March Madness - The Final Four
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We are now down to the Final Four of this year’s March Madness tournament. The remaining teams are Virginia Cavaliers, Michigan State Spartans, Texas Tech Red Raiders and Auburn Tigers. Here is how things currently stand:
The Cavaliers began the competition as the South’s No.1 seed and the third favorite overall. Initially UoV were priced at +600, which works out to an implied chance of winning at 14.3%. With their current price of +140, implying they’ll see off the rest of the field and take the title of college basketball champs 71.4% of the time.
In their last time out, the oddsmakers had them as the -221 favorites in their Elite 8 match-up against Purdue. The Boilermakers forced them into overtime, but Virginia came out on top. It proved to be a damaging result for the bookies on the moneyline, with over 72% of stakes being on the Cavaliers, despite Purdue being the marginally favored team in ticket shares.
Michigan State started March Madness as the East’s No.2 seed and since then, their price has plummeted from their initial +1400 (6.7% implied chance of winning). Now they find themselves as the second favored team, priced at +195 following there triumphant victory over the heavy tournament favorites Duke. The Spartans entered that game as the +124 underdogs and saw them squeeze through to become the Eastern Regional Champions.
This Texas Tech team has come a long way. They held the No.3 seed in the West coming in, and a hefty +2500 price tag to go with it. They have progressed round-by-round almost seamlessly, winning by relatively comfortable margins at every turn. This includes their Elite 8 game where they toppled the West’s No.1 seed Gonzaga by a margin of six points. The Red Raiders entered that game as the +198 underdogs and left it with their tournament odds sliced to +460.
The Tigers are the outsiders to take home the March Madness title at +800. They’re the lowest initial seeded team still remaining (coming in as the No.5 seed in the Midwest), but despite this, they’ve eliminated their fourth, second and first seeded regional rivals on route to their Final Four place. The last of these wins had them progress as the biggest underdogs of the Regional bracket, at a price of +205 against Kentucky. Their odds defying wins have seen their price come in a lot, from the sizeable +5000 pre-tournament figure.
So far we’ve witnessed the underdogs coming-up big, with three of four dogs progressing from the Elite 8. Virginia and Michigan State seem to be the likely two to meet in the final, but with the way Texas Tech and Auburn have been beating their more favored opponents, anything can happen. One thing is for sure, we’re only three games away from seeing who emerges with the title of 2019 National College Champions.