The Gonzaga Bulldogs headline the NCAA Tournament as they were selected as the No. 1 seed and West Region seed. Any team with championship aspirations will have to go through Gonzaga as the betting market not only makes the Bulldogs the overwhelming favorite to win the West Region, but the favorite to cut the nets in April.
Like any market, opportunities arise when something is overvalued. In this case, Gonzaga is strongly overvalued according to my model. Over the past few years, Gonzaga has taken his success to a new level by appearing in two of the last four national title matches but coming up short. In those seasons, however, I thought the Zags were undervalued before the tournament. This is no longer the case.
So let’s keep going through the starting lines here and watch Duke. My model thinks Duke is overrated because I don’t think Coach K is very likely to get a good retirement. Duke was backed by a very weak ACC and when you add a tough draw, Duke will have their work cut out from round two onwards.
So where are we? Texas Tech. The Red Raiders are very undervalued here at +500 to win the West region. Texas Tech has the best defense in the country by my model and while the offense can struggle at times, the defense is good enough to hold the weight. The Red Raiders fell to Kansas in the Big 12 Championship Game, but held a 54-51 lead by the end of that game. Texas Tech is ready for a run as they have a possible favorable second-round game against Alabama or Rutgers/Notre Dame.
Memphis is another team that I think is about to make noise and is undervalued by the betting market.