NCAA Bracket 2012 Predictions: Using Spreads to Determine the Winners

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NCAA Bracket 2012 Predictions: Using Spreads to Determine the Winners
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

So you’ve got your bracket printed out and you’re about to embark on the task of predicting the NCAA tournament. For some of you it’s about the money and others it’s the bragging rights. For me it’s both. As the old saying goes, being right is nice, but being paid for being right is divine…someone said that, right?

Half of your office will go with the chalks and put all the No. 1 seeds in the Final Four, while the other half will go with a mixture of love and hatred for teams and the need to pick upsets just for the sake of picking them. My girlfriend selects teams based on whether she likes the sound of their name.

Last year she had BYU going far because she thought they were called Bring’em young and it sounded funny to her.

My system is to go with the gut. Not my gut, mind you, but Vegas’ gut.

A soon as the bracket spots are filled on Selection Sunday, Las Vegas oddsmakers are busy trying to figure out which teams have a chance and which teams are all hype. Of course, the betting line isn’t always correct, but it’s an extremely useful tool to gauge what people who make a living on predicting outcomes think about the tournament field.

Most people only catch a game here and there, such as Duke and Carolina, and therefore will use seeding to determine the winner of a game. Discriminating bracket fillers know better and so does Vegas.

While I won’t assume to know what will happen in the tournament, I do know what Vegas thinks. Here is a list of games that could give you a leg up in your tournament selection.

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