Best title bets among contenders

Which of the nation's top teams provide the best (and worst) value?

Updated: January 22, 2013, 5:05 PM ET
By Jeff Haley | TeamRankings.com
Kenny BoyntonChristian Petersen/Getty ImagesKenny Boynton, averaging a team-best 13.3 points per game, has been crucial for Florida this season.

NCAA championship futures are an intriguing place to look for betting value, and at TeamRankings.com we've built sophisticated analytics to evaluate them. Every day, we simulate the remaining college basketball regular season, then go on to simulate the conference tournaments, the NCAA tournament selection and seeding process, and finally the NCAA tournament itself. These simulations, driven by our objective predictive ratings system, together project the odds that each team in Division I will win the NCAA championship.

This article looks at some of the current favorites to win it all, comparing our predicted championship odds with recent odds available from offshore sports books. Any futures bet on the NCAA champion is a long shot, but some bets are better than others when it comes to finding value.

Here are the three best and three worst title bets among contenders. (And for a look at our Sweet 16, Final Four and national championship odds for every team based on Joe Lunardi's latest bracket, click here.)


BEST VALUES

This isn't (necessarily) a list of the teams most likely to win the national championship, but rather a look at the contenders that provide the best value based on the current title odds they are being given.

Florida Gators

Offshore odds: 6-1 to 12-1
TeamRankings odds: 4-1

Our power rankings actually put Florida in the No. 1 overall slot, despite two losses. Why? Their season includes an 18-point win over the Wisconsin Badgers, a narrow road loss to the Arizona Wildcats, a 31-point win over the Missouri Tigers and a number of blowout victories, all of which boost Florida's rating.


To read more on Florida and the rest of the best and worst title bets among this season's top contenders, you must be an ESPN Insider.

Jeff Haley

ESPN Insider
Jeff Haley is a writer for TeamRankings.com, which provides data-driven sports predictions and contest advice.