Gambling winter is over folks. In some form of poetic justice just in time for the 2018 NCAA tournament, the weather in Las Vegas has all the sudden gone from 50’s and 60’s to the high 70’s which means one thing; The NCAA tournament is here. With that, you’re going to need a couple things to maximize the biggest degenerate week of the year.
The first thing you’re going to need is some brackets. Martha from accounting took it down last year as the first person in the office to win the $20 fantasy football office league and march madness bracket in the same year and you won’t stand for it, right? That’s what I thought so let’s get you entered in some contests.
The Action Network free to enter bracket: $3,000,$1,000, $500 payouts.
The next thing you’re going to need is a guide. Remember in your nerd days when you would head on down to Game Stop and get that strategy guide to go along with your new video game? No? Guess it was just me then. The point is it was essentially a way to clear your conscience while cheating, so we are going to employ the same strategy here. This particular guide was created by John Duong and Matthew Leightman and is probably the most detailed guide I have come across. You can access it here.
Now that you’ve got a handy guide, let’s take it one step further and look back at every game ever played in the tournament since 2008, Seriously. Thanks to Andrew Molitor you now have that ability:
Now that you’re armed with every trend known to man, you could make your own selections, but if you’re looking for more of an edge, here are some fantastic podcasts looking ahead to the first round of the tournament.
If you’re lucky enough to be heading to Vegas for the tournament and are looking for some tips and tricks of the pros, click here to read the Ultimate March Madness Vegas Guide.
Alright, now that you’ve got all the content you could ask for, let’s dig into it with three futures bets.
The Actual Pick: Xavier (14/1)
I know. This is the most wide open a tournament has ever been. With that being said, Xavier pulled off a pretty nice draw here as North Carolina is the weakest it’s been in a very long time, and no one else in there region outside of Gonzaga and everyone’s favorite sleeper pick, Michigan, scares me in the least. Xavier will get to the final four, finally. This price is simply too long for a #1 seed with a pretty easy path to the finish line. I believe there biggest threat is early on if Mizzou can get past Florida State-but it will be smooth sailing after that.
The Value Pick: Arizona (10/1)
I’m a huge fan of the intangibles in sports. Teams playing for more than themselves, emotions, teammates, you name it. The narrative is certainly there for this Arizona team to come together as it seems like just yesterday they had suspensions looming and their coach was suspended. At this time they were 23/1 but as they have come together (fresh off a PAC-12 title) this team has all the momentum in the world right now and are playing as one. From a roster perspective, there may not be a better combo than DeAndre Ayton and Allonzo Trier in this tournament which certainly helps. They do have a hard road however as they will draw either Kentucky or Davidson, and then a likely matchup with the #1 overall seed Virginia in the sweet 16 is looming.
The Ponzi Scheme Future Bets: Nevada (+300/1) Texas (160/1) & Cincinnati (15/1)
Did the title of this set of futures scare you? Don’t worry, this one is a victimless crime, and if things fall right, may line your pockets just like Bernie Madoff. If we take a look at The South bracket, there’s a pretty nice opportunity if you’re willing to dig deep.
Let’s start with Nevada Vs. Texas (PK). With both of these teams being such big long shots, it helps that this game is a PK in that you have to lay no juice if you only want to choose one or the other for a futures bet. Assuming you place a future on both teams, you are guaranteed a winner into the next round at a very low cost due to the payouts being 300/1 (Nevada) and 160/1 (Texas). The next step is Cincinnati (15/1). If Cincinnati can get past the #15 seed Georgia State as 14 point favorites (all we need them to do is win) you will hold an automatic winning team in the sweet 16 with either Cincinnati Vs. Nevada/Texas. With such a high payout, $100 dollars will give you a $30,000 safety net on Nevada and a $160,000 safety net on Texas for you to bet pretty heavy on the Cincinnatinatti money line, not to mention at WORST you will be holding 15/1 on a sweet 16 team in Cincinnati. This one will take some jockeying, but if things break right will guarantee yourself a pretty hefty payday. On top of all that, imagine the hedging you can do if either Texas or Nevada pulls the upset over (likely) Cincinnati.