Most popular NCAA tournament first-round bets

As you do your homework on the NCAA Tournament and are taking a moment to google things like “Where is McNeese?” and “What is Morehead State’s nickname?” let’s look at the most popular bets for the First Round courtesy of BetMGM. The answers may surprise you.

The most popular games being bet are:

1. Colorado State vs. Virginia – More money coming in on the Cavaliers than any other underdog in the field as well as the OVER which currently sits at 120.5.

2. Colorado vs. Boise State – The Buffaloes are favored but still a popular play as is the OVER which has risen to 140.5.

3. McNeese State vs. Gonzaga – McNeese State (its in Lake Charles, LA) is a popular play on the ML (+230).

4. Drake vs. Washington State – The Bulldogs are the 10-seed but are favored and a popular play giving the points.

5. Morehead State vs. Illinois – Few seem to be sleeping on the Eagles to make it a game and keep it within the number against the Fighting Illini.

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The most bet teams (ticket count):

1. Virginia Cavaliers +2.5 vs. Colorado State Rams

2. Colorado Buffaloes -2.5 vs. Boise State Broncos

3. Drake Bulldogs -1.5 vs. Washington State Cougars

4. Morehead State Eagles +11.5 vs. Illinois Fighting Illini

5. McNeese Cowboys +6.5 vs. Gonzaga Bulldogs

The most bet teams (handle):

This list varies slightly from the ticket count:

1. UAB Blazers +6.5 vs.

2. Drake Bulldogs -1.5 vs. Washington State Cougars

3. Morehead State Eagles +11.5 vs. Illinois Fighting Illini

4. Grambling Tigers +3.5 vs. Montana State Bobcats

5. Colorado Buffaloes -2.5 vs. Boise State Broncos

So why aren’t the Blue Bloods of college basketball on these lists considering how immensely popular they are with the general public? Frankly, the First Round spreads are too great to garner an overwhelming amount of attention. There may be an in-game opportunity but until then, the majority of bettors are turned off by those big numbers.

Now you know where the public is putting their money on Thursday and Friday for the First Round of the NCAA Men’s Tournament. Feel free to join the squad ride or play the part of the contrarian.