2014 NCAA WRESTLING TOURNAMENT: BREAKING DOWN THE ODDS

Think you know wrestling? Put your money where you mouth is folks!

Big thanks to twade for his help with this post.

The B1G Championship Odds was a big hit so I have decided to come up with some possible lines for the upcoming NCAA Championships.

If you are die hard wrestling fan you probably have gotten a group of ten guys together to create fantasy wrestling teams. Maybe you have done pick's. What a lot of people do not know is that you can actually place wagers on the NCAA Championships and have been able to for quite a while. Some of the 'sharps' in Vegas have been taking advantage of these lines but with the growing popularity of the sport the lines have become much tighter.

Brian Muir aka @MuirOrLess has put together a guide to betting the NCAA Championships:

For the newcomers, here's how it usually works:

Each weight class is broken down with a money line on the top two or three individuals (usually by seed). Then the remaining wrestlers, or the field, are given a collective money line to win.

For clarity purposes each line uses a base amount of $100. So if the line is +150, that means you risk $100 to profit $150. Likewise, if the line is -150, you risk $150 to profit $100.

A few numbers for thought before we break down the weight classes (all data is since the 2003 NCAA tournament):

1. The No. 1 seed at the NCAA wrestling tournament has won almost exactly 50% of the time.

2. A wrestler seeded third or lower has won approximately 30%.

3. A wrestler seeded fourth or lower has won approximately 20%.

4. The field comes in on average twice a year.

5. All NCAA champions in 2013 came from either the No. 1 or No. 2 seed. That hadn't happened previously since a few years before David Taylor was born.

Follow @Sportsbook_com to find out when the actual odds come out. For now these are just for fun and if you follow my plays do not come knocking on my door. As Brian pointed out they will only have plays for top three seeds and then there will be a field bet. For the B1G's we put odds out like a horse race which is how I wish they did the NCAA's but they do it like this for obvious reasons.

The order of these are simply the top three seeds. You will notice that some second and three seeds will be the favorite.

NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP ODDS

125

1) J Delgado EVEN
2) N Garrett +150
3) N Megaludis +220
4) FIELD +700

THE PLAY:

I've got Garrett coming out on top. He's knocked off #3 Megaludis twice this year (6-5 and 6-4) and should do it again in what will be a very entertaining semis matchup. On the other side of the bracket I've got Iowa freshman #8 Cory Clark pulling off consecutive upsets and beating both #1 Delgado and #5 Peters. Clark was very competitive with Delgado at Big 10s - he was in on single legs a number of times, but wasn't able to convert them for TDs as Delgado was able to scramble into stalemate calls each time. Clark figures this out and converts this time around to face #5 Peters in the semis. Clark beat Peters when they were both redshirting in 2012-2013 (a 14-10 final ) and I think Clark wins again before facing Garrett in the final. Garrett over Clark in the final.

133

1) J Colon EVEN
2) A Schopp +200
3) T Ramos +120
4) FIELD +350

THE PLAY:

Ramos started the season as the clear man to beat at this weight. He's had some hiccups this season, suffering losses to both #1 Colon and #2 Schopp, but I think he ends it on top again. Tony has a clear upper hand over Schopp from neutral - a 1st period TD is a must for Ramos. I think Ramos does a better job of scoring an escape this time vs. Schopp, but I'd rather it not come down to that and hope Tony is in a position in this match to choose neutral. We get a repeat of the Big 10 final with a Ramos-Graff matchup. Ramos wins it all.

141

1) M Port +250
2) L Stieber -250
3) Z Retherford +200
4) FIELD +440

THE PLAY:

Port's looked amazing this year, but hasn't faced the schedule that Stieber's gone through. After a surprising (at the time) loss to #3 Retherford, which ended a 45 match winning streak, Stieber has simply dominated in winning every match (other than a 7-3 win over Retherford in the Big 10 final) by bonus points. Port in his own right has finals experience (he finished as a runner-up to Kendric Maple in last year's 141 pound final), but I think Stieber proves to be too much for him. While the price is pretty steep, Stieber is your champ and stays on pace to join Pat Smith, Cael Sanderson and Kyle Dake as four-timers.

149

1) D Houdashelt +120
2) N Dardanes +180
3) C Villalonga +220
4) FIELD +300

THE PLAY:

It's tough to go against Houdashelt this year as he's basically taken on all comers, notching wins over #2 Dardanes, #4 Maple and #6 Sueflohn. However, he's lined up to have a tough quarters (vs. #9 Grajales who's capable of beating anyone) and a semis matchup against either defending 141 pound champ Maple or super-frosh Tsirtsis (hence the relatively low odds for the "favorite"). The smart money says there's a good chance he falters along the way against his half of the bracket. On the other side of the bracket, we should see Dardanes come through. All things being equal, I don't think he's one of the top 2 guys at this weight, but he was given both a fortunate seed and an easier road - all 3 of the guys who beat him are on the top half of the bracket (#1 Houdashelt, #4 Maple, #9 Grajales). My play is the Field...getting both Maple and Tsirtsis is great value and even #6 Sueflohn and #9 Grajales are prime bracket busters. I've got Maple winning it.

157

1) J Green EVEN
2) DSJ +160
3) A Dieringer +220
4) FIELD +400

THE PLAY:

Already a 2-time AA (7th place in both 2012 and 2013), Green has stepped up another level this season. He's still the same explosive wrestler we've seen in the past, but this year he's wrestling smarter and, for lack of a better term, guttier. He has a likely matchup vs. underseeded #9 Ness in the quarters and his semis bout won't be a walk in the park (vs. #5 Jordan or #4 Miller), but I think he makes it through unscathed. As far as his opponent, it's going to be either #2 St. John or #3 Dieringer. Dieringer has given St. John fits the last 2 years, but DSJ has won all 3 matchups (8-4, 3-2(TB2), 2-1). I think DSJ finds a way to win again, but Dieringer at +220 is too tempting, as he's right there with St. John and would be a very intriguing matchup for Green (Dieringer and Green have never faced off). Dieringer is my play at those odds (all three wrestlers are very evenly matched and he has the best odds), but in filling out the bracket, Green is my choice for the champ.

165

1) D Taylor -800
2) T Caldwell +450
3) N Sulzer +600
4) FIELD +1600

THE PLAY:

It's all Taylor here. While I suppose there's a chance he gets caught (a la 2011 vs. Bubba Jenkins), it's just not happening. As far as his finals opponent, I think it's Tyler Caldwell in front of the home crowd.

174

1) C Perry +160
2) A Howe EVEN
3) R Kokesh +300
4) FIELD +450

THE PLAY:

In my opinion, despite the Big 12 final result, #2 Howe is in a completely different league - he had the winning TD vs. #1 Perry 2 separate times in the Big 12 final before the refs overturned them. Perry's semis match vs. the winner of #5 Brown and #4 Evans is going to be a bloodbath, but he'll advance in front of the home crowd. Howe reverses that Big 12 final and beats Perry in OKC.

184

1) J Sheptock +220
2) E Ruth -400
3) G Dean +225
4) FIELD +750

THE PLAY:

I like #5 Lofthouse's chances to get to a Friday night semis matchup vs. Sheptock. While Ethen lost to Sheptock in the Midlands final (a terribly boring 3-2 match) he's also beaten Sheptock twice (winning 5-3 at 2012 NCAAs and 6-2 at 2013 NCAAs). I see Ethen opening up a bit more and getting to his offense early this time. He then runs into the freight train that is Eddie Ruth...Ruth is your champ and the play.

197

1) N Heflin EVEN
2) J Cox +220
3) M McIntosh +230
4) FIELD +300

THE PLAY:

Give me the freshman, #2 J'Den Cox. His bracket sets up pretty nice for a finals run - he has comfortable wins over both his likely quarters opponent (#7 Rutt, 6-1) and semis opponent (#3 McIntosh, 2-0 and 8-2). We haven't had a freshman champ since Logan Stieber in 2012 (the last true freshman to win it was Kyle Dake in 2010). Despite that history I think Cox wins it, beating the winner of Gadson/Schiller (a brutal quarterfinal matchup) in the final.

285

1) T Nelson +120
2) N Gwiazdowski +180
3) A Chalfant +220
4) FIELD +300

THE PLAY:

With the way this weight has shaken out over the season, it's tempting to take the field here, especially with the 2-time defending champ taking on 4 losses (3 consecutive) in a rough midseason stretch. However, after a one month layoff, Nelson looked to be back on his (stalling) game at Big 10s. I expect him to get by either #5 Telford or #4 Coon in the semis. Nelson should make it a 3-peat, but watch out for #3 Chalfant. He's had a fantastic season and has beaten Nelson already this year (and lost in the TB to him in the Big 10 final). I've got him beating both #6 McMullan and #2 Gwiazdowski to make the final.

I don't think you can place wagers on a specific team but this is how the lines could look.

TEAM TITLE

1. Penn State -150
2. Iowa +180
3. Minnesota +220

THE PLAY:

While PSU is still the favorite, they showed some vulnerability at Big 10s. IMO, Minnesota doesn't have the firepower to keep up with them. I think PSU makes it a 3 peat, but there's not a lot of value in those odds. Give me Iowa at +180.

And THANKS AGAIN to twade for his assistance on THE PLAY portions of this post.  Thanks!

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