Underdogs Have Proven Profitable 68% of the Time During Championship Game

Kevin Stott

Sunday, April 2, 2017 7:40 PM UTC

Sunday, Apr. 2, 2017 7:40 PM UTC

The third weekend of the NCAA Tournament looked like it could actually be a tough one for sportsbooks with heavy action on North Carolina and the Over in that second Final Four game against Oregon. Let’s see where we stand 66 games into March Madness, look at Monday’s opening odds and offer up a side pick for the championship game in a Tourney.

Offshores Win on Gonzaga-SC Total, See Mixed Results on NC-Oregon Total

Offshore sportsbooks took a nice winning streak into the two Final Four games from UoP Stadium in Glendale Saturday and it wasn’t a bad day for their side of the counter with Oregon rallying from a 10-point 2H deficit to lose by just 1, costing players backing the ACC chalk.

In Saturday's first game, Nigel Williams-Goss and Gonzaga held off upstart South Carolina (5-0 ATS Tourney), failing to cover as 6½- to 7-point favorites in a 77-73 final and a game that went Over the closing 137 Total—bet down from an opening 138. This resulting in some decent profits for sportsbooks with both perceived Sharps and the public embracing the Under—thanks probably in part to some incredibly strong KenPom Defensive Efficiency numbers for both teams and a hot-shooting Bulldogs side.

Spokesman for BetOnline Dave Mason tweeted his house was “exposed on Gonzaga moneyline, especially in parlays” on the contest.

In the second Final Four game Saturday, North Carolina defeated Oregon, 77-76, failing to covering ATS as 4½-point favorites in a contest which went Over the closing Total in some places, pushed in others and went Under in some others thanks to the Tar Heels freakishly missing their L4 FT attempts. Before tip, Mason tweeted BoL would be needing the Ducks with the Tar Heels getting 59% of the action with his shop also needing the Under with 71% of the money on the Over.

BookMaker also needed the Ducks with Cooley saying earlier in the week, “We’ll be begging for Oregon money from that sector of the gaming community. The Sharps haven’t been overly in love with the Ducks throughout the tournament.” And with the Total bet up to 153½ from its opening 148½, almost all Over tickets cashed.


First-Look Championship Game Odds

So March Madness continued to be good to sportsbooks after a fairly decent start by the players with a rash of favorites and streak of Overs in First Round play. BookMaker opened the Tar Heels 2-point favorites with a Total of 153 in Monday's Championship game. “Gonzaga defined the ‘Cinderella’ mantra of college basketball, and it will always be the first to wear the glass slipper, but that doesn’t change the fact that to the public, the Zags appear overmatched against the greatest program of all time,” BookMaker’s Cooley said. “We anticipate action on the Over, but hopefully the public will be split on the spread,” he added. And Cooley was right, with Sharps immediately betting the Total up ½ to 153½ with North Carolina dropping ½ to -1½ -115.

Heading into Championship game (CBS, 9:20 p.m. ET), Underdogs have gone a profitable 36-27-3 ATS (67.9%) with SU favorites 48-18 in the NCAA Tournament and the Over going 40-25-1 (61.5%).


Free NCAAB Picks: Gonzaga +115Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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