Final Four Predictions | March Madness 2018

The article below provides our predictions for Final Four games in the 2018 tournament. A brief description of how to interpret the predictions is provided in each section. If you’re interested in further detail on our models, check out these articles:

Win Probability & Spread Predictions

For each game, “Team1 Win Prob” represents our model’s probability that Team1 (the better-seeded team) wins the game. Probabilities below 50 are predictions that Team2 will win the game. The “284 Spread” is our model’s prediction of how many points Team1 will win by (for both Vegas and 284 Spreads, negative values indicate Team1 is favored, while positives indicate Team2 is favored). The “Team1 Cover Prob” is our model’s probability that Team1 covers the Vegas Spread. A Cover Prob below 50 favors Team2 to cover (and above 50 favors Team1 to cover). Note that our 284 Spread and Cover Prob models are generated separately, so there will be games where they disagree (e.g., one is predicting Team1 covers and the other predicts Team2 covers):

Team 1Team 2Team1
Win Prob
Vegas
Spread
284
Spread
Team1
Cover Prob
MichiganLoyola83-5-8.977
VillanovaKansas68-5-8.393
VillanovaMichigan70-6.5-6.579



Over/Under Predictions

For each game, the Vegas Total can be compared to our “284 Total” (our model’s prediction of how many points will be scored in the game) as well as our “Over Prob” (our model’s probability that the game goes over the Vegas Total). An Over Prob prediction below 50 sides with an Under, while a prediction above 50 sides with an Over. Note that our 284 Total and Over Prob models are generated separately, so there will be games where they disagree (e.g., one is predicting over and the other predicts under):

Team 1Team 2Vegas
Total
284
Total
Over
Prob
MichiganLoyola129.5126.138
VillanovaKansas155.0165.178
VillanovaMichigan145147.668

Simulation Update

The table below displays our updated simulation results for the Final Four. Each column represents that probability of each team advancing to a given round. For more info on how our simulation works, see this article.

Round 1-5 Recap

Here is how each model’s predictions have fared in the first 62 games of the tournament, with spread and total accuracy graded againstĀ closing numbers for each game:

  • Win Probabilities: 43-19 (69%)
  • 284 Spreads: 33-28 (54%)
  • Cover Probabilities: 34-27 (56%)
  • 284 Totals: 38-24 (61%)
  • Over Probabilities: 36-26 (58%)