By Issey Abraha
For the first time since 2008, the March Madness Final Four consisted of three of the top four seeds in the NCAA tournament.
For those betting on March Madness, following the top teams may have fattened the wallets a little bit in the past as the tournament’s name indicates the unpredictability of winners and losers.
If betting is any indication, then the March Madness tournament is one of the most highly scrutinized sporting events in North America. Heading into the tournament the the American Gaming Association estimated that over 70-million brackets would be filled out by Americans and over $2-billion would be wagered across the tournament.
“The underdogs covered the first 10 games, which was certainly crazy. But, as these things often do, it evened out. Underdogs are now just 36-30 against the spread, making them barely profitable,” said Case Keefer, a Las Vegas Sun News reporter.
“Last year was far wilder with a pair of 100-to-1 shots reaching the national championship,” Keefer told Humber News on Monday.
Underdogs have not faired well in the NCAA tournament final. Only four underdog teams in the past 26 years have been victorious according to USA Today, which comes as bad news for the Duke Blue Devils who have a worse regular season record than the Badgers.
“I will be betting $1,000 on Duke tonight, they haven’t let me down all season and I don’t expect them do so now,” said Roscoe Cristos, a Fallsview Casino Gold Member.
Over the years, the Final Four has played out with one favourite versus an underdog in the semi-final.
“I always leave room for underdog team to make it to final four knowing the nature of the tournament,’ said Yonathan Debessai, a die-hard NCAA basketball fan.
Most bookies have labeled the game as a pick ‘em, but there are some who boldly ventured to give slight edges to either the Blue Devils or the Badgers. On March 30 they were one-to-one favourites to be NCAA champions.
“Always go with what you heart tells you, not what you read online,” said Cristos. “When two good teams are playing, stats don’t mean anything no more.”
Wisconsin and Duke face off in the championship game Monday night in Indianapolis.