NCAA Tournament Live Blog Madness: PA Betting Splits, Line Movement & Promos, Updated April 6

Posted By Katie Kohler on March 18, 2021 - Last Updated on April 6, 2021

The selection committee made its picks and brackets are set. The 2021 NCAA Basketball Tournament started on March 18 with the “First Four” fighting for entry. The First Round tipped off on March 19.

Six wins separate one team from an NCAA Championship and one shining moment.

Pennsylvania sports betting apps have geared up for the Big Dance with promos, bet boosts and new user offers.

March Madness is here and PlayPennsylvania will keep you updated on the latest news and insights from sportsbooks about the 2021 NCAA Tournament here.

Villanova Wildcats odds tracker

The loss of Gillespie, the tri-Big East player of the year, was a devastating blow to Villanova. His season-ending injury also had an immediate impact on Villanova’s NCAA Tournament odds.

The Wildcats managed to advance to the Sweet 16 with wins over Winthrop and North Texas in Rounds one and two, but unfortunately, they fell to No. 1 seed Baylor in the Round of 16.

April 6: Baylor vs. Gonzaga one of most bet events ever

Gonzaga was denied a chance to earn its spot in the history books, but the 2021 National Championship game etched its name in the books.

Baylor vs. Gonzaga was the largest non-football event ever, overall and in New Jersey, at DraftKings. Also, it was the tenth largest event on the book of all time, just behind the 2021 CFB National Championship.

Top NCAAB money makers at DraftKings

  • Baylor
  • UCLA
  • Gonzaga
  • Oral Roberts
  • Oregon State

Most bet NCAA Tournament games by handle in Pennsylvania

  • April 5: Baylor vs. Gonzaga
  • April 3: UCLA vs. Gonzaga
  • March 27: Villanova vs. Baylor
  • March 28: UCLA vs. Alabama
  • March 30: UCLA vs. Michigan

April 6: Six-figure Baylor backers cash in at BetMGM

Seamus Magee, Sports Trader at BetMGM commented on the NCAA Championship game. At BetMGM, 56% of the spread handle was on Gonzaga (-4.5).

“Congratulations to Baylor on winning the National Championship and to all the BetMGM customers that backed the Bears. Baylor upsetting Gonzaga was a good result for the sportsbook, as the Zags were our biggest futures liability.”

Notable winning bets at BetMGM

  • $330K to win $300K on Gonzaga-Baylor under 159.5
  • $330K to win $300K on Baylor +4.5
  • $330K to win $275K on Baylor +5
  • $330K to win $495K on Baylor +165

April 6: BetRivers and PlaySugarHouse National Championship betting recap

Baylor spoiled Gonzaga’s perfect season with a dominating 86-70 victory in the 2021 National Championship game.

For sports betting apps, the title game topped off a fantastic tournament of action.

A rep from BetRivers and PlaySugarhouse said the National Championship was the most bet-game of the tournament and the entire 2020-2021 college basketball season. Also, Baylor was the most-wagered on team during the NCAA Tournament

The largest winning bet for Baylor vs. Gonzaga was a $16,400 wager on Under 159 (-111) that paid out $31,175.

Most wagered-on NCAAB games at BetRivers

  1. #1 Gonzaga vs. #1 Baylor (Championship)
  2. #1 Gonzaga vs. #11 UCLA (Final Four)
  3. #1 Michigan vs. #11 UCLA (Elite Eight)
  4. #1 Baylor vs. #2 Houston (Final Four)
  5. #1 Baylor vs. #5 Villanova (Sweet 16)

Most wagered-on winning bets at BetRivers

  1. #1 Baylor +4.5 vs. #1 Gonzaga (Championship)
  2. #1 Baylor -7.5 vs. #5 Villanova (Sweet 16)
  3. #1 Baylor -8 vs. #3 Arkansas (Elite Eight)
  4. #1 Gonzaga -8.5 vs. #6 USC (Elite Eight)
  5. #1 Baylor -5 vs. #2 Houston (Final Four)

 Largest Payouts for the NCAAB at BetRivers

  1. $106,150: $55K wager on #12 Oregon State +8.5 (-108) vs. #5 Tennessee (First Round)
  2. $105,000: $50K wager on #9 Wisconsin ML (+110) vs. #8 North Carolina (First Round)
  3. $84,700: $45K wager on #1 Baylor -5 (-112) vs. #2 Houston (Final Four)
  4. $71,600: $40K wager on #11 Michigan State 1H ML (-127) vs. #11 UCLA (First Four)
  5. $70,300: $37K wager on #3 Arkansas +2 (-111) vs. #6 Texas Tech (Second Round)

April 5: NCAA Championship betting information from FanDuel

Baylor  vs. Gonzaga (-4.5) / Total Points 159

  • 51% of the money is on Baylor (+4.5)
  • 61% of the money is on the UNDER (159)
  • 51% of the money is on Baylor ML

College basketball player prop betting is not permitted in Pennsylvania but it allowed in other states. FanDuel users are expecting the National Championship game to be “Timme Time.”

  • Drew Timme is the co-Favorite with Jalen Suggs to Win Most Outstanding Player at +115.

  • He favorite to score the first basket of the game at +360.

  •  Timme is the top player performance double at +105 (Timme scores 20 points and Gonzaga wins)

April 5: Baylor vs. Gonzaga NCAA Championship betting guide: Stats, big bets, and betting splits

It all comes down to the chalk. The two top teams, undefeated Gonzaga (31-0) and Baylor (27-2) face off in tonight’s National Championship game.

Gonzaga is looking to crown their perfect season with its first National Championship. Baylor is also searching for its first National Championship.

Baylor vs. Gonzaga betting information from FanDuel:

  • Gonzaga is 5-0 all-time against Baylor.
  • Gonzaga defeated Baylor, 83-71 on March 23, 2019, their most recent meeting
  • Baylor is 4-1 ATS in its last five games.
  • The total has hit the OVER in 14 of Baylor’s last 17 games.
  • Gonzaga is 4-1 ATS in its last five games.
  • The total has hit the OVER in eight of Gonzaga’s last 12 games.

National Championship betting splits at DraftKings
Baylor vs. Gonzaga (-4.5):

  • 51% of the money is on Gonzaga (-4.5)
  • 56% of the money is on the OVER (159)
  • 61% of the money is on Baylor ML (+163)

National Championship betting splits at BetRivers
Baylor vs. Gonzaga (-5):

  • 60% of the money is on Gonzaga (-5)
  • 72% of the money is on Baylor ML (+165)

Betting splits from BetMGM

At BetRivers, Gonzaga and Baylor account for 47% of the total NCAA Championship futures handle (Gonzaga (36%, Baylor 11%). 

Entering the Final Four, Gonzaga’s Jalen Suggs was +400 to win the Most Outstanding Player Award. After his legendary buzzer-beater against UCLA, the freshman is now tied with Drew Timme at +100. (Betting on the Most Outstanding Player in the NCAA Tournament is not permitted in PA).

Notable Futures Bets at BetRivers:

  • $10,000 on Drew Timme to win MOP (+250)
  • $8,000 on Baylor to win NCAA Championship (+350)
  • $5,500 on Baylor to win NCAA Championship (+475)
  • $4,000 on Gonzaga to win NCAA Championship (+205)

Notable bets on Baylor vs. Gonzaga at BetRivers

  • $7,200 on Gonzaga -3 1H (-114)
  • $6,000 on Gonzaga ML (-208)
  • $5,500 on Baylor +5 (-108)
  • $5,000 on Gonzaga -4.5 (-120)

April 5: NCAA Championship promos and bet boosts

Promos and bet boosts for Baylor vs. Gonzaga at sports betting apps.

FanDuel 

  • 163+ total points scored boosted from (+125) to +200. Max bet $50

DraftKings

  • Underdog Flip Gonzaga +4.5: Following opt-in, you’ll be given an odds boost to use on Gonzaga to cover an alternate spread (+4.5). Max bet $25.
  • Baylor to win the first half and Gonzaga to win the game boosted from (+550)  to +620

BetMGM

  • Baylor to win boosted from (+165) to +210

FoxBet

  • Both teams to score 80 or more points boosted from (+250) to +300
  • Both teams to score 40 or more points in the first half boosted from (+350) to +450
  • Gonzaga to win by 20 or more points boosted from (+600) to +700
  • Baylor to win and both teams to score 80 or more points boosted from (+700) to +800

BetRivers

  • Gonzaga (-4.5), 160+ total game points vs. Baylor (yes) +275
  • Baylor to win either half (yes) -215 
  • Gonzaga to lead by 15+ points at any point (yes) +255

April 5: Final Four big bet winners

Final Four Weekend winners at BetMGM 

Men’s NCAA Tournament

  • $330K to win $300K on UCLA +14.5
  • $308K to win $280K on Baylor -5
  • $110K to win $100K on Baylor-Houston over 135
  • $88K to win $52K on 2-team moneyline parlay Gonzaga -1200 and Baylor -215

Women’s NCAA Tournament

  • $220K to win $200K on Arizona +7.5 (Tournament Finals)

April 3: Final Four betting splits

Final Four betting splits at DraftKings as of 4/3.

Houston vs Baylor (-5):

  • 83% of the money is on Baylor (-5)
  • 62% of the money is on the OVER (134.5)
  • 74% of the money is on Baylor ML (-220)

UCLA vs. Gonzaga (-14):

  • 75% of the money is on Gonzaga (-14)
  • 54% of the money is on the OVER (145.5)
  • 57% of the money is on UCLA ML (+700)

Final Four betting splits at FanDuel as of 4/2.

Houston vs Baylor (-5):

  • 81% of the money is on Baylor (-5)
  • 70% of the money is on the OVER (134.5)
  • 81% of the money is on Baylor ML

UCLA vs. Gonzaga (-14):

  • 74% of the money is on Gonzaga (-14)
  • 52% of the money is on the OVER (145.5)
  • 79% of the money is on Gonzaga ML

April 3: Final Four betting guide

From the “First Four” to the field of 64 to the Final Four.

At 5:14 p.m. ET, No. 1 Baylor takes on No. 2 Houston. Then, No. 1 Gonzaga and No. 11 UCLA tip off at 8:34 p.m. ET.

The start times make it prime time for betting.

“I think these two games should be the most bet so far this tournament for sure,” said Nick Bogdanovich, Director of Trading for William Hill. “The times for these games are dead perfect for betting, some of the previous times were really late starts.”

The point spread has remained steady with Baylor -5 and the total points at 135.

“I thought the line would a little higher and it may close higher because of money,” Bogdanovich said. “Looks like we’re about 4-to-1 on straight bets and parlays in favor of Baylor. The public really likes teams with offensive firepower, and Houston doesn’t really score a lot, they excel on the defensive end. They also aren’t in a power conference and they’ve only faced double-digit seeds, so that combo probably factors in to all the Baylor money.”

In the second game, Gonzaga (-1100 ML) is a 14-point favorite over UCLA. It is the fourth time this NCAA Tournament that the Bulldogs have been favorited by double digits.

“I don’t think we’ll end up needing anyone that much in that game,” Bogdanovich said. “The only places where Gonzaga has dominated the betting are teasers and moneyline parlays. Obviously [UCLA coach Mick] Cronin will try and slow this to a crawl. Gonzaga is going to try and speed this thing up. We’ll see what wins out.”

Notable Final Four bets at William Hill

  • A Mississippi bettor laid $20,426.90 on Baylor -5 (-110) for a total potential payout of $38,996.80 and another $20,000 on Baylor ML -215 for a total potential payout of $29,302.30.
  • A New Jersey bettor put $10,000 on UCLA ML +700 for a total potential payout of $80,000.

March 31: Final Four splits and tournament betting so far at DraftKings

The Final Four is set and the early money is already flowing.

Houston vs Baylor (-5):

  • 89% of the money is on Baylor (-5)
  • 58% of the money is on the OVER (134.5)
  • 78% of the money is on Baylor ML (-225)

UCLA vs. Gonzaga (-14):

  • 86% of the money is on Gonzaga (-14)
  • 51% of the money is on the OVER (146)
  • 51% of the money is on Gonzaga ML (-1250)

Handle for the NCAA Tournament has been “great” so far says Johnny Avello, head of sportsbook and gaming operations at DraftKings. Not as shocking as a Cinderella in the Final Four considering the sportsbook is now available in 11 states. 

“There is a pent-up demand for this tournament. There always is,” said Avello. “College basketball fans and the college basketball community watch and bet on basketball all year long but the conference tournaments and the NCAA tournament is highly anticipated.”

Gonzaga is the biggest liability at DraftKings.

“Gonzaga money has been pretty steady.”

March 31: Early money on Baylor and Gonzaga

Betting splits from FanDuel

Houston vs Baylor (-5):

  • 85% of the money is on Baylor (-5)
  • 75% of the money is on the OVER (135)
  • 83% of the money is on Baylor ML

UCLA vs. Gonzaga (-14):

  • 85% of the money is on Gonzaga (-14)
  • 52% of the money is on the OVER (145.5)
  • 75% of the money is on Gonzaga ML

Current odds at FanDuel to win the NCAA Tournament:

  • Gonzaga -190
  • Baylor +260
  • Houston +800
  • UCLA +2700

March 30: Preview of tonight’s Elite 8 games from William Hill

For the first time this NCAA tournament, undefeated Gonzaga is not a double-digit favorite.

USC vs. Gonzaga (-8.5) 

  • 56% of the money is on Gonzaga (-8.5)
  • 66% of the money is on the UNDER (153)
  • 68% of the money is on Gonzaga ML (-440)

Notable wagers:

  • A Nevada bettor put $22,000 on USC +9 (-110) for a total potential payout of $42,000. It is the largest spread bet for tonight’s action as of now at William Hill.

“USC won’t be intimidated by Gonzaga, and I think they can give them a good game,” said Nick Bogdanovich, Director of Trading at William Hill. “Both teams are 3-0 against the spread in the tournament. Now you’re getting 8.5 points on a very talented USC team, which should draw plenty of USC money. I’d be shocked if we needed anyone big in this one.”

UCLA vs. Michigan (-6.5)

  • 67% of the money is on Michigan (-6.5)
  • 63% of the money is on the OVER (135.5)
  • 70% of the money is on Michigan ML (-30)

Notable wagers:

  • A $15,745 wager on Michigan ML (-330) for a total potential payout of $20,516.20
  • A $4,000 bet on UCLA ML (+260)  for a total potential payout of $14,400.

“Michigan has overcome no [Isaiah] Livers and they looked awfully strong against Florida State,” Bogdanovich said. “UCLA is peaking at the right time though, and wouldn’t it be something if they beat Michigan and Michigan State in the same tournament? They were fortunate to beat Alabama, but UCLA has just been cashing tickets every game. I don’t think we’ll have a big decision one way or the other for this game either.”

March 30: Elite 8 betting splits from DraftKings

USC vs. Gonzaga (-8) 

  • 68% of the money is on Gonzaga (-8)
  • 52% of the money is on the OVER (153)
  • 78% of the money is on Gonzaga ML (-420)

UCLA vs. Michigan (-7)

  • 69% of the money is on Michigan (-7)
  • 68% of the money is on the OVER (135.5)
  • 71% of the money is on Michigan ML (-305)

Early betting splits for Saturday’s Final Four

Houston vs. Baylor (-4.5) betting splits: 

  • 92% of the money is on Baylor (-4.5)
  • 71% of the money is on the OVER (136)
  • 76% of the money is on Baylor ML (-200)

Most current NCAA Championship odds at DraftKings

  • Gonzaga:+135
  • Baylor:+200
  • Houston:+450
  • Michigan:+800
  • USC:+1400
  • UCLA:+3300

March 29: Elite 8 insights from William Hill

Nick Bogdanovich, Director of Trading for William Hill, said the Elite 8 typically has more straight bets while parlays dominate the early rounds since there are lots of teams to choose from.

Houston opened as an 8-point favorite at William Hill over Oregon State. However, the line quickly shifted to Houston -7.5 before coming back up to -8 today. The total has dropped a point, falling from 130.5 to 129.5.

Oregon State vs. Houston betting splits: 

  • 66% of the money is on Oregon State (+8)
  • 61% of the money is on the OVER (129.5)
  • 62% of the money is on Oregon State ML (+300)

“I think we’ll need Houston at the end of the day, Oregon State will probably be a public dog,” Bogdanovich said. “With Oregon State, how many games in a row are they going to be getting this many points? The Pac-12 is rolling, I think all three Pac-12 teams have a chance at being public dogs this round.”

A New Jersey bettor laid $12,500 on Oregon State +8.5 (-125) for a total potential payout of $22,500

Another New Jersey wager for $10,000 on Oregon State ML +320 for a total potential payout of $42,000.

For Arkansas vs. Baylor, there has been a shift in the spread.

“We opened 6, and it’s now up to 7.5,” Bogdanovich said. “Sharp money is on Baylor. Parlays are heavy on Baylor. Looks like we’re definitely going to need Arkansas. This will be a physical war for sure. If it was earlier in the tournament, the total probably would have been higher. But now, they guard every possession like it’s life or death, usually the bigger the game means the lower the total.”

Arkansas vs. Baylor betting splits from William Hill:

  • 78% of the money is on Baylor (-7.5)
  • 67% of the $ is on the UNDER (148)
  • 94% of the money is on Baylor ML (-360)

March 29: Monday’s Elite 8 betting splits from BetMGM

No. 3 Arkansas vs. No. 1 Baylor (-8)

  • 64% of the money is on Baylor (-8)
  • 69% of the money is on the UNDER (147.5)

No. 12 Oregon State vs. No. 2 Houston (-7.5)

  • 72% of the money is on Oregon State (+7.5)
  • 56% of the money is on the UNDER (129)

Notable Elite 8 wager at BetMGM: $360k on Houston (-7) to win $255k

March 29: Elite 8 betting information from DraftKings

Elite 8 betting splits from DraftKings

No. 12 Oregon State vs. No. 2 Houston (-8)

  • 67% of the money is on Oregon State (+8)
  • 62% of the money is on Houston ML (-360)
  • 61% of the money is on the OVER (129)

No. 3 Arkansas vs. No. 1 Baylor (-8)

  • 81% of the money is on Baylor (-8)
  • 62% of the money is on Baylor ML (-420)
  • 51% of the money is on the OVER (148)

No. 6 USC vs. No. 1 Gonzaga (-8.5)

  • 67% of the money is on Gonzaga (-8.5)
  • 77% of the money is on Gonzaga ML (-400)
  • 56% of the money is on the OVER (155.5)

No. 11 UCLA vs No. 1 Michigan (-7.5)

  • 67% of the money is on Michigan (-7.5)
  • 58% of the money is on Michigan ML (-345)
  • 54% of the money is on the OVER (136)

NCAA Championship betting splits by handle for remaining Elite 8 teams at DraftKings

  • 65%: Gonzaga (+135)
  • 11%: Michigan (+550)
  • 8%: USC (+1200)
  • 6%: UCLA (+2800)
  • 4%: Baylor (+250)
  • 3%: Houston (+600)
  • 2%: Arkansas (+2000)
  • 1%: Oregon State (+1600)

March 29: Rough weekend for six-figure bettors

Six-figure Sweet 16 bets turned sour. We should note, we don’t know if these bettors hedged, cashed out, etc.

March 27: “Mack” back to big betting ways

Just like you shouldn’t sleep on underdogs, don’t sleep on Mattress Mack. The Houston based-furniture store store owner with a penchant for king size bets is at it again. On Saturday,  Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale placed a $1 million bet with DraftKings on Houston (9-1) to win the NCAA Championship. If the Cougars capture the title, “Mattress Mack” would win $9 million.

His wager on the Cougars comes a few months after he won $3.46 million on the underdog Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV.

Mattress Mack commented on his seven-figure bet on Houston:
“Anything can happen in March Madness as we all know, but I’m ten toes down on Houston to bring the national title to Texas, and willing to stake a million dollars with DraftKings on that outcome. DraftKings continues to offer an unparalleled sportsbook experience and has rewarded customers during the opening rounds for underdog picks, although hopefully Syracuse’s Cinderella story ends in the Sweet 16 against Houston this weekend. I look forward to having skin-in-the-game for the rest of March Madness and seeing these young men compete, especially after the tournament was cancelled last season.”

March 26: Baylor big at BetRivers

BetRivers bettors love Baylor. Baylor is the currently the most wagered-on Sweet 16 team.

The No. 1 seed Bears take on the Villanova Wildcats on Saturday. Baylor is getting 75% of the ML handle and 83% of the spread handle.

Saturday’s second most popular game is Oral Roberts vs. No. 3 seed Arkansas. Oral Roberts can make history by becoming the first ever No. 15 seed to advance to the Elite Eight.

Arkansas ML is the second most wagered-on bet of the Sweet 16 with 65% of the money but only 42% of the tickets.

Oral Roberts (+11.5) is the most wagered-on underdog spread bet of the Sweet 16 by total money. 60% of the handle is on Oral Roberts (+11.5).

Gonzaga remains the favorite to win the NCAA Tournament. They are currently backed by 54% of the total remaining futures handle. Baylor (14%) and Michigan (10%) are the next most popular remaining picks to win the championship.

March 26: Big Sweet 16 bets already in at BetMGM

BetMGM’s biggest remaining liabilities are Gonzaga and Michigan.

Some notable Sweet 16 bets are already rolling in at BetMGM:

  • $451,000 to win $410,000 on Alabama -6
  • $367,200 to win $306,000 on Oregon +3
  • $306,000 to win $255,000 on Loyola-Chicago -6
  • $222,200 to win $202,000 on Florida State +3
  • $112,200 to win $102,000 on Creighton +13.5

To win NCAA Tournament

  • $100K to win $150K on Gonzaga +150

March 26: Sweet 16 betting splits from FanDuel

Sweet 16 betting splits at FanDuel as of March 26.

Oregon State vs. Loyola Chicago (-7)

  • 63% of the money is on Oregon State (+7)
  • 63% of the money is on Loyola Chicago ML
  • 84% of the money is on the OVER (125)

Villanova vs. Baylor (-7.5)

  • 75% of the money is on Baylor (-7.5)
  • 84% of the money is on Baylor ML
  • 79% of the money is on the OVER (141)

Oral Roberts vs. Arkansas (-11.5)

  • 71% of the money is on Arkansas (-11.5)
  • 55% of the money is on Arkansas ML
  • 64% of the money is on the OVER (159)

Syracuse vs. Houston (-6.5)

  • 71% of the money is on Syracuse (+6.5)
  • 63% of the money is on Loyola Chicago ML
  • 84% of the money is on the OVER (125)

Creighton vs. Gonzaga (-13)

  • 67% of the money is on Gonzaga (-13)
  • 89% of the money is on Gonzaga ML
  • 63% of the money is on the OVER (158)

Florida State vs. Michigan (-2.5)

  • 71% of the money is on Michigan (-2.5)
  • 65% of the money is on Michigan ML
  • 52% of the money is on the OVER (143.5)

UCLA vs. Alabama (-6.5)

  • 75% of the money is on Alabama (-6.5)
  • 80% of the money is on Alabama ML
  • 76% of the money is on the OVER (145.5)

March 25: Gonzaga and Michigan lead futures markets

Last Thursday the “First Four” was about to start and now, the field of 64 has been whittled to 16.

The Sweet 16 tips off on Saturday afternoon and PA online sportsbooks have updated their odds and provided an up-to-date look at NCAA Championship betting splits.

At FanDuel, Michigan is the biggest liability in the NCAA Championship winner market.

The top five teams by handle to win the NCAA Championship at FanDuel are:

  • 39%: Gonzaga (+155)
  • 18%: Michigan (+700)
  • 14%: Baylor (+400)
  • 7%: Alabama (+1000)
  • 4%: Houston (+900)

At William Hill, the biggest liability is longshot Oregon State.

Nick Bogdanovich, Director of Trading for William Hill said:

“The one team we get throttled with is the mighty Beavers of Oregon State. We lose close to seven figures with Oregon State. We had them at 2000/1, 1000/1, 750/1, 350/1 and now they’re down to 60/1.”

Top five teams by dollars wagered at William Hill to win the NCAA Championship:

  • 42%: Gonzaga (+130)
  • 16%: Michigan (+550)
  • 15%: Baylor (+400)
  • 5%: Villanova (+4000)
  • 5%: Florida State (+2000)

March 25: Big bets on NCAA Futures a few wins from cashing

Hold or hedge?

Some big college basketball futures bets are four wins away from cashing in.

At William Hill, the largest remaining college basketball championship futures wager is on Michigan. In late February, an Illinois bettor put $30,000 on Michigan (+800). A few days later, they placed another $30,000 on Michigan (+550). If the Wolverines were to win the national title, the total payout on those wagers would be $465,000.

The largest total potential payout is on longshot Oregon State. A Nevada bettor put $400 on the Beavers (+7500) at the start of the NCAA tournament for a total potential payout of $300,400.

Other futures tickets still in play at William Hill:

  • $1,000 on USC (+20000) for a total potential payout of $201,000.
  • $200 on Loyola Chicago (+100000) for a total potential payout of $200,200.
  • $4,900 on Florida State (+5000) ($249,900 total potential payout)
  • $9,500 on Florida State (+2500) ($247,000 total potential payout).
  •  $15,000 on Gonzaga (+800) for a total potential payout of $135,000.

Regional winner futures:

  •  $25,000 on Baylor (+175) to win the South Region for a total potential payout of $68,750.
  • $100 on Oral Roberts (+100000) to win the South Region for a total potential payout of $100,100,
  • $3,000 on UCLA (+180) to take the East Region for a total potential payout of $57,000.

March 24: Sweet 16 preview from William Hill

After an upset-laden first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament, underdogs have a 25-22 record ATS. Will the “dogs” bite in the Sweet 16?

Sweet 16 matchups are set for Saturday and Sunday and there are two double-digit favorites

  • No. 1 Gonzaga (-13.5) vs. No. 5 Creighton
  • No. 3 Arkansas (-11.5) vs. No. 15 Oral Roberts

Gonzaga is the favorite (+130) at William Hill to win the 2021 NCAA Championship. The Bulldogs are the only team to be a double-digit favorites in each of its March Madness showdowns.

Arkansas and Oral Roberts are a combined 4-0 ATS, including three outright victories as underdogs.

“Gonzaga has covered both their games, people love Gonzaga,” said Nick Bogdanovich, Director of Trading for William Hill. “They want to see a mid-major finally get it done. We’ll need Creighton for sure in that game. Then I actually think it helps Oral Roberts that they’re running into a team that also plays fast. It’ll come down to how many threes they can hit against Arkansas.”

Bogdanovich gave his insights for some other Sweet 16 games.

No. 2 Houston (-6) vs. No. 11 Syracuse

“We’re going to need Houston in that game, Syracuse is going to be a public dog. [Syracuse coach Jim] Boeheim just knows how to win in March. Houston needed a miracle to beat Rutgers.”

No. 2 Alabama (-6) vs. No. 11 UCLA

“UCLA-Alabama is going to be interesting to see what the masses do. Pac-12 teams were drawing a lot more money in the second round compared to the first round. UCLA has won three games, but I think the money will slow down there because of how good Alabama looked against Maryland.”

No. 8 Loyola Chicago (-6.5)  vs. No. 12 Oregon State

“That’s a big number for Loyola to be laying, Oregon State could be a public dog here again at that number, that was the case when they played Tennessee and Oklahoma State. I have a feeling we’ll need Loyola against Oregon State.”

March 24: BetMGM recaps first weekend of tourney with “extraordinary” handle

Seamus Magee, Sports Trader at BetMG, commented on the first weekend on the NCAA Tournament:

“The sportsbook had a great first weekend in the NCAA tournament. Illinois being knocked out in the second round was a big win for BetMGM, as the Illini were the book’s biggest futures liability. Handle on the first day was extraordinary and we saw significant action throughout the weekend. Illinois and Ohio State losing outright were the two best individual results for the books.”

BetMGM’s biggest remaining liabilities are Gonzaga and Michigan.

March 23: NCAA bettors flood BetRivers

A rep for BetRivers and PlaySugarHouse said the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament had total college basketball handle comparable to the first two rounds of the 2020-2021 NFL Playoffs.

Live betting was “wildly popular” over the first weekend. (See March 22 for list of live bet winners at BetRivers).

Most bet games during the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament at BetRivers

  1. #11 Michigan State vs. #11 UCLA (First Four)
  2. #1 Baylor vs. #9 Wisconsin (Second Round)
  3. #4 Oklahoma State vs. #12 Oregon State (Second Round)
  4. #1 Michigan vs #8 LSU (Second Round)
  5. #8 North Carolina vs. #9 Wisconsin (First Round)

First Round: Most wagered-on games

  1. #8 North Carolina vs. #9 Wisconsin
  2. #6 BYU vs. #11 UCLA
  3. #3 Texas vs. #14 Abilene Christian
  4. #2 Ohio State vs. #15 Oral Roberts
  5. #4 Oklahoma State vs. #13 Liberty

Second Round: Most wagered-on games

  1. #1 Baylor vs. #9 Wisconsin
  2. #4 Oklahoma State vs. #12 Oregon State
  3. #1 Michigan vs. #8 LSU
  4. #2 Iowa vs. #7 Oregon
  5. #3 West Virginia vs. #11 Syracuse

Most wagered-on winning bets of the first weekend

  1. #1 Baylor -6.5 vs. #9 Wisconsin (Second Round)
  2.  #11 UCLA -5.5 vs. #14 Abilene Christian (Second Round)
  3. #1 Gonzaga -15.5 vs. #9 Oklahoma (Second Round)
  4. #12 Oregon State +8.5 vs. #5 Tennessee (First Round)
  5. #4 Oklahoma State -7 vs. #13 Liberty (First Round)

Strongest winning bets of first weekend by % of total handle

  1. 88%: Baylor ML (-10000) vs. #16 Hartford (First Round)
  2. 86%: Illinois ML (-10000) vs. #16 Drexel (First Round)
  3. 85%: Florida State ML (-625) vs. #13 UNC Greensboro (First Round)
  4. 83%: Arkansas ML (-385) vs. #14 Colgate (First Round)
  5. 82%: Baylor ML (-305) vs. #9 Wisconsin (Second Round)

Biggest payouts of the first weekend

  1. $106,150: $55K wager on #12 Oregon State +8.5 (-108) vs. #5 Tennessee (First Round)
  2. $105,000: $50K wager on #9 Wisconsin ML (+110) vs. #8 North Carolina (First Round)
  3. $71,600: $40K wager on #11 Michigan State 1H ML (-127) vs. #11 UCLA (First Four)
  4. $70,300: $37K wager on #3 Arkansas +2 (-111) vs. #6 Texas Tech (Second Round)
  5. $61,400: $31K wager on Gonzaga -15.5 (-102) vs. #8 Oklahoma (Second Round)

March 22: Live betting leads to some weekend winners at BetRivers

No pregame bets, no problem. During the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament, there is always another game around the corner and live betting options during the game.

At BetRivers online sportsbook, some users took advantage of the popular feature and reaped notable wins.

  • A $3,000 halftime live bet on Texas Southern +440 ML for a $16,200 payout. During the “First Four” on Thursday, Texas Southern trailed Mount St. Mary’s by ten points at the half and came back to win 60-52.
  • A $4,000 second half live bet on Houston +255 ML that won $14,200. During Round 2 on Sunday night, Houston trailed Rutgers by ten with four minutes left and rallied back to win, 63-60, in the final minute.
  • The largest winning bet in Pennsylvania was a $11,000 wager on Arkansas +2 (-111) vs. Texas Tech that won $21,100.
  • A bettor put $10 on a 7-leg parlay (+1599) that paid out $1,608. Here is the winning ticket.

March 22: DraftKings parlay winner and regional betting splits

Over the weekend at DraftKings, a user hit ten team parlay – all NCAA basketball Tournament ML bets. The mobile wager was for $10 at +331910 odds for a $33k payout. Bet Details:
  • Abilene Christian ML
  • UCLA ML
  • Loyola Chicago ML
  • Baylor ML
  • Syracuse ML
  • Arkansas ML
  • Houston ML
  • Oral Roberts ML
  • Villanova ML
  • Oregon State ML
West Region winner betting splits by handle at DraftKings:
  • 72%: Gonzaga (-250)
  • 11%: Iowa (+300)
  • 5%: Oregon (+1700
  • 3%: Kansas (+500)
  • 3%: USC (+900)
East Region winner splits:
  • 41%: Texas (OTB)
  • 22%: Alabama (+250)
  • 11%: Florida State (+500)
  • 9%: Michigan
  • 3%: Colorado

March 21: North Texas vs. Villanova betting splits

Winthrop was one of the most popular Round 1 public sides. At BetMGM, Winthrop (+6.5)  got 78% of the point spread handle. It’s a different story at the sportsbooks for Villanova’s Round 2 game.

North Texas vs. Villanova betting splits at FanDuel:

  • 58% of the money is on Villanova (-5.5)
  • 83% of the money is on the OVER (127)
  • 81% of the money is on Villanova ML

Betting stats for North Texas vs. Villanova:

The point spread for North Texas vs. Villanova opened with the Wildcats favored by 6.5, dipped to as low as 5, and on Sunday afternoon is at Villanova (-6).

Betting stats and info from FanDuel:

  • This is the first-ever meeting between North Texas and Villanova.
  • North Texas is 5-0 ATS in its last five games.
  • The total has hit the under in 10 of North Texas’ last 14 games.
  • Villanova is 5-5 ATS in its last 10 games.
  • Villanova is 6-4 straight up in its last 10 games.

Betting stats and info from DraftKings:

  • Villanova has won 24 of its last 26 night games played at neutral venues
  • The Wildcats have won the first half in eight of its last nine night games
  • North Texas is on a five-game winning streak
  • Avg points for: North Texas 70.1, Villanova 75.4
  • Avg. points against: North Texas 61.5. Villanova 67

March 19: Oral Roberts upsets Ohio State. Big payouts for some long shot lovers

A bettor who laid $110k on Oral Roberts (+16.5) had a no sweat win.

Oral Roberts had 3% of the ML handle at FanDuel (+920). At DraftKings, Oral Roberts had 22% of the ML handle.

March 19: From William Hill: Bettors love underdogs and Hoyas

Underdogs went undefeated ATS during the “First Four” games on Thursday night. And in doing so, they have earned bettor’s affection.

Nick Bogdanovich, Director of Trading for William Hill said:

“The [No.] 11 seeds that won the play-in games could end up being trendy underdogs. People might have cashed with them last night, and think they can get some momentum going. They also got the nervous part out of them since they got their first game out of the way. BYU isn’t a power conference team and UCLA just got a big win over Michigan State, so there may be some interest in the dog from the masses.”

The most lopsided Saturday spread at William Hill is No. 4 Virginia versus No. 13 Ohio.

“We still don’t really know who will play for Virginia,” Bogdanovich said. “Obviously they won’t have as much practice. If Virginia has their whole team there, which we expect them to have, -7 still looks awful cheap. But there’s no question that the public is on Ohio right now.”

Ohio is the only Round of 64 team attracting at least 80% of the total number of tickets (85%) and at least 90% of the total dollars wagered (95%) among all spread bets. Ohio has 87% of the total dollars wagered for all moneyline bets, whereas Virginia has seized 51% of the total number of tickets.

Underdog Georgetown is getting second-highest percentage of total number of tickets on Saturday .

The team receiving the second-highest percentage of total number of tickets for Saturday’s slate is also getting points.

“Colorado-Georgetown will have a monster handle,” Bogdanovich said. “The line has gone up from -5 to -6.5, but all the money is for Georgetown. So the sharps love Colorado. This game is going to be the biggest divide between the professionals and the masses when push comes to shove.”

No. 12 Georgetown has captured 79% of the total dollars wagered among all spread bets. Will the Hoyas pull off the outright upset? 77% of the total money backs Georgetown on the moneyline.

Big Round 1 NCAA bets at William Hill:

  • A Nevada bettor placed $22,000 on Abilene Christian (+9) for a total potential payout of $42,000
  • A New Jersey bettor wagered $10,000 on UNC Greensboro (+475) ML for a total potential payout of $57,500.

March 19: NCAA Tournament Round 1 betting splits

It’s here. It’s been 710 days since the last NCAA tournament game. The Madness starts in a few hours.

Friday betting splits from FanDuel:

  • 78% of the money is on Illinois (-23)
  • 75% of the money is on Winthrop (+6.5)
  • 73% of the money is on Texas Tech (-4)
  • 73% of the money is on Oregon State (+8.5)
  • 71% of the money is on Baylor (-25.5)
  • 69% of the money is on Purdue (-7)
  • 67% of the money is on Houston (-20)
  • 63% of the money is on North Carolina (-1.5)
  • 58% of the money is on Virginia Tech (-1)
  • 56% of the money is on Oklahoma State (-7)
  • 53% of the money is on Loyola Chicago (-4.5)
  • 53% of the money is on West Virginia (-13)
  • 52% of the money is on San Diego State (-3)
  • 51% of the money is on Arkansas (-9.5)
  • 51% of the money is on Ohio State (-15.5)

Friday betting splits from DraftKings:

  • 79% of the money is on Rutgers (-2)
  • 77% of the money is on Purdue (-7)
  • 72% of the money is on Illinois (-23)
  • 72% of the money is on Winthrop (+6.5)
  • 65% of the money is on Oregon State (+8.5)
  • 64% of the money is on San Diego State (-3)
  • 63% of the money is on North Carolina (-1.5)
  • 61% of the money is on Baylor (-23.5)
  • 60% of the money is on Texas Tech (-4)
  • 57% of the money is on Virginia Tech (+.5)
  • 56% of the money is on Houston (-20)
  • 56% of the money is on Arkansas (-9)
  • 55% of the money is on Liberty (+7)
  • 53% of the money is on Oral Roberts (+16)
  • 51% of the money is on Loyola Chicago (-5.5)
  • 51% of the money is on West Virginia (-13)

Drexel Dragons bounced from NCAA tourney in First Round

March 19 update: The Dragons were huge underdogs at +23 and lost to the Illini 78-49 to exit from the tournament.

The Philadelphia-based Drexel Dragons won the Colonial Athletic Association tournament. They are returning to the Big Dance for the first time in 26 years and will face #1 seed Illinois on Friday.

While everyone loves a Cinderella, don’t necessarily try to make the shoe fit on a #16 seed. In 140 games, the #16 seed has only defeated the #1 seed once.

Drexel’s odds entering the 2021 NCAA Tournament:

  • National Championship: +50000
  • To make Final Four: +12000
  • Elite 8: Yes (+5000)/No (-10000)
  • To make Sweet 16: Yes (+650)/No (-10000)

March 18: Long shots, favorites and movers at BetMGM

First-round games with the most action at BetMGM Sportsbook:

  • Drake-Wichita State
  • UCLA-Michigan State
  • Virginia-Ohio
  • Arkansas-Colgate

Long shot teams receiving the most action to win the NCAA Tournament since Selection Sunday:

  • Georgetown (+10000): 3.2% of tickets (8th most)
  • Georgia Tech (+10000): 1.9% of tickets (14th most)

Most bet long shot teams to pull a first-round upset in the NCAA Tournament:

  • No. 13 Ohio over No. 4 Virginia
  • No. 13 Liberty over No. 4 Oklahoma State

Top 5 most bet teams at BetMGM by handle to win the 2021 NCAA National Championship:

  • 37%: Illinois
  • 24%: Gonzaga
  • 4%: Houston
  • 3%: Alabama
  • 3%: Texas

Seamus Magee, Sports Trader at BetMGM, commented on line movement for first round games:

“Sharp bettors pounced on a number of NCAA Tournament games on BetMGM as soon as lines were posted. Mount St. Mary’s -1, Ohio +7.5 and Oklahoma State under are a few early betting favorites.”

Line movement for the favorite

  • San Diego State -2 to -3 vs. Syracuse
  • West Virginia -12 to -13 vs. Morehead State
  • Illinois -22 to -22.5 vs. Drexel

Line movement for the underdog

  • Ohio +9.5 to +7.5 vs. Virginia
  • Liberty +9.5 to +7.5 vs. Oklahoma State
  • Colgate +9.5 to +8.5 vs. Arkansas
  • Drake +2 to -2 vs. Wichita State

Line movement for the over

  • Villanova-Winthrop total 138.5 to 142.5
  • Arkansas-Colgate total 157.5 to 161.5
  • Kansas-Eastern Washington total 142.5 to 145.5
  • Alabama-Iona total 145.5 to 146.5

Line movement for the under

  • Oklahoma State-Liberty total 146.5 to 140.5
  • Florida-Virginia Tech total 137.5 to 135.5
  • Creighton-UCSB total 140.5 to 138.5
  • UCLA-Michigan State total 136.5 to 135.5

Big Round One bets at BetMGM:

  • $220K to win $200K on Tennessee (-7.5)
  • $165K to win $150K on Colorado (-5)
  • $165K to win $150K on SMU (+1)
  • $110K to win $100K on Tennessee (-8)
  • $50K to win $50K on Colgate (+9)

Largest liabilities to win tournament at BetMGM:

  1. Michigan
  2. Illinois
  3. Gonzaga

March 18: First Four games odds, betting splits, and times

The NCAA Tournament’s “First Four” play-in round starts at 5:10 p.m. ET. The late game, No. 11 UCLA vs. No. 11 Michigan State, has generated the highest handle so far at FanDuel. They are also running a “Spread the Love” promo and as of Thursday afternoon, Michigan is +123.5.

  • 5:10 p.m. ET: #16 Mt. St. Mary’s (-0.5, -109 ML) vs. #16 Texas Southern (-109 ML). O/U 133
  • 6:27 p.m.: #11 Drake (-1.5, -125 ML) vs. #11 Wichita State (+105 ML). O/U 141
  • 8:40 p.m.: #16 Appalachian State (-3, -159 ML) vs. #16 Norfolk State (+135 ML). O/U 133.5
  • 9:59 p.m.: #11 Michigan State (-2, -136 ML) vs. #11 UCLA (+114 ML). O/U 135.5

At BetRivers:

  • The public is backing Michigan State with more money and more bets than any other First Four. 83% of the spread handle is on Michigan State (-2).
  • Drake (-1.5) has 55% of the spread handle.
  • Wichita State is backed by 58% of the ML handle.

First Four betting splits at DraftKings:

  • Mt. St. Mary’s (-1): 60% of the point spread handle
  • Drake (-2.5): 68% of the point spread handle
  • Appalachian State (-3): 71% of the point spread handle
  • Michigan State (-2.5): 90% of the point spread handle

March 18: “Morons” and buzzer beaters: Barstool sportsbook promos for March Madness

There are tons of promos, bet boosts and new user offers at PA sports betting apps for March Madness. We sift through the field here.

Say what you will about Barstool, and pretty much everyone has, but they march to the beat of their own drum and the sportsbook is a seamless extension of the brand. Here are some of Barstool online sportsbook March Madness props, promos and bet boosts:

  • Barstool Moron Madness: Some choices include Back Eddie and Hank: Mt. St. Mary’s +5 (-121)/Back Rick and Chief: Texas Southern +.5 (-103)
  • Buzzer Beaters: O/U number of buzzer beaters
  • Bench Mob Bets: Alabama, Arkansas or Oklahoma to win the 2021 NCAA Tournament. Back Rico: Yes (+1200)
  • Prove me Wrong: BYU to Reach Elite 8. Back Rico: Yes (+750)
  • #BetonGirls. UConn to win the NCAA Tournament boosted from (+250) to +400. (Barstool was the only sportsbook app in PA where the NCAAW Tournament betting was included in any promos.)

Oh, and if you’re crossing the river to bet on Rutgers…Barstool is offering this Big Ten Final Four Boost:

  • Rutgers to make the Final Four boosted from (+1800) to +3000

March 17: Underdogs barking at DraftKings

Top Four Most Bet Underdogs to Win in first round:

  • No. 14 Colgate (vs No. 3 Arkansas)
  • No. 9 St. Bonaventure (vs No. 8 LSU)
  • No. 10 VCU (vs No. 7 Oregon)
  • No. 12 Winthrop (vs No. 5 Villanova)

Top 5 most bet NCAA Tournament first round games by handle:

  • No. 14 Colgate Raiders vs No. 3 Arkansas Razorbacks
  • No. 12 Winthrop Eagles vs No. 5 Villanova Wildcats
  • No. 13 Ohio Bobcats vs.No. 4 Virginia Cavaliers
  • No. 9 Wisconsin Badgers vs  No. 8 North Carolina Tar Heels
  • No. 12 Oregon State Beavers v. No. 5 Tennessee Volunteers

Top 5 teams by liability at DraftKings:

  • Illinois
  • Georgetown
  • Gonzaga
  • Michigan State
  • Michigan

March 17: What teams bettors are picking at FanDuel to Make the Final Four

Our love for March Madness didn’t go away despite its absence last year and even if it did a little, FanDuel is bringing back the love. The “Spread the Love” promo returns for the Michigan State vs. UCLA First Four game on Thursday, March 18.

For every 2500 bets placed on the special Spread the Love Market, FanDuel will move the spread one point in Michigan State’s favor. As of Wednesday afternoon the spread was +94.5. Max Bet: $50 @ -110 and customers will receive the final spread.

Highest handle for 2021 NCAA tournament Round 1 as of March 17:

  • Thursday: UCLA vs. Michigan State
  • Friday: Colgate vs Arkansas
  • Saturday: Georgetown vs Colorado

Tournament prop bets at FanDuel:

  • 71% of bets believe a #12 Seed will advance past a #5 Seed (Yes or No Market)
  • 81% of bets believe a First Four Team will make the Sweet 16 (Yes or No Market)
  • 31% of bets believe Four #1 Seeds will make the Final Four
  • 25% of bets believe three #1 Seeds will make the Final Four
  • 21% of bets believe two #1 Seeds will make the Final Four
  • 16% of bets believe zero #1 Seeds will make the Final Four
  • 7% of bets believe one #1 Seeds will make the Final Four

Top 2 teams by bet count in the “To Make the Final Four market” for each state where the FanDuel Sportsbook is available:

  • New Jersey: Illinois, Michigan
  • West Virginia: West Virginia, Illinois
  • Pennsylvania: Illinois, Texas
  • Indiana: Illinois, Purdue
  • Illinois: Ohio State, Texas
  • Iowa: Illinois, Iowa
  • Colorado: Illinois, Colorado
  • Tennessee: Illinois, Gonzaga
  • Virginia: Gonzaga, Illinois
  • Michigan: Michigan, I​Illinois

March 16: Teams with odds on the move throughout the season

The college basketball season “starts” at Midnight Madness and ends with March Madness. In between, things get crazy too.

Positive line movement at BetMGM:

  • Gonzaga: opened +800, now +275
  • Michigan: opened +4000, now +600
  • Illinois: opened +8000, now +600
  • Alabama: opened +10000, now +1600
  • Loyola Chicago: opened +20000, now +4000

Teams that saw their odds get worse during the season:

  • UCLA: opened +2500, now +12500
  • Michigan State: opened +2500, now +10000
  • Florida: opened +2500, now +8000
  • Maryland: opened +5000, now +10000
  • Virginia: opened +900, now +5000

March 16: Baylor or Gonzaga and conference betting splits

Winning conference betting splits by handle at DraftKings:

  • 74%: Big Ten (+105)
  • 5%: Pac 12 (+1250)
  • 5%: Big 12 (+100)
  • 4%: Southeastern Conference (+650)
  • 4%: West Coast Conference (+200)

Winning state betting splits betting splits by handle at DraftKings:

  • 22%: Michigan (+600)
  • 13%: Any other state (+150)
  • 13%: Illinois (+600)
  • 11%: West Virginia (+2000)
  • 10%: Iowa (+2000)

Gonzaga or Baylor vs The Field to win the NCAA Tournament:

  • 87%: The Field (-124)
  • 13%: Gonzaga or Baylor (+110)

March 16: Where the March Madness dollars are going at William Hill

Top 10 NCAA teams by total dollars wagered:

  • 20%: Gonzaga (+210)
  • 14%: Michigan (+600)
  • 11%: Baylor (+500)
  • 7%: Illinois (+400)
  • 5%: Iowa (+1800)
  • 4%: Villanova (+10000)
  • 3%: Texas (+3000)
  • 3%: Houston (+1300)
  • 2%: Virginia (+6000)
  • 2%: Kansas (+4500)

Nick Bogdanovich, Director of Trading for William Hill commented:

“Of teams that can win it, Michigan is our biggest liability. UConn, San Diego State, BYU, they’re all six-figure losers. But overall, I’m pretty happy with our position.”

Big NCAA Tournament bets at William Hill:

  • A New Jersey bettor laid $15,000 on Gonzaga (+800) for a total potential payout of $135,000.
  • An Illinois bettor wagered $30,000 on Michigan (+800) and then a few days later placed another $30,000 on Michigan (+550).  If the Wolverines were to win the national title, the total payout on those wagers would be $465,000.
  • $500 on Michigan State (60/1) to win the East Region  for a $30,500 total potential payout.
  • $982.05 on San Diego State (12/1) to win the Midwest Region ($12,766.65 total potential payout).

Futures bets six wins away from payouts:

  • $1,500 on North Carolina  (200/1) for a total potential payout of $301,500.
  • $500 on BYU (600/1 ) for a $300,500 total potential payout.
  • $3,000 on UConn (85/1) for a $258,000 total potential payout.
  • Two $100 bets on Georgetown (2500/1) for $250,100 total potential payouts each.
  • $1,000 on USC (200/1) for a  $201,000 total potential payout.

March 15: Top seeds getting love from FanDuel bettors to win title

FanDuel released early NCAA Tournament betting information.

Bettors are backing the chalk to win the NCAA Tournament.

Top 10 Teams by Bet Count at FanDuel to win the 2021 NCAA Tournament:

1. Gonzaga
2. Michigan
3. Illinois
4. Baylor
5. Iowa
6. West Virginia
7. Florida State
8. Villanova
9. Ohio State
10. Tennessee

Top 10 Teams by Handle at FanDuel to win the 2021 NCAA Tournament:

1. Michigan
2. Illinois
3. Gonzaga
4. Baylor
5. Iowa
6. Ohio State
7. Alabama
8. Villanova
9. Tennessee
10. West Virginia

Top four teams to make the Final Four by bet count:

  • Illinois
  • Michigan
  • Iowa
  • Ohio State

Big NCAA Tournament bets at FanDuel:

  • $30,000 on Baylor (+320) to win the NCAA Championship
  • $20,000 on West Virginia (+2400) to win the National Championship

March 15: Early line movement at William Hill

Less than 24 hours after brackets were released, there has already been point spread movement.

Nick Bogdanovich, Director of Trading for William Hill shared his insights:

“Public underdogs have taken a life of their own the last few years in this tournament, and there will definitely be more this year. More often than not, it’s usually a mid-major like Winthrop. But this is very rare that we see two teams like Oregon State and Georgetown who came back from the dead and win their conference tournaments like that. They may get a lot of love in their opening games, I’m interested to find out.”

The biggest point spread shift so far at William Hill is the No. 13-seeded MAC champion Ohio squaring off vs. the No. 4-seeded defending national champion Virginia.

“We opened Virginia 10.5 and it’s down to -7.5,” Bogdanovich said. “Obviously sharp money on the dog. I see why, Ohio finished the season strong and Virginia’s not one of those teams that has the firepower to always pull away. But I still think we’re going to need Ohio in this one. The masses will be on Virginia, especially with them now getting a better number.”

Two other March Madness lines have dropped by over a point – No. 16 Mount St. Mary’s (+2.5 to +1) in its First Four game vs. No. 16 Texas Southern and No. 12 UC Santa Barbara (+8 to +6.5) against No. 5 Creighton.

Two contests that opened at pick’em have swung by 1.5 points.

No. 10 Rutgers is the only higher seed that is currently a favorite (-1.5)  in its Round One game. vs. No. 7 Clemson.

No. 8 LSU and No. 9 St. Bonaventure moved from pick’ em to LSU -1.5.

“St. Bonaventure has been a really solid program for a while, so I understand why that game is expected to be so close,” Bogdanovich said. “But I think LSU’s strong showing in the SEC tournament and the fact that they come from a power conference, we’re going to need the Bonnies here.”

March 14: Gonzaga, Michigan and Oklahoma State Get Early Action at BetRivers

Hours after the selection committee unveiled the brackets, sportsbooks released figures on what teams were garnering the early money.

At BetRivers and PlaySugarHouse, the public is currently backing a number of underdogs in the first round

  • No. 12 seed Georgetown (+180) with 91% of the ML handle to beat No. 5 seed Colorado
  • No. 13 seed Winthrop (+215 ML) with 89% of the ML handle to beat No. 4 seed Villanova
  • No. 13 seed Ohio (+330 ML) with 86% of the ML handle to beat No. 4 seed Virginia
  • No. 12 UC-Santa Barbara (+235 ML) with 82% of ML handle to beat No. 5 seed Creighton
  • No. 14 seed Colgate (+370 ML) with 76% of the ML to beat No. 3 seed Arkansas

The most popular early action has been on Winthrop vs. Villanova with 11% of current game bets.

Big NCAA Tournament bets: The largest current first-round game bet is a $5,500 wager on Arkansas vs. Colgate Over 157.5 points (-108), with a potential payout of $10,615.

The public is backing the chalk at BetRivers and PlaySugarHouse. No. 1 overall seed Gonzaga is backed with 23% of championship bets and 36% of the championship handle.

According to a rep, Gonzaga has been the heavy favorite all season and continues that trend with the most futures bets since the bracket was unveiled.

No. 1 seed Michigan (East) is the second-most backed team to win the NCAA Tournament at BetRivers and PlaySugarHouse by both bets (9.6%) and handle (10.8%), with No. 1 seed Baylor (South) getting 8% of championship bets and 7.9% of championship handle.

Led by Cade Cunningham, the likely top pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, No. 4 seed Oklahoma State has received the second-most NCAA Championship bets since the bracket was unveiled, trailing only Gonzaga.

March 14: More than 47 million people plan to bet on March Madness in 2021

When it comes to March Madness betting, absence and the growth of legalized sports betting makes bettors’ hearts grow fonder.

The American Gaming Association predicts a big increase in wagers for the 2021 NCAA Tournament compared to 2019. However, it won’t necessarily be from people filling out brackets. Instead, they will place more single game bets.

The AGA estimates that more than 47 million Americans will place bets on the NCAA Tournament. It’s the same number from 2019, but other stats show a fuller picture of bettors preferences:

  • 36.7 million people will fill out a bracket, down 8% from 2019.
  • 30.6 million people will place more traditional bets on this year’s tournament, up from 17.8 million in 2019.
  • 17.8 million will place a bet online, up a huge 206% from 5.8 million in 2019.
  • 8.3 million will place a bet at a physical sportsbook, up 79% from 2019.

AGA President and CEO Bill Miller commented:

“The sports betting landscape has changed dramatically since 2019 – and as a result, tournament betting has transformed. As consumers formerly limited to bracket contests now enjoy access to legal sportsbook options, they also plan to place traditional sports bets as March Madness returns.”

March 13: 15-team parlay hits for nearly a $1 million at Valley Forge Casino

A brave and lucky bettor at the FanDuel Sporstbook at Valley Forge Casino hit a 15-team parlay for $998,453.52.

The nearly one million dollar parlay win had a combination of NCAA, NBA and NHL games.

Lead image credit: AP Photo/Doug McSchooler

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Katie Kohler

Katie Kohler is a Philadelphia-area based award-winning journalist. She covers the Pennsylvania gambling industry with an emphasis on sports betting, online casino/poker and the lottery.

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