2016 Men’s College Basketball Tournament Futures

With the 2016 NCAA Tournament field down to the Sweet 16, the top-ranked Kansas Jayhawks have the highest percentage of money (33%) and tickets (12%) written on them to win the national championship at William Hill sports books. Following is a complete breakdown of the remaining teams in contention to cut down the nets on April 4 along with the perfect time to bet them to do just that…

South Region

No. 1 Kansas: The Big 12 champion Jayhawks (32-4) were listed as high as 10/1 on Dec. 6 after opening 9/1. They were 6-1 at the time, with their lone loss coming against Michigan State 79-73 on Nov. 17. With the Spartans losing in the first round, they have emerged as the team to beat.

No. 2 Villanova: The Wildcats (31-5) opened at 25/1 and got as high as 30/1 on Nov. 18 before they even lost a game. The Big East regular-season champions were ranked No. 1 for three weeks.

No. 3 Miami: The Hurricanes (27-7) could be one of the biggest bargains of the Big Dance for bettors who got them at 125/1 on Nov. 20. They opened at 50/1 and suffered their first loss at Northeastern a week later on Nov. 27.

No. 5 Maryland: The Terrapins (27-8) were viewed as Michigan State’s top threat for the Big Ten crown earlier in the season before struggling a bit down the stretch. Bettors could get them as high as 30/1 on March 14, which is potentially great value if they can upset Kansas after opening at 15/1.

West Region

No. 1 Oregon: The Ducks (30-6) were a surprising top seed on Selection Sunday but rolled through the Pac-12 Tournament to earn that distinction. They are still not the favorites in their own region but have dropped significantly from a high of 150/1 on Jan. 24 when they were 16-4.

No. 2 Oklahoma: The Sooners (27-7) are led by arguably the best player left in Buddy Hield, who has made them a popular public team in the second half of the season. They remain the favorites to win the West over Oregon and were as high as 50/1 on Nov. 18 after opening at 40/1.

No. 3 Texas A&M: The Aggies (28-8) were not supposed to win the SEC regular-season title but edged Kentucky before losing to the Wildcats in the conference tournament championship game. They opened at 50/1 but fell to 100/1 on Nov. 24 before losing for the first time to Syracuse three days later.

No. 4 Duke: The defending national champion Blue Devils (25-10) finished in a disappointing tie for fifth in the ACC with Notre Dame. They were at their lowest point going into the tournament with 30/1 odds on March 14 after opening 15/1.

East Region

No. 1 North Carolina: The Tar Heels (30-6) won the ACC regular-season and tournament titles and have not disappointed through the first two rounds. They were as high as 10/1 on Dec. 6 after opening at 9/1 and looked to have a tough draw before seeing the second, third and fourth seeds in the East lose.

No. 5 Indiana: The Hoosiers (27-7) are trying to become the first team ever to lose the first game of their conference tournament and still win a national championship. The Big Ten regular-season champs were as high as 75/1 on Jan. 1 when they were 11-3 after opening at 50/1.

No. 6 Notre Dame: The Fighting Irish (23-11) nearly upset top seed Kentucky last year to get to the Final Four but looked like they might be at risk of missing the tourney this season when they were as high as 250/1 on Jan. 17. They opened at 40/1, which is still lower than their current odds.

No. 7 Wisconsin: The Badgers (22-12) continue to amaze despite losing their two best players to the NBA last year. After making the Final Four in consecutive years, they were as high as 500/1 to win it all on Jan. 31 when they were just 13-9, the worst odds of any team in the Sweet 16.

Midwest Region

No. 1 Virginia: The Cavaliers (28-7) beat out the Spartans for the top seed in the Midwest and have benefitted the most from their shocking first-round upset loss to Middle Tennessee after losing to them the past two years. Virginia opened at 10/1 but dropped as high as 25/1 on Feb. 8 when they were 19-4.

No. 4 Iowa State: The Cyclones (23-11) had better teams under former head coach Fred Hoiberg, who left after last season for the Chicago Bulls. But they remain the toughest challenger remaining in the region for the Cavs and were as high as 60/1 on March 14.

No. 10 Syracuse: The Orange (21-13) were one of the last teams in and widely criticized for not deserving an invitation to the Big Dance. In fact, they were as high as 400/1 before Selection Sunday with their status in doubt after opening 200/1 off a year in which they banned themselves from the postseason.

No. 11 Gonzaga: The Bulldogs (28-7) are one of the biggest risers on the futures betting board and like Syracuse could take advantage of Michigan State’s loss with a berth in the Elite Eight. They opened at 25/1 and fell as high as 150/1 on March 8 when it looked like St. Mary’s would win the WCC.

Eight games during NCAA tournament’s second weekend open for In-Play wagering

During the second weekend of NCAA tournament action, eight games will be offered by William Hill for In-Play wagering. In-Play is available at both all William Hill locations throughout Nevada and via the William Hill Mobile Sports betting app.

The weekend’s In-Play menu is as follows:

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Ten NCAA tournament games available for In-Play wagering Tuesday through Friday

The biggest week of the basketball season is upon us, and on top of all of the sides, totals, futures and props open for wagering as we enter the opening weekend of the NCAA tournament, also available will be 10 games for In-Play wagering from Tuesday through Friday.

This week’s tournament schedule features two opening round games on both Tuesday and Thursday, then 16 second round games on Thursday and 16 more on Friday. The William Hill In-Play menu spaces Thursday’s and Friday’s options out so that there is one game open for In-Play betting during each of the key time slots.

In-Play wagering is available at all William Hill locations throughout the state of Nevada, and also via the William Hill Mobile Sports wagering app.

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Sunday filled with close calls nets Las Vegas woman $16,085 Progressive jackpot

By late Sunday afternoon, Sonia Davis was left with one more game to sweat out.

Michigan’s narrow 58-57 escape of rival Michigan State and Boston College’s narrow 53-52 victory over ACC foe Virginia had the Las Vegas resident with a perfect 14-of-14 William Hill Progressive Contest card.

A 15-of-15 card would net her the weekend’s 15-of-15 jackpot. That final piece was the Houston Rockets, who she needed to defeat the Dallas Mavericks. The Rockets held a slim 54-51 edge over the Mavs at halftime.

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Major League Baseball futures and props are all now available at William Hill

With this week’s release of several individual player and head-to-head prop bets, William Hill’s menu of Major League Baseball regular season wagering options is as extensive a list as customers can hope to find in Nevada.

The start of the 2013 MLB regular season is still more than a month away, but that gives you plenty of time to take in all of the following:

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Lifelong 49er fan Mike Smyth submits winning idea in William Hill Twitter/Facebook prop contest

Some San Francisco 49er fans would love to see former starting quarterback Alex Smith get into the action next Sunday when they meet the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans.

Now, those Smith supporters have a chance to cash in should that opportunity come to fruition. And they can thank one of their fellow 49er faithful for that.

On Wednesday, as William Hill was working on its wagering menu for next Sunday’s game – a menu featuring more than 200 proposititional wagers that were opened for betting on Friday afternoon – the chance to participate in that menu was given to our customers via Twitter and Facebook. We asked for the most creative prop ideas that our customers would find to be unique and interesting, and out of more than 100 submissions in a 24-hour period, Reno resident Mike Smyth submitted the winner:

The official wording of the Yes/No prop will be “Will Alex Smith take a snap from center?” It will be released as part of a second wave of props William Hill is putting out for its customers over the weekend, and Smyth will be credited for coming up with the idea below the pricing.

For his winning submission, Smyth receives a free $100 Super Bowl wager.

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Sparks resident nets $22,000 payday in winning Pro Pick ’em Contest

Sparks resident Kent Harding, right, collects his $22,000 grand prize from the William Hill $500,000 Pro Pick ’em Contest at JJ’s Sports & Spirits in Sparks on Jan. 18, 2013. Harding is joined by his wife, Peggy (center), and William Hill Area Operations Manager Peggy Murphy (left). Harding won the contest by two games with a final record of 194-78.

Kent Harding only needed one entry into the $500,000 Pro Pick ’em Contest to ride his way to the season’s grand prize.

A 194-78 record left the 61-year-old Sparks resident with a 2-game lead on the second-place finisher and atop a contestant pool of more than 10,000 entries.

Contestants could purchase up to 25 entries into the contest, but Harding was able to claim the top spot with just a $25 investment.

“I guess it gives credence to the old saying: It only takes one,” he said. “That’s the luckiest thing that’s ever happened to me in my life, other than meeting my wife.”

A long-time contest player, Harding said he didn’t follow the season standings very closely, though his entry did take control of the race for the grand prize in the season’s final few weeks. For winning the contest, he won $20,000 plus an opted for $2,000 buy-out in lieu of a VIP trip for two to London for next season’s NFL game at Wembley Stadium.

Harding cashed out some season prizes along the way, too, first taking $67 as part of a second place tie first – “I was happy with just $67,” he said – then later $2,500 as a first place prize in the season’s final month. He played his picks all season at Scolari’s in Sparks, which recently had its name changed to JJ’s Sports & Spirits. That is also where he collected his grand prize on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013.

Each week, contestants picked the winners of all Sunday and Monday NFL games – no point spreads involved. Each week, $21,000 in prizes were awarded to contestants who picked the most winners, second-most winners and least winners.

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Two winners split $26,540 grand prize in inaugural 20/20 College Bowl Challenge

Brother and sister Marlo, left, and Wayne Thomas, right, are joined by Marlo’s husband Bo Boschetti, center, in collecting their winnings from the 20/20 College Bowl Challenge at the Club Fortune William Hill Sports Book in Henderson on Jan. 8, 2013. The family submitted one of the contest’s two winning tickets, finishing with a 16-4 record

Wayne Thomas happened upon the 20/20 College Bowl Challenge parlay card on a stop into the William Hill Sports Book at Club Fortune and picked one up. He brought it with him to a his family’s get-together on Christmas Eve, and along with Marlo – his sister – brother-in-law Bo Boschetti and a few of their kids, 20 picks were made around the table with the deadline for entry just two days away.

Marlo Thomas said she thought their ticket might be doomed after their first pick – Texas Tech -13.5 over Minnesota in the Meineke Car Care Bowl – failed to come in. But then, the family went on to hit 12 picks in a row, and hopes started to grow. Despite missing on Notre Dame +8.5 in the BCS Championship Game, the Thomas family’s 16-4 record was good enough to split the grand prize of $26,540. The other winning ticket – with a 16-4 record secured thanks to Alabama covering the 8.5-point spread against Notre Dame – was played at Bonanza in Reno.

“When Pitt lost big two days before the Alabama-Notre Dame game, I thought we were probably out of it,” Marlo Thomas said.

“I’ve been around this stuff long enough to know that 16-4 – going 80 percent – probably shot,” her husband, Bo, followed.

The Thomas family – seen above – came to Club Fortune on Jan. 8 to collect their $13,270 prize.

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Want to create your own William Hill 49ers-Ravens prop bet? Here’s your chance!

William Hill will be unveiling a wealth of options for wagering on the upcoming title clash between the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens on Friday afternoon, including a load of props. Now is your chance to get in on the process of helping us create them.

Between now and Thursday at 10 a.m. PT, you can either send us a reply on Twitter (@WilliamHillUS) or leave us a comment on our Facebook page with your unique prop bet idea, and we’ll select the best one received for use in our big game wagering menu. The winning submission will earn a free $100 wager on the 49ers/Ravens game (if you are in Nevada to place the bet). If the winner is submitted from outside of Nevada, you’ll get the same free $100 wager the next time you are in Nevada and visit a William Hill Sports Book.

You will also be credited for the idea in our wagering menu.

The results of the proposed prop bet must be verifiable, and be sure to use your imagination! It could be involving the Harbaugh brothers. It could involve 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick. It could involve any of the Ravens’ defensive stars. If it has to do with the actual game, it can be almost anything.

Ready, set, submit!

Entertainment value of wagering on NFL is at peak

BY JIMMY VACCARO

Taking your wife and two kids to a movie will put you in the ballpark of $75 in doing your patriotic duties.

Trying to put yourself on your first date in the express lane, you got to go for at least two “beans” at a high end restaurant in order to cross the goal line.

A two teamer using Ravens-Broncos linked to Seahawks-Falcons – priceless!

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