Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year Jared Butler (#12) has spearheaded Baylor’s quest to win the 2020-21 regular-season conference title. (Photo by Matthew Visinsky/Icon Sportswire)
- A new prop allows you to bet on which state will produce the winner of the 2021 NCAA Tournament
- The state of Texas is favored as Baylor, Texas, Houston, and Texas Tech are all based in the Longhorn State
- Could there be value with a state like Virginia?
There’s a new fun prop on the board for those looking into the March Madness odds. It focuses on which state will produce the winner of the big dance. Taking a look at the current odds, the state of Texas is expected to produce the winner; Texas has four schools currently in the top 18 spots of the Associated Press poll.
Is Texas the play here or is there value elsewhere?
March Madness-Winning State Odds
Odds as of Feb. 22nd at DraftKings.
With Bears, Longhorns In Tow, Texas Leads The Way
The key to understanding this prop is cross-referencing which schools are located in each state. That’s how the oddsmakers are coming up with the odds as they’re taking the regular futures and then coming up with a number where you’d win the bet if you had multiple teams selected. This allows you to bet a number of them in a little bundle.
In terms of Texas, the reason we see them so high up on the board is because they have four teams in the top 18 right now. That includes No. 2 Baylor, No. 14 Texas, No. 12 Houston, and No. 18 Texas Tech. That means you’re getting Baylor, which is favored to win it all, along with two other teams in the top eight (Texas and Houston).
One concern here has to be the strength of schedule of the Texas teams so far. None of them have really had all too difficult of a road so far – according to KenPom.com. Taking a look at the strength-of-schedule rating, Texas has played the hardest schedule of the bunch and that’s 36th in the country. KenPom believes the Big Ten is a much stronger conference.
With the Texas option here, it does look like Baylor is really the only team that could be a serious contender. The other three teams will need a lot to go their way (likely too much). Houston has already lost three times to AAC teams, Texas is 3-4 in its last seven, and Texas Tech is 3-3 in its last six.
The better bet here might be to go with Baylor at around +310 and not loop in the other teams. There’s more risk but more reward if Baylor comes through. They look like the only team in this bundle that can do it.
Can Washington Deliver?
Washington is second in line in terms of the odds. The mindset here has to be about the same: why bundle everyone together when Gonzaga is the only team that can realistically win it all? But the oddsmakers aren’t actually hiding that with Washington. The state is priced at +275 and Gonzaga, on its own, has identical odds.
None of the other, non-Gonzaga teams are in the top 90, according to KenPom.com’s Adjusted Efficiency Rating. In other words, just bet Gonzaga if you like their chances but don’t spend too much time with this prop as you’re not getting any value with the other teams in the state of Washington.
Value With Virginia
One of the few areas where this prop appears to have some value is with the state of Virginia. It’s further down the board at +1200 and there’s no “top dog” per se, but when you bet Virginia, you are going to get two solid teams that could make a run in the NCAA Tournament.
UVA entered the season as one of the favorites and, while they’ve tumbled of late, they still have a good pedigree. They’re ninth in the country, according to KenPom.com’s Adjusted Efficiency Rating. Meanwhile, Virginia Tech is 14-4 on the season and is third in the ACC. Virginia Tech is a perfect 4-0 against teams in the top 25, so that’s encouraging.
Overall, these are two teams ranked in the AP Poll and in the top 35 of the KenPom.com rankings. Betting them individually might feel like throwing darts but bundled together at +1200, you’ll get a couple of outs in case one disappoints. With the other props, it makes sense to just bet Baylor or Gonzaga directly. Here, it feels like there’s some value with Virginia.
For over 15 years, Dave has been working in mainstream media and sports betting. He hosted a station on Sirius Satellite Radio for four years, and is currently a senior writer for AskMen. He’s interviewed hundreds of hundreds of high-profile sports stars like Shaquille O’Neal and Floyd Mayweather.