Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Vegas oddmakers flummoxed by NCAA bracket seedings

(AP Photo/Bill Boyce)
(AP Photo/Bill Boyce)

A lot of shrugging and confused glances were the result of the NCAA selection committee's decisions as far as the bracket construction results were concerned.

GAME-BY-GAME NCAA ODDS

Vegas bookmakers could only shake their heads as they reviewed the seedings on the 2014 Tournament; chiefly on the issue that many of the most dominant teams have been lumped together in the Midwest division and will have to climb over each other to reach the finals.

A must-read from the Las Vegas Sun:

"Four of the top 10 teams the Superbook listed in odds to win the title at the beginning of the week — Wichita State, No. 2 seed Michigan, No. 3 seed Duke and No. 4 seed Louisville — were stuffed into the region. Add No. 5 seed Saint Louis and No. 8 seed Kentucky to the mix, and Wynn Las Vegas sports book director Johnny Avello said the Midwest could have six of the top 20 power-rated teams."

A "comedy show" and "over-the-top insane" was how Ed Salmons, an assistant sports book director at the LVH Superbook, described it. The arrangement wasn't even the sole issue, as oddsmakers were equally perplexed by the seedings themselves. Louisville and Michigan weren't named No. 1 seeds, placing as low as No. 4, despite being considered top contenders to win it all.

Even though they are No. 1, Wichita State has been given 15-to-1 odds to win the championship game. Salmons had given the Shockers 10-to-1, but promptly changed his odds after seeing their placement in the Midwest. He called the selection committee a "bunch of frauds," while another Vegas oddsmaker felt the selection should be turned over to the bookmakers. 

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