Not everyone loves an underdog, especially those betting on the NCAA Tournament. Gamblers have been getting killed by all the upsets, and that trend continued in the four Elite Eight games over the weekend.
Since the Sweet 16 favorites are 5-15 against the spread, sportsbooks are cleaning up as the money swings toward the team giving away points. Westgate SuperBook Director Jay Kornegay told the Las Vegas’s local Fox affiliate that the results have been good for his book.
“We’re just seeing record amounts of handle this year,” Kornegay said. “The books have fared well with all these upsets, so the results are a lot better than what we saw last year, so the book operators are probably pretty happy right now.”
The favorites in the Elite Eight went 2-2 over the weekend. Stratosphere sportsbook director Ed Malinowski told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that the money has been consistently coming in on the higher ranked teams.
“Hopefully it keeps going because we’ve got nothing but favorite money so far,” Malinowski said. We had some action last week from a group of guys on Kansas State to win the region and make it to the Final Four. We’re rooting against them.”
Malinowski didn’t have to worry. Not only did Loyola-Chicago cover the 1.5-point spread, they won outright, 78-62. The Ramblers have gotten points in all four games they won.
South Point oddsmaker Jimmy Vaccaro reported on his Twitter account that one gambler had placed a $1,000 bet on Loyola to make it to the Final Four. He got 75-1 odds for a payout of $75,000.
Top Seeds Still Take Care of Business
The two No. 1 seeds both covered ATS, though it was a nail-biter for Kansas. The Jayhawks were facing No. 2 Duke and the spread was 3.5 points. The Blue Devils had a chance for a buzzer beater, but Grayson Allen’s jumper rimmed out. Kansas was able to prevail in the extra five minutes, but only by four points, 85-81.
Villanova dominated Texas Tech and easily covered the 6.5 points. The Wildcats, who won the title in 2016, won 71-59. The early line on the match up between Villanova and Kansas in the Final Four has the Wildcats favored by five points, but it was quickly bet down to 4.5. The over/under is set at 155.
Michigan’s Elite Eight game against Florida State was the most intriguing. The Wolverines began as a 4-point favorite, and by tipoff the line had moved to 4.5. Michigan won the game, 58-54, so those holding tickets for the No. 3 seed either pushed or lost.
They will be similar favorites when the Wolverines face the Ramblers of Loyola-Chicago in the other Final Four contest. The early line on Michigan is five points. The over/under is 128.5.
One bettor that still has money in play is Derek Stevens, owner of the D Casino in Las Vegas. The Michigan alum is a rabid Wolverines fan and has bet on the team in the past. He placed a $25,000 bet on his alma mater to win the tournament and got 40-1 odds. If they win he will collect $1 million.