2024 March Madness Message From The CoFounder


I teased yesterday on the @gameday_guru Selection Sunday twitter space some long form content for March Madness betting, specifically regarding props and futures, so here it is... (Follow the Gameday Guru Twitter Account @gameday_ guru)

Should I bet on futures or opt for rolling over moneyline bets during March Madness? I run into this debate a lot this time of year, and I believe it's an important consideration that has to be made. I'll preface by saying that I do not believe it is black and white. In my mind, there are situations where it makes sense to bet the future, and there are situations where it makes sense to roll over moneyline wagers instead. Either way, let's break it down. When we talk about futures, we're essentially discussing a big parlay where you place a single bet on an outcome before the events unfold. For instance, betting on Houston to reach the Final Four in March Madness is akin to a moneyline parlay on Houston for their first four games of the tournament. Since the moneyline parlay can be replicated in the form of rolling over your winnings from each round into the next, it is feasible for you to bet this either way. If you wanted to bet on Houston to NOT make the Final Four, this would be much more complicated. Therefore there are some props that get ruled out of the moneyline option before you even get to the debate. Although, the million dollar question is for the bets where you do have the choice, which method will result in a better payout? This is where the market plays a huge role in the decision. Generally speaking, there can be a lot of hold in these futures, so in most cases it probably makes sense to go the moneyline route. A pro tip for this is to look for 2 way markets. Shop around for books that have YES and NO lines, because most of the books not offering the NO, will drown you in hold. However, as I mentioned earlier, I wouldn't use a blanketed approach on these. The first step, as always, is to LINE SHOP. I did a quick scan of the market at the time of writing this, and I saw UCONN S16 at FanDuel is -650/+440 and at BetOnline it's -1800/+900. One of those bets (-650 on the NO and +900 on the YES) HAS to be +EV. In this case, if you want to make a bet on UCONN's tournament outlook, go with the future! *Now that I am proofreading this, I see the odds have been locked on BetOnline, but I will reply with a slip to show you it was there. If there isn't necessarily a huge difference in the price you are getting with the market, there is a good chance rolling over the moneylines will result in less hold for you. Although one more concept I like to consider before making the decision, is how path may affect the moneyline odds down the line. Let's take a look at an example from last year with UCONN at +2100 to win the tournament. When the bracket first came out, it looked rather grim for UCONN. They were pegged a 4 seed in a very difficult region where worst case they'd be forced to get by #1 seed Kansas and then either Gonzaga or UCLA just to get to the Final Four. Assuming they made it that far, most likely they'd have to play Houston (the analytics-based #1 team going into the tournament) which also could have been argued to be a home game for Houston in the Final Four. And then, finally, if they managed to get through all of that, they most likely would have had Alabama (the #1 overall seed) or Purdue and player of the year Zach Edey waiting for them in the championship. It sounded pretty brutal at the time. Yet, in reality, they only actually had to face 1 of those elite teams I just mentioned. I went back and looked at the rollover moneyline strategy for UCONN last year and, using BookMaker odds, and it would've only paid +693! Now the luck UCONN had last year, I mean they were -380 in the national championship, probably won't be seen again any time soon, but it just goes to show the importance of considering the potential paths the team could face. The last point I want to hit on is to consider your situation. What is your bankroll, how much time are you willing and planning to spend on betting futures, are you someone who generally hedges, etc.? My main concern is maximizing EV, so if I have to line shop Houston moneylines and then take the time to roll over those winnings into the next play, I'll do it. In that same vein, in most cases, if I'm sitting on a 25:1 ticket and that team is playing in the final game and is -150, I won't be hedging, unless I can find a +EV way to do it. Depending on your situation it may make sense to play a certain angle one way more than another. I'll probably have to make this decision >50 times this week, so if you have any questions feel free to reach out on twitter @Anthony_ GDG.

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