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Las Vegas Odds: NCAA Championship Game


North Carolina vs. Michigan State compelling facts, plus 2010 odds!

Las Vegas, Nevada (April 5, 2009) - Over 12 BILLION dollars is estimated to be bet on the 2009 NCAA Basketball Tournament by over 40 million Americans. RJ Bell of tells us what we need to know about the Monday’s Championship game from a Las Vegas perspective.

North Carolina is favored by 7.5 points, which is another way of saying that the Tar Heals are expected to beat Michigan State by at least 7 points. The “total” (also called the Over/Under) is 152, which means that both teams combined are expected to score at 152 points. The odds say that North Carolina has a 77% chance to win the game compared to the Spartan’s 23% chance.

RJ Bell of said: “By considering the game’s point spread and total you can derive that Las Vegas expects the final score to be in the range of North Carolina 80, Michigan State 72.

Michigan State gains an estimated 2.5-point advantage playing this game so close to their campus, meaning Spartans would be approximately 10-point underdogs on a true neutral court.

2009 is the 24th straight year the championship game has no seed worse than #6, and the 21st straight year the champion will be seeded no worse than #4.

“The mainstream media pays lip service to Cinderella, but Vegas knows in the end the big boys will be battling to cut down the nets,” said RJ Bell of

College basketball is so chalk heavy, even as a #2 seed Michigan State entered the tournament as a 25-1 long shot based upon true odds.

2010 odds are already available! Here are the true Las Vegas odds (followed by percentage chance) on next year’s NCAA championship:

North Carolina 14 to 1 (7%)
Kentucky 14 to 1 (7%)
Duke 21 to 1 (5%)
Louisville 21 to 1 (5%)
Alabama 25 to 1 (4%)
Kansas 25 to 1 (4%)
UCLA 25 to 1 (4%)
Georgetown 30 to 1 (3.5%)
Michigan State 30 to 1 (3.5%)
U Conn 37-1 (2.5%)
Florida 37-1 (2.5%)
Texas 37-1 (2.5%)

Note that the dozen teams above have a combined chance of 50% of cutting down the nets in 2010. An interesting question is whether you believe these 12 teams truly have a better chance of winning the championship than all other teams combined.

The odds stated above have been adjusted through a proprietary formula to remove the commission charged by sportsbooks. Without this adjustment, the odds against a result are understated substantially (often upwards of 50%). For example, an event whose true odds are 10-1 against will be incorrectly stated as 7-1 against (the difference is the commission charged by the sportsbook). As a result, there is an overstatement of the chances of the event happening. The failure of nearly all widely circulated odds to account for this adjustment makes those numbers unreliable and misleading.

For all of RJ Bell’s unique March Madness reporting, visit:

MEDIA NOTE: Print, radio, TV, and Internet media should feel free to quote any information above. Please attribute: RJ Bell of For follow-up questions, or media appearances - email:

RJ Bell of is the only sports bettor on Forbes’ recent list of Gambling Gurus and has been called “a true insider” by ESPN, “incredibly astute” by AOL and a “point-spread maven” by USA Today. Mr. Bell has been featured on CBS News with Katie Couric, ABC News with Charles Gibson, Nightline, Sportscenter, Outside the Lines (ESPN), First Take (ESPN2), Mike & Mike, Colin Cowherd, Jim Rome, Dan Patrick,, , Yahoo, and in the Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, LA Times,, Bloomberg, Maxim, and Sports Illustrated. is the largest sports betting news website compliant with US Law.



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