in, I knew that my $5 wasn’t mine anymore. Poof. Harry Houdini sh... Just like that. Spladow. So, a straight bet loss and a Futures bet loss and -$10 hole before the thing has really even begun. Welcome to 2015, homeskillet. Where The Man always wins. Well, almost always. But we shall fight on through teams like Notre Dame and Duke and Arizona and Iowa State, and see if we can’t find a way to have some fun, maybe get Lucky and get some Bragging Rights because Bragging Rights seem to matter these days. And nobody will remember (or give a Rat’s Ass) about the dude who picked Kentucky to go 40-0 when this is possibly the weakest field in decades combined with a near semi-pro team of young ballers (who don’t care if they stay in school 2 years) all recruited to play college basketball by John Calipari in the Bluegrass State. Anyway, 0-2 and a modest -$10 heading into Thursday—unless BYU somehow blows a big 17-point Halftime lead here against Ole Miss—because of that mighty hardwood powerhouse, the Hampton Pirates. Pirates, indeed. Swashbuckling Lincoln stealers. But we will be back. We have just begun to fight. (Send help.) I will now put this $5 UConn (losing) bet back in its sacred hiding place next to the $5 Everton (125/1, to win the English Premier League) Futures bet I made in May of last year, back when the Westgate Las Vegas was still actually called the LVH SuperBook, so, some tickets take some Time to lose. The Toffees (Everton) are in 14th place in the league table (standings), 33 points behind league-leaders Chelsea, so, it has essentially cost me $10 (USD) to remind myself to not bet either Everton or Connecticut to win it all over the next 11 years. This is how I learn.

 

Real World Futures Bets On The Tournament
As discussed in-depth in Tuesday’s ‘Ranking the Regions’ piece (link above), I have put much weight on Notre Dame upsetting and ousting top-seed Kentucky in the Midwest Region, but am making incredibly low-amount (90¢ to $10) bets (for entertainment) as to keep any potential losses under $100 and still have either a small chance for a profit should Arizona (+875, 5 Dimes) or Duke (+950) maybe win it all, or even end up, up should someone like Notre Dame (+4700) or Iowa State (+4000) somehow have a nice run and Shock The Monkey. I have also made a number of small $1 bets for fun on teams who could possibly have a shock run—but still (primarily) Midwestern (geographical region not NCAA Tourney one) schools that wouldn’t be scared of Kentucky and ones who could get lucky with some hot-shooting. It can definitely be done, despite the odds and the Wildcats roster. But it will be hard. Anyway, the Kentucky-free bets up to now:

To Win NCAA Tournament: Louisville—40/1 ($2.40 to win $96)

To Win NCAA Tournament: Iowa 285/1—($2 to win $570)

To Win NCAA Tournament: Notre Dame 47/1—($10 to win $470)

To Win NCAA Tournament: Iowa State 39/1—($5 to win $390)

To Win NCAA Tournament: Arizona +875—($10 to win $87.50)

To Win NCAA Tournament: BYU 450/1—($1 to win $450)

To Win NCAA Tournament: Ohio State 150/1—($1 to win $150)

To Win NCAA Tournament: Wichita State 90/1—($1 to win $90)

To Win NCAA Tournament: Northern Iowa 155/1—($1 to win $155)

To Win NCAA Tournament: Indiana 600/1—($1 to win $600)

To Win NCAA Tournament: Louisville 100/1—(90¢ to win $90)

To Win Midwest Region: Notre Dame 11/1—($5 to win $55)

To Win East Region: Northern Iowa 12/1—($5 to win $60)

NCAA Championship Game Matchup: Notre Dame-Duke 110/1—($2 wins $220)

NCAA Championship Game Matchup: Notre Dame-Iowa State 295/1—($1 wins $295) 

 

Conclusion...and Yet Another Dollar Goes Down the Drain
With The Real Tournament starting on Thursday morning with the tip-off of, of course, wait for it....the Notre Dame-Northeastern Midwest Region opening round game from the CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh (CBS, 12:15 p.m. ET/9:15 a.m. PT), followed by, of course, wait for it again...(I see you Big Brother), the Iowa State-UAB South Region game (truTV, 12:40 p.m. ET/9:40 a.m. PT) from the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, the birthplace of Muhammad Ali and hometown of the late, great writer Hunter S. Thompson and Prince’s 3rd Eye Girl drummer c’est magnifique Hannah Ford-Welton. The city of Louisville, Kentucky has produced some real creative brilliance on this tiny planet our ours we call Erf. Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee, baby. So, anyway, much of this Notre Dame and Iowa State wish-fullness could be wiped out by Thursday afternoon and then we could all have A Monster Laugh on My Behalf (a poem in itself). Hardy, har, har. Mr. Writer-Man done lost $23 fading Kentucky. Such a fool. He gon’ be eatin’ Pickles for dinner. But those potential $23 of financial losses would still be trivial in The Grand Scheme Of Things, and I would then saddle up my Arizona Horse so fast that I’d probably likely get an awful case of Scrotum Chap, brother. And nobody wants Scrotum Chap three hours into the Big Dance. Well, maybe some of you Freaks do. But not I. And for those sinister readers out there making up things in their paranoid, over-thinking heads from these last two NCAA Tournament stories:  1-No, I did not attend the University of Notre Dame; 2-Nor am I Catholic; and, 3- Nor am I even a fan of the Fighting Irish, Bubba. Now, my cat Louie Smudge, he is indeed all of the above. He has issues. And so, at this infinite point of the Gran Baile, I will be rooting for teams from the states of Indiana and Iowa and hoping that the Big Ten and Big 12 have maybe been undervalued and overlooked this year by the Tournament Selection Committee, oddsmakers, coaches, fans, RPI, experts, pundits, accountants, Girl Scouts and members of the South Korean Boy Band, Block B. If I am wrong, my Pain will be swift and short-lived. If I am right, I will return for my $14,312,205.17, Kate Upton date and Bragging Rights. If a team ranked #250 in the nation (Notre Dame) in average Rebounds per game (32.8) can win the national championship, then Bragging Rights will certainly be due. Sing it.

And if Notre Dame and Iowa State do somehow meet in the NCAA College Basketball Championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on the night of April 6 (CBS), then you may owe me more than just simple Bragging Rights for my NCAA Tournament picks. Quite possibly your Pez Dispenser collection and an ‘Atta Boy.’ I know that times are tough. Oops. I see another $1 possibly floating out the window here and another Futures bet above losing as the Cougars of BYU have fretted away a 17-point lead and are now losing to Ole Miss in a ‘legal’ First Round game here Tuesday night. So, maybe I shall actually be down $11 before this Bad Boy even starts. Hardy har har. Mr. Writer-Man lost another $1 and now his story has a losing Futures bet on it before it’s even published. How can we bet on BYU of it is back in Utah already in street clothes avoiding caffeine and cuss words? Those Mormons can’t be trusted. Up 17. My lord. On an innocent Tuesday night of all things. The horror. I shall not edit. I will let you enjoy. It’s a slow drip and par for the course where I’m sitting. Anyway, remember the Pez Dispenser collection of the Fighting Irish and Cyclones somehow miraculously meet next month in Naptown. And so it is written, and so let it be. Whisper words of wisdom. And get your own Futures in as the clock she’s a tickin’ and Thursday will be here before we all know it. Time flies all the time and that $1 BYU loss (Poof!) proves as much. Mahalo.

FINAL FOUR WINNER PROP PICKS (East Region vs. South Region prop): Duke +370, Iowa State +1100 (11/1) (5Dimes)

NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP GAME MEETING PICKS: 110/1, Notre Dame vs. Iowa State 295/1 (5Dimes)