Recent history of men's NCAA tournament upsets influences March Madness trending odds
March Madness opening amid the festivity of St. Patrick’s Day marks the unofficial start of spring.
With top seeds Gonzaga, Baylor and Kansas in action Thursday, let's look at which games have inspired trending betting action while also considering some history lessons.
Upsets will happen in the one-and-done NCAA men’s basketball tournament, and it’s fitting the Big Dance opens with No. 11 Michigan playing No. 6 Colorado State.
A No. 11 seed has won a first-round game in 16 consecutive tournaments, and Michigan is best positioned to keep that streak alive by opening as a 1.5-point favorite over the Rams ahead of their 12:15 p.m. ET tip, according to Tipico Sportsbook.
Wolverines coach Juwan Howard returned to the sideline during the Big Ten tournament after serving a five-game suspension for his connection to a physical altercation with a Wisconsin assistant coach.
In other No. 6 vs. No. 11 games, bettors shrunk LSU’s opening odds of 5.5 points to 3.5 over Iowa State (7:15 p.m. Friday) following the Tigers’ coaching change. Alabama, in action at 4:15 p.m. Friday, is a 3.5-point favorite over Notre Dame, which defeated Rutgers on a last-second shot in their play-in game.
No. 6 Texas holds steady as a slight 1.5-point favorite over ACC tournament champion Virginia Tech (4:30 p.m. Friday) in the loaded East bracket.
Lower seeds prevail
Since 2013, No. 12 seeds are 13-19 and an impressive 19-11-2 against the spread.
At Caesars Sportsbook, East bracket No. 12 Indiana has drawn 93% of dollars bet as a +2.5 underdog to No. 5 Saint Mary’s (7:20 p.m. Thursday).
No. 13 seeds also fared well in recent years, going 9-3 against the spread during the last three tournaments.
MEN'S NCAA TOURNAMENT BETTING GUIDE:Hoops legend Sonny Vaccaro breaks it down
The most lively underdog in the position to win straight up is Midwest No. 13 South Dakota State, which is holding steady as a +2.5 ‘dog to No. 4 Providence (12:40 p.m. Thursday) while drawing 52% of all dollars wagered on that spread at Caesars Sportsbook.
Similarly, West No. 13 Vermont is a strong play on the line-move system after shrinking its spread from +6.5 to +4.5 against No. 4 Arkansas (9:20 p.m. Thursday). At Caesars, 77% of the dollars are on Vermont.
And East No. 13 Akron cut two points off its spread, standing now as a +13 underdog to returning Final Four qualifier UCLA (9:50 p.m. Thursday).
While few are expecting a No. 1 seed to fall today, bettors have been drawn to select the more than 20 points connected to the No. 16 seed offerings.
Caesars reports 73% of the dollars wagered are on Georgia State in its 4:15 p.m. West game against tournament favorite Gonzaga, and Tipico reports the line shrank three points to 22.5.
Defending tournament champion Baylor remains a -20.5 favorite over Norfolk State at Tipico, but Caesars reports 71% of the dollars are on the Spartans in the 2 p.m. game.
Since the point spreads were first unveiled Sunday night, there hasn't been movement in the interesting South region game between No. 10 Loyola Chicago and No. 7 Ohio State. The Ramblers, who’ve enjoyed recent tournament success, are still favored by 1.5 points with Friday’s tipoff set at 12:15 p.m.
The most significant shift comes with another No. 7 vs. No. 10 affair in the East region. Murray State opened as a +1.5-point underdog against San Francisco, but the top-25 ranked Racers have drawn fervent action at Tipico. They are now -1.5-point favorites in the 9:40 p.m. Thursday game.
Gannett may earn revenue from Tipico for audience referrals to betting services. Tipico has no influence over nor are any such revenues in any way dependent on or linked to the newsrooms or news coverage. See Tipico.com for Terms and Conditions. 21+ only. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ), 1-800-522-4700 (CO).