Betting News and Notes - Mar.26

Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar.26

Dancing all over the odds

Jeff Haney recaps March surprises, including the high-stepping by spread-busting Washington State

When the odds were posted on teams to win the NCAA Tournament before the 65-team field began play last week, the line on the Washington State Cougars seemed accurate at 40-1.

The odds weren’t in single digits like those accompanying big favorites UCLA, North Carolina or Kansas. But they weren’t in George Mason (500-1), Georgia (1,000-1) or San Diego (5,000-1) territory, either.

Since then, however, no team has exceeded the expectations of the oddsmakers and the betting public more than Washington State — at least from a purely analytical, point-spread perspective.

In the first round Washington State opened as a 9-point favorite against Winthrop in a matchup of No. 4 and No. 13 seeds. The Cougars were bet up to 9 1/2 or 10 at some sports books, and the bettors had the right idea.

Washington State won by 31 points to beat the spread by 21 or 22 — the easiest cover by any team in the tournament’s first round.

For an encore, the Cougars pulled off the same feat in Round 2. Oddsmakers opened Washington State as a 1- or 2-point favorite against Notre Dame, which had handled George Mason in Round 1.

Washington State closed at minus-2 in Las Vegas sports books before breezing past the Irish by 20, clobbering the point spread by 18. Only two of the Cougars’ counterparts in the second round performed as well against the spread, both in late games Sunday: North Carolina beat Arkansas by 31 points and the spread by 21, and Louisville beat Oklahoma by 30 and the spread by 23.

To reach the Final Four, Washington State would have to get past the No. 1 seed Tar Heels and the winner of Tennessee-Louisville when play resumes Thursday through Sunday. The championship game is scheduled for April 7 in San Antonio.

When adjusted odds on the remainder of the field to win the NCAA Tournament were released by the Las Vegas Hilton sports book late Sunday, the line on Washington State to win the title was only a bit lower at 30-1, reflecting the team’s tough road to the Final Four.

Washington State is a 7 1/2-point underdog against North Carolina on Thursday.

Other notable items from a point-spread angle from the tournament’s early rounds:

Team with the longest odds that is still alive: Based on odds released by the Las Vegas Hilton just after the bracket draw, it’s Villanova at 500-1. The Wildcats upended Clemson in a 5-12 matchup in the first round, winning by 6 points as a 6-point underdog. In the second round, Villanova rolled past Siena — which had pulled off its own first-round upset — as a 5 1/2-point favorite.

Team with the shortest odds that has been eliminated: Again according to the Hilton’s pretournament odds, it’s Georgetown, which was listed at 12-1. The Hoyas lost to Davidson on Sunday as a 4 1/2-point favorite.

Favorites vs. underdogs: Favorites carried the first couple of days of the tournament, going 21-11 against the point spread in Round 1. It was closer in the second round, with favorites going 9-7 against the spread.

Bad beat: Bettors who backed Butler on Sunday against Tennessee can justifiably claim a bad beat. They had what gamblers call the “right side” with Butler, a 4 1/2-point underdog that took Tennessee to overtime before losing by 5.

Biggest upset vis-a-vis the point spread: San Diego knocked off Connecticut as a 12-point underdog in the first round. Runner-up was Siena against Vanderbilt as a 7 1/2-point ’dog. Both came in matchups of No. 13 and No. 4 seeds.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar.26

Detroit at Toronto, 7:05 ET
Detroit: 39-31 ATS in all games
Toronto: 12-2 OVER off a upset loss

Milwaukee at Atlanta, 7:05 ET
Milwaukee: 17-5 OVER second half
Atlanta: 14-25 ATS when playing on BB days

(TC) Miami at New York, 7:35 ET
Miami: 7-0 OVER in a road game where where the total is between 185 and 189.5
New York: 1-11 ATS in March

Chicago at Philadelphia, 7:05 ET
Chicago: 3-13 ATS off a home win
Philadelphia: 17-8 ATS second half

New Orleans at Cleveland, 7:05 ET
New Orleans: 15-7 ATS after a non-conference
Cleveland: 11-20 ATS after covering 2 of their last 3

(TC) Phoenix at Boston, 7:05 ET ESPN
Phoenix: 33-18 ATS off a road loss
Boston: 22-8 ATS as a favorite of 3.5 to 9.5

Indiana at New Jersey, 7:35 ET
Indiana: 11-7 ATS when playing on BB days
New Jersey: 1-5 ATS after DD win

Minnesota at Houston, 8:35 ET
Minnesota: 19-8 ATS in road games when playing with double revenge
Houston: 50-71 ATS in home games

(TC) LA Clippers at San Antonio, 8:35 ET
LA Clippers: 8-20 ATS after a game where they covered
San Antonio: 5-1 ATS after a DD road win

Memphis at Sacramento, 10:05 ET
Memphis: 2-10 ATS off a DD home loss
Sacramento: 13-5 ATS in home games revenging a road loss

Washington at Seattle, 10:05 ET
Washington: 9-1 ATS in road games after a blowout loss by 15 points or more
Seattle: 3-13 ATS revenging a 20 plus point blowout loss

Charlotte at LA Lakers, 10:35 ET
Charlotte: 0-8 ATS in a road game where the total is greater than or equal to 200
LA Lakers: 8-0 ATS off a road win against a division rival

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