March Madness Sweet 16 Betting Trends
After four play-in games and four days of sheer madness, the 68-team field for the 2022 NCAA Tournament for men’s college basketball is down to the Sweet 16. As one of the biggest sports betting events of the year, there are more than a few noteworthy trends attached to these early results.
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NCAA Tournament Betting Futures
Through the opening rounds of play, the West Coast Conference’s Gonzaga Bulldogs remain the betting favorites to win this season’s national title. While they failed to cover as solid favorites against Georgia State and Memphis, the Bulldogs are now set as +230 favorites to keep this winning streak going for four more games.
Playing in the West Region, Gonzaga will now face the SEC’s Arkansas Razorbacks in Thursday’s Sweet 16 showdown. A victory in that game as an 8.5-point favorite would setup a showdown against the winner of Thursday’s Texas Tech vs. Duke game. The Big 12’s Red Raiders are slight one-point favorites against the ACC’s Blue Devils.
Moving down the list of updated NCAA Tournament betting futures, the Big 12’s Kansas Jayhawks are +450 second-favorites as the No. 1 seed in the Midwest Region. Third on the board is the Pac-12’s Arizona Wildcats at +500 odds advancing through the South.
The betting odds start to drop off there with the Big Ten’s Purdue Boilermakers (+850) and the AAC’s Houston Cougars (+900) rounding out the Top 5. Duke is a perennial betting favorite at +1100 followed by the Big East’s Villanova Wildcats (+1400) as another popular team to bet on this time of the year.
Anyone out there looking for the ultimate Cinderella team left in the field could bet the Saint Peter’s Peacocks at +20000 odds.
NCAA Tournament Team Betting Handles
The first four games of the Sweet 16 Round are set for Thursday starting at 7:09 p.m. (ET). The field will be cut down to just eight teams following Friday’s four games.
Going back to the start of play in this tournament, the team with the biggest betting handle to win a national championship was Arizona with 15.5% of the betting volume on futures odds. Gonzaga, as the pre-tournament favorite to win it all, garnered 12.1% of the early betting volume.
With Duke’s head coach Mike Krzyzewski ending his career this season, the Blue Devils accounted for 7.4% of the early money spent on NCAA Tournament betting futures.
Of the prominent teams that failed to make it past the first four days of play, the SEC’s Kentucky Wildcats took in 6.8% of the betting handle. Two other heavily bet SEC teams making early exits were the Auburn Tigers (5.6%) and the Tennessee Volunteers (5.2 %).
NCAA Tournament Futures Odds Movement
Saint Peter’s opened play in the East Region as the No. 15 seed. After stunning Kentucky in the opening round, the Peacocks became the lowest seed in the Sweet 16 by beating No. 7 Murray State in their next game.
Opening at +1000000 to win a national title, Saint Peter’s moved to its current odds at +20000. Facing Purdue on Friday as 12.5-point underdogs, the Peacocks will try and keep this magical ride going with another huge upset.
The ACC’s Miami Hurricanes are the No. 10 seed in the Midwest Region. Their unexpected ride to the Sweet 16 included upsets against the Pac-12’s USC Trojans and Auburn as the No. 2 seed. The Hurricanes opened at +15000 odds and they are now down to +5000.
Villanova opened this tournament at +1200 odds to win it all. Following victories against Delaware and Ohio State, the Wildcats might be the best value on the adjusted NCAAB futures board at +1400.
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