The NCAA Tournament started out looking like it could be a good one for the players. However, reality crept in with Underdogs and Overs being the ultimate profit-centers for the players with the Futures Book, again, reaping nothing but pure profit on the other side of the counter for sportsbooks. Let’s see who offshores needed between Gonzaga and North Carolina in Monday’s Championship game.
With the NCAA Basketball Tournament seeing much more money bet on it than the Super Bowl, March Madness has taken on a life of its own. Sportsbooks and sports gamblers, with its bottom line now increasingly important to sportsbooks offshore and here in Las Vegas. With its 67 games, in-game wagering, phone apps, Props bet menus growing combined with the popularity of sports gambling, overall handles in the industry are growing slowly in small increments every year like muscle on a championship boxer.
And the Tournament continued to be good for the sportsbooks after Monday’s Gonzaga-North Carolina Championship game with decent two-way-action and nothing but pure profit in the Futures market where just one team gets the bacon come that first Monday in April. For BetOnline, a Gonzaga win was the desired result (NC -1 -120, 154½, BetOnline), with spokesman Dave Mason saying his shop would make a profit on both but that “...the profit on Gonzaga was much bigger though.” Five hours before tip, Mason said BoL had seen 60% of the money bet there on North Carolina with 57% backing the Over in what turned out to be a split result.
In the game, North Carolina defeated Gonzaga, 71-65—in a contest which went Under by 18½ points—with the Tar Heels going on a 6-0 run to cover ATS, win the game, and with it, the national championship ... all in the last 1:40. So who needs November through March bruh? Or the first 38 minutes of games for that matter?
Business Booming, Sportsbooks End the Men’s Tournament on a Tear
Maybe it was the overall success of Underdogs in March Madness—although SU Favorites finished 49-18, Underdogs went 36-28-3 ATS (66.7%) with the Over finishing a robust 40-26-1 (60.6%)—but players and many Sharps had a rough NCAA Tournament, especially after a promising start the opening Thursday. And volume was up everywhere. “[Action on] the tournament was great,” Mason said. “[It] was not only profitable, active numbers were up a lot compared to last year’s Dance. We needed a big tournament after getting our teeth kicked in during the NFL postseason.”
So sportsbooks had three pretty good weekends in a row and avoided higher Futures liability payouts Monday with a potential Gonzaga (37-2, 23-11-2 ATS) championship with favorites generally winning the games but not covering ATS as the twisted ankle in the last two minutes of a Wooden Award candidate (Nigel Williams-Goss) ended up being the big difference in the final game at UoP Stadium in Glendale which went back-and-forth all night and saw North Carolina (33-7, 20-16-3 ATS) get a little hardwood redemption after losing to Villanova on a last-second shot in last year’s Championship game.