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These NCAA tournament odds don't add up to me

A publicist sent me these Odds to Win the NCAA tournament, courtesy of Bodog. Beyond the increasingly rare $2 nassau, I don’t bet. But I like numbers, and pondering whether these are good bets.

You hear things about people who bet on a longshot team before a season began. They look good when the team’s in the Super Bowl, etc., but these kind of numbers always seem way too low to me.

For example, Ohio State should be 15-2 to make the Final Four, in my world of probability, not 15-2 to win the tournament. Many of those top odds have a similar feel.

For another example, Illinois is 75-1 to win the NCAA tournament. Who’s putting money on that? I wouldn’t wager 75-1 in Twinkies on Illinois to reach the Final Four. 75-1 would be attractive on Illinois reaching the Sweet 16, but I would advise betting people to keep the mortgage money far away from that proposition.

What would be the right odds for the Illini to even make the NCAA tournament field?

I’m not sure.

As Damon Runyon once said, “Everything in life is 6-5 against.”

Odds to Win the 2012 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship

North Carolina 7/2

Kentucky 9/2

Ohio State 15/2

Duke 10/1

Connecticut 12/1

Louisville 12/1

Syracuse 12/1

Florida 20/1

Vanderbilt 20/1

Memphis 22/1

Kansas 25/1

St. John’s 25/1

UCLA 25/1

Michigan State 28/1

Pittsburgh 28/1

Texas 28/1

Baylor 35/1

Indiana 35/1

Michigan 35/1

Arizona 40/1

Georgetown 40/1

Gonzaga 40/1

Notre Dame 50/1

Villanova 50/1

Wisconsin 55/1

Kansas State 60/1

Temple 60/1

Texas A&M 60/1

Washington 60/1

West Virginia 60/1

Alabama 65/1

Butler 65/1

Florida State 65/1

Boston College 75/1

Cincinnati 75/1

Illinois 75/1

Minnesota 75/1

Mississippi State 75/1

Oregon 75/1

Xavier 75/1

Tennessee 80/1

Arkansas 100/1

California 100/1

Marquette 100/1

Maryland 100/1

Miami FL 100/1

Missouri 100/1

New Mexico 100/1

North Carolina State 100/1

Oklahoma 100/1

Oklahoma State 100/1

Purdue 100/1

St. Mary’s 100/1

UNLV 100/1

USC 100/1

Utah State 100/1

VCU 100/1

Clemson 125/1

Colorado 125/1

Georgia 125/1

Georgia Tech 125/1

Richmond 125/1

Seton Hall 125/1

Stanford 125/1

Washington State 125/1

Arizona State 150/1

BYU 150/1

Iowa 150/1

Mississippi 150/1

Old Dominion 150/1

Penn State 150/1

San Diego State 150/1

South Carolina 150/1

Virginia Tech 150/1

Auburn 200/1

LSU 200/1

Rutgers 200/1

South Florida 200/1

Texas Tech 200/1

UAB 200/1

UTEP 200/1

Virginia 200/1

Wake Forest 200/1