NCAA Tournament 2018: Best March Madness prop bets, via Vegas oddsmakers
Villanova's Jalen Brunson is the favorite to win Most Outstanding Player
The NCAA Tournament is the backdrop to some of the best office trash talk of the year. You can join a bracket pool, play in the CBS Sports Bracket Games with friends and family, or go old fashioned by printing off a bracket and marking that puppy up with sharpie.
For added layer of intrigue, some people also like to wager a little cheddar on the Big Dance. According to some estimates, more than $10 billion will be wagered this year which means that, undoubtedly, there is strong interest across the country to throw some cash down on the Big Dance.
The last two years, SportsLine's computer simulation correctly predicted nine out of 12 double-digit NCAA Tournament upsets in the first round with their computer algorithm. This year they have plenty of upsets again, like one region where you need to pick the 11, 12, AND 13 seeds, and another region with a 4-seed in the Final Four. Click here to see SportsLine's Optimized NCAA Tournament bracket.
So for fun, let's take a look at some of the most interesting – and hilarious -- prop bets for the 2018 NCAA Tournament.
Odds to win NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player
- Jalen Brunson (Villanova) +600
- Marvin Bagley III (Duke) +700
- Miles Bridges (Michigan St.) +800
- Kyle Guy (Virginia) +1000
- Grayson Allen (Duke) +1200
- Mikal Bridges (Villanova) +1200
- Trevon Bluiett (Xavier) +1500
- Devonte' Graham (Kansas) +1500
- Wendell Carter Jr. (Duke) +1800
- Luke Maye (North Carolina) +1800
- DeAndre Ayton (Arizona) +2000
- Allonzo Trier (Arizona) +2500
- Kevin Knox (Kentucky) +3000
- Jaren Jackson (Michigan St) +3000
- Carsen Edwards (Purdue) +3500
- Jevon Carter (West Virginia) +4500
- Moe Wagner (Michigan) +4500
- Kelan Martin (Butler) +5000
- Mo Bamba (Texas) +6000
- Keenan Evans (Texas Tech) +6000
- Trae Young (Oklahoma) +7500
- Collin Sexton (Alabama) +7500
- Landry Shamet (Wichita State) +7500
- Admiral Schofield (Tennessee) +8000
- Michael Porter, Jr. (Missouri) +10000
- Field +1000
Analysis: Brunson might win National Player of the Year and Bagley will undoubtedly be the most watched among those interested in the NBA – especially for fans whose teams are tanking. But how about Deandre Ayton at +2000?! That might be the bet I'd recommend.
The 7-foot unicorn has played otherworldly of late, putting up consecutive 32 point performances en route to Arizona winning the Pac-12 Tournament title this past weekend. He's on down the list in terms of odds, but a sneaky darkhorse. Especially if the Wildcats can reel off a nice little run as many expect.
Highest single-game point total for any player during 2018 NCAA Tournament
- Over 40.5 (-115)
- Under 40.5 (-115)
Analysis: Oklahoma's Trae Young and Davidson's Peyton Aldridge are in the NCAA Tournament. But I don't expect deep runs from either team they play on. So my guess is the under actually feels pretty safe.
Lowest single-game point total for any team during 2018 NCAA Tournament
- Over 39.5 (-115)
- Under 39.5 (-115)
Analysis: Have you watched Virginia or Cincinnati play defense this season? If those two wind up meeting in the Elite Eight, I feel like there's a legitimate shot that the winner winds up scoring only like 45 total points. I like the under here, as odd as that bet seems.
2018 NCAA Championship Winning Conference
- ACC +150
- Big Ten +200
- Big East +300
- Big 12 +800
- SEC +1100
- Pac-12 +7500
Analysis: A ton of talented ACC teams, but only one No. 1 seed from the conference. Which makes me think that the Big East at +300 -- a conference that has two No. 1 seeds -- is the smart bet here.
Will a major media outlet release NCAA Men's Basketball violations investigative report during tournament? (March 13 - April 2)
- Yes +650
- No -1200
Analysis: Now we're really getting wild! This would be a bit of a buzzkill for the best tournament in sports, but also wouldn't be all that surprising. Still, going no at -1200 is probably the move.
Will Bill Raftery say, "onions" during game broadcast of 2018 NCAA Tournament?
- Yes -2500
- No +1000
Analysis: Take all the Bill Raftery props and take 'em to the bank! No broadcast is complete without an, "Onions!" alert. And the same goes for his classic, "With a kiss!" call. Both calls are -2500 yes for a reason.
Will a team with "Wildcats" as mascot reach the Final Four?
- Yes -160
- No +130
Analysis: Kentucky and Arizona could cannibalize one another in the Round of 32, assuming both win in the Round of 64. But still, I think -- again, assuming both survive the first round -- that the winner there advances to the Final Four. And my pick is Kentucky.
That's not even the safest bet, either. The No. 1 seed Villanova Wildcats are one of the favorites to win it all, so pegging them as a Final Four team means yes at -160 is probably a pretty good gamble.
Total buzzer-beating shots in Round of 64 during 2018 NCAA Tournament (shot must win game as time expires)
- 0 (-110)
- 1 (+115)
- 2 (+450)
- 3 (+1300)
- 4 (+1600)
- 5 (+2000)
- 6 or more (+3000)
Analysis: This one is tricky, because the catch is that it must qualify as a true buzzer-beater. That is, the shot that wins the game must go in as time expires. Your natural inclination may be to go 6 or more, but I think 2 or 3 is probably closer to reality here. Zero is the favorite, but there's bound to be one or two stunners at the buzzer.
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