Friday’s second day of the Round of 64 was a day for the books as sportsbooks rolled to a big win in the NCAA Tournament.
One of the big reasons the sports books such as Bovada and sportsbook.com did so well on Friday was the huge upset of Mercer over Duke.
Thursday’s first day of the Round of 64 in the NCAA Tournament ended up being a small winner for sportsbooks. However, on Friday, the games gave sportsbooks such as betonline and topbet a huge win as favorites were just 7-9 against the number with four underdogs not only covering by winning outright, which included the aforementioned Mercer upset of Duke 78-71. That win by Mercer paid out +750 on the books’ moneyline.
Duke had been one of the most popular public bets for the week and ruined many bettors’ parlays.
UCLA was sluggish during the first half of their game against Tulsa late Friday night but came back to win 76-57 to cover a spread of 9 points, which the books as many had put their money behind Tulsa.
The handle thus far on the NCAA Tournament has been very large and has surprised many bookmakers. Usually the first Thursday of March Madness handles more money due to more money being available as it is the first round of the tournament.
Once a bettor loses their bankroll, smaller amount are put up.
Usually Friday ends up being a difficult day for the house as parlays are carried over from the previous day that puts the house at a big risk.
That was not the case for this year’s tournament with bettors doing okay on day one, giving them more money to lay on Friday’s lineup of 16 games.
On Thursday, the favorites finished the day at 8-7-1 against the spread with just two underdogs Dayton and North Dakota state winning outright.
An important game for the books on Thursday ended up being Oregon vs. BYU. The Ducks ended up cruising to victory by 21 points to cover as a 5.5-point spread as the favorite. However, that blow to the books was lessened when the normally high scoring teams did not pay the OVER scoring just 153 points on a 158 point line.
The two teams played earlier in the season with Oregon winning in OT 100-96 to go well OVER that game’s 173 total.
With Saturday behind and the books taking another strong day, Sunday’s games will whittle the field to its final 16 for next Thursday and Friday’s Sweet 16 lineup, which should be interesting to see how the bettors go.
However, there are still 8 games to be played on Sunday that could give the public its first win or maintain the books solid first weekend start to the tournament.