Bookmaker's Corner: March Madness Turns Sweet 16
by Richard Gardner | Bodog Sportsbook Manager - 3/24/2010
How’s your March Madness bracket holding up? If you had a sixth sense about this being the year of the upset then you’ve probably enjoyed the first two rounds of the 2010 NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Over at Bodog’s online sportsbook we’ve done fairly well for ourselves with all the underdogs that have covered their spreads, so I can’t really complain.
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One of our biggest wins of the tournament so far came Saturday when Murray State covered a 5-point spread in losing to Butler, 54-52. Most of our bettors seemed to think the Racers would be happy with their first-round upset of Vanderbilt, but Murray State sure made it interesting for the Bulldogs.
Butler, which hasn’t lost since November, will take on Syracuse next and in an interesting contest to handicap we’ve got the Orange by 7 points. If that seems like a lot, perhaps you didn’t watch the absolute destruction of Gonzaga. Or, perhaps you’re right and it’s a lot.
We had another good win on Sunday when Purdue +3 won outright over Texas A&M, 63-61. Nobody gave the Boilermakers much of a shot to do anything in March Madness when star forward Robbie Hummel went down with an injury with a few games left in the regular season, but Purdue is a tough, physical team that won’t back down against anyone.
Purdue gets Duke next in a massive challenge for the Boilermakers. We’ve got the Blue Devils by a whopping 8 points and I think it will be interesting to see how the bettors react to such a big number for a Sweet-16 affair between two schools from major conferences.
Cornell as Cinderella: Hey, If The Shoe Fits…
Our biggest spread of the eight Sweet 16 games is no surprise. That would be Kentucky by 9 over Cornell. We’ve actually seen very strong betting support for the Big Red and expect the same when they take on the ultra-talented Wildcats. Every tournament seems to have a Cinderella that the people love and Cornell is wearing the slipper this year.
In the basketball futures department, we banked a decent amount of cash when Kansas was sent crashing and burning by Northern Iowa on Saturday. (Sorry. That had to hurt a lot of brackets out there.)
Kentucky is left as the 2/1 favorite but we’ve seen a lot of money coming in on both Syracuse (4/1) and Duke (9/2).
Baylor (15/1) is another school that continues to draw futures action while Michigan State (22/1) has seen practically no support with the news that star guard Kalin Lucas ruptured his left Achilles tendon during the first half of Sunday's game against Maryland.
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