Tourney chalk prevails to upset books

By Chris Havlicek

Updated 3/26/24 2:49pm ET

In most years, the NCAA Tournament’s opening weekend generates excitement from fans, bettors and oddsmakers. However, most sportsbook directors have reported losses or profits that underdelivered, due to minimal upsets.

For just the fifth time since 1979, the top two seeds in all four regions reached the Sweet 16. Furthermore, only one school seeded lower than sixth has advanced this far and that is NC State, which hails from a major conference. Cinderella did not emerge.

With so many favorites advancing, the public predominantly cashed several moneyline parlays this past weekend, spoiling the house’s bottom line. We see that occasionally occur during the NFL regular season. However, unlike football, March Madness only provides a few days of heavy volume.

The Sweet 16 now contains blue bloods and established programs. Most notably, only the SEC’s Kentucky and Auburn failed to survive. Meanwhile, the ACC and Big East combined for a 14-1 record.

Atlantic 102-2.500
Big 127-6.538
Big East6-01.000
Big Ten6-4.600
Mountain West4-5.444
West Coast2-1.667

The defending champion UConn Huskies remain the favorites to at +210, while the Houston Cougars are next at +600.

Top 10 National Championship Odds: (Courtesy of Fanduel)

UConn Huskies +210 
Houston Cougars +600 
Purdue Boilermakers +600 
Arizona Wildcats +850 
Tennessee Volunteers +1100 
North Carolina Tar Heels: +1300
Marquette Golden Eagles: +1600 
Iowa State Cyclones: +2000 
Duke Blue Devils +2300 
Creighton Bluejays: +2300 

Photo Courtesy: Shutterstock

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