At the beginning of the NCAA Tournament, Texas Tech was given a 65-70 percent chance of reaching the Sweet 16 by various analytical sources. Though by no means a guarantee, thankfully what was likely has indeed come to fruition.
The Red Raiders tip off against a very sound Michigan team with many similarities between the two (slow pace of play, stellar defense, etc.) on Thursday. Should Texas Tech advance to its second consecutive Elite Eight, it will face the winner of Gonzaga and Florida State.
Now that we’re towards the end of the West Region, I am going to take the analytics one step further and dare to dream for a moment. Let’s take a dive into not only Texas Tech’s chances of surviving the West Region, but their odds to be the last team standing in a couple weeks.
As always, let’s start with BPI. Here is how the remaining four teams in the West stack up nationally according to BPI:
|3 Texas Tech||17.4||8|
|4 Florida State||14.8||14|
BPI also predicts the probability of each team in the West Region advancing to the Elite Eight and the Final Four, listed below.
Odds to reach the Elite Eight
|3 Texas Tech||47.3|
|4 Florida State||13.9|
Odds to reach the Final Four
|3 Texas Tech||15|
|4 Florida State||4.6|
Beyond that, BPI gives Texas Tech a 5.6 percent chance to reach the National Championship game, and a 1.9 percent chance to win it all.
FiveThirtyEight actually has Texas Tech as a slight favorite over Michigan, giving the Red Raiders a 51 percent chance to advance to the Elite Eight. Here’s how FiveThirtyEight has each team in the West’s odds for the remainder of the tournament.
Eric Haslam of haslametrics.com has the Texas Tech-Michigan game razor thin as well. His system predicts a Wolverines victory by a score of 61.4 to 60.8. That’s obviously not a real score, so he essentially has it as a tossup.
And of course we can’t forget our friends in the desert, who don’t often lose money on this type of thing. Odds makers in Las Vegas have Michigan as a two-point favorite as of Monday. They are money line favorites of about -135 depending on which book you look at (bet $135 to profit $100). Those are implied odds of about 57 percent that Michigan will win the game.
For the West Region as a whole, Las Vegas has the following odds for each team to win the region and advance to the Final Four:
|Team||Odds||Implied odds (%)|
|3 Texas Tech||+400||20|
|4 Florida State||+600||14.3|
And while the odds vary depending on which book you look at, Texas Tech has roughly the 10th best odds to win the National Championship. I’ve seen their odds range from +2200 to +2500, which are implied odds of about 4-5 percent. If I recall correctly, they were about +3300 before the tournament began.
In summary, Gonzaga is still a heavy favorite to come out of the West no matter whose analytics you look at. And the consensus among the experts is that Texas Tech and Michigan are very evenly matched. Last week, while telling you to never gamble I told you to bet on Texas Tech to cover the spread against Buffalo. Cha ching. This week, I am not sensing any bet as a sure thing. So don’t gamble. But if you do, don’t be a Pink Raider. Pound the Tech money line at +115.