Sportsbooks Come Out on Top in Opening Week of NCAA Tournament Betting

Kevin Stott

Tuesday, March 24, 2015 11:27 AM UTC

Tuesday, Mar. 24, 2015 11:27 AM UTC

Thursday’s 12 opening Round of play games in the NCAA Tournament left favorites bettors crying in their beer and underdog players and sportsbooks thrilled to death with the results. Is there any way for the public to recover and make a run at The Man and did anybody anywhere make any good picks? Yes. And it’s still all about Kentucky.

You’re asking me who won between The Bookies and The Public in this weekend’s (Thursday-Friday-Saturday-Sunday) NCAA Tournament? Would you also like to know who won when Usain Bolt raced Elton John in the 100-meter dash, Bubba? Or maybe if people in general like Pink Floyd better than Nickleback? How about who won when I challenged Michelin-starred chef Éric Ripert from Chicago’s famous Le Bernardin restaurant to a Paella cook-off back in the Winter of 1999? You know who won, brother, who almost always wins, that perpetual nemesis, the Bad Guy, the evil Bookieman.

The Bookies are winning, and will probably never even be close to being down in this wonderful men’s college basketball tournament, as per usual in an endeavour (sports gambling) where about 97% of the participants lose, 1% break even and maybe 2% win every year. You do the math. This ain’t easy and never has been with the point spread and the vigorish and the spot-on Moneyline odds as tight as a frog’s ass. And then trying to not play yourself, get the amounts right and navigate Modern Betting Menus beings from Future Civilizations who have Time Traveled even find intricate, complicated and tough to take in. So, the bleeding Bookies won, brother, can I please go now as I have a Lemon Cake in the oven, a Cat in a Tree and some crazy plump woman screaming at me in Spanish about “Mis papas fritas,” so I believe her Father must be cold and needs a blanket or something although it is 81° here in Sin City and my Spanish is about as good as my comprehension of Romanian Liga I soccer.

You need more on this? You want specifics? Details? Words and numbers and things? OK. I’ll tell you why I think The House beat The Player so far, but first let me get that cake out of the oven before it burns, save the cat before he freaks and converts to Scientology and see if I have a spare blanket for this insane woman still screaming, “Mis papas fritas, mi papas fritas. Por favor señor, por favor.” It will be impossible to write about us Public-eers getting pooped on by The Bookieman for the 7,123,482nd time unless I somehow mute this woman and I am quite sure that “Papas” means Father in Español and I believe that “fritas” may mean Cold, although most of the hours spent in my two years of Spanish in class in High School were spent wondering how God could make a Spanish Teacher so damn hot, so I may have missed something, likely very many things, in that “education.” I can tell you though that ‘queso’ (KAY-so) means cheese. That seemed extremely important to me at the time. A man’s got to have his priorities straight you know. Cheese and gambling.


But Why Are The Bookies Up, Fool?
Are you still here? OK. This will be simple. The General Public prefers for the most part to bet Favorites as their NCAA Tournament picks. And the General Public loves betting on the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament, especially that first Thursday block of games as they have waited with bated breath for that moment for months. Almost like hungry Crocodiles waiting for a pack of Wildebeest to cross a river, except maybe in this peculiar analogy, the the Bookies ended up being the Crocodiles and the Favorite-betting General Public being the Wildebeest when Underdogs went 7-1 ATS over the first 8 games on Thursday making Sportsbook Directors from England to the Caribbean to here in Las Vegas giddy before the second wave of Thursday games even started.

The South Point’s Jimmy Vaccaro said Thursday’s results was “very good” for the House while the MGM ended up in a reported 14 of 16 Thursday’s Round 1 games. Underdogs finished Thursday 9-3 ATS—Unders were 8-3-1 on the day—and ended up 31-21 ATS (63.8%) through Sunday’s Round of 32 games (including the FirstFour). And when gamblers wait for a specific event like this NCAA Basketball Tournament, the FIFA World Cup, the Kentucky Derby or the Super Bowl, and they all have their betting guns loaded with bullets and fire so rapidly and then so many of the Favorites then lose en masse...well, one doesn’t exactly have to be a Smart-Guy Genius to figure out that most of that money will never be coming back, especially after such a torrid 9-3 ATS Thursday start by the gamblers who obviously bet heavily on those early Favorites. Everything just seemed to go the Bookies way and the crocodiles won again. Que sera sera.

If You're Still Looking for More Betting Options, Check Out Our Top Sweet 16 Plays ATS!

Is There Any Hope Left For the Betting General Public?
Strangely enough, there seems to be (some hope left for the general betting public). With the coming Regional Semifinals and Finals, Final Four (April 4) and Championship game (April 6), the players can always make a comeback, but with such a phenomenal and somewhat lucky in some ways start for the Bookies on Thursday, odds are the Sportsbooks will again reap some healthy profits from this 2015 version of March Madness, although there were a some reports Monday of some potential liability with both some Futures and some Props bets where the Sportsbooks could actually get a little taste of their own medicine.

Both William Hill Sportsbook and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook put out a special “Will Kentucky Go Undefeated?” Props bet, with William Hill releasing its’ to the public last summer at 50/1 NCAA Tournament odds. Now at 36-0 and with possibly 4 games to go to record a perfect season and hit that Prop (for “Yes” bettors), the University of Kentucky really has some folks at William Hill and SuperBook Sports Director Jay Kornegay a bit nervous, among many others, as Kentucky running the table may put a massive dent in the respective sportsbooks profits so far from this NCAA Tournament. And if the Wildcats do pull it off, William Hill (Nevada) will incur its biggest loss ever on a single Prop bet.

With so much information out there on exactly who Kentucky was recruiting, whom it had coming back and the team’s expectations, setting the opening odds at 50/1 (William Hill) to go undefeated seems a bit careless in some sense, although it’s too easy to write that at this point in Time and I am still one of those thinking that this is where the rubber meets the road for this Kentucky team and that they will eventually get beaten.

As far as the odds of the Public winning all their money back they lost on Thursday (and Friday and Saturday and Sunday), I’m afraid I’ll just have to use some of the 26 letters in the alphabet and not numbers to convey Johnny Q. Public’s chances at ultimately winning and finishing “up” in this El Gran Baile: Slim and none.



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