Daily March Madness public money update: Bettors hammering favorites in Final Four
March Madness is officially full steam ahead, and with the NCAA Tournament now underway we’ll be bringing you a special edition of our usual public money update each day. With an event this large betting volume will be off the charts, and the public can actually move markets this time of year. It’s important to keep track of what the heavy public sides are, whether you’re looking to tail or fade that movement.
Check out our March Madness hub to stay on top of everything that goes on. Also, be sure to check out our picks on the side and total for every single game in the tournament. But first, let’s dive into what we’re seeing in terms of public trends heading into the Final Four:
Baylor -5 vs. Houston
Bettors are all over the Baylor Bears here. This isn’t just the heaviest public side of the Final Four, it’s one of the heaviest public sides of the entire tournament. 78 percent of the bets and a whopping 87 percent of the money are laying the points with Baylor over Houston here, per DraftKings’ internal numbers shared with us.
Baylor just made light work of Arkansas while Houston had a much easier path against Oregon State, which is surely fresh in the minds of bettors. The Cougars have gotten pretty lucky with their schedule, as each of their four tourney games have come against double digit seeds. This step up in competition is going to be a shock to their system, so we’re rolling with Baylor here too.
Baylor vs. Houston over 134.5
It’s not nearly as heavy, but the over is also attracting a bit more money here. We often see the public gravitate toward overs in high profile games, so this isn’t too shocking. 68 percent of the bets and 60 percent of the money are on the over in this spot. However, that gap between bets and money percentages indicates there have been some larger bets on the under.
It’s easy to look at Baylor’s high-flying offense and determine a total in the mid 130s is too low, but Houston plays at an extremely slow pace and they’ve limited all four of their tournament opponents to 61 points or fewer so far. Baylor’s defense doesn’t get as much credit as they deserve, and they just recently limited Wisconsin to 63 and Villanova to 51. We’re fading the public and going under here.
Gonzaga -14.5 vs. UCLA
The public is staying chalky in the Final Four, going with another favorite in Saturday’s nightcap. 70 percent of the bets and 81 percent of the money are laying double digits with Gonzaga here. March Madness is often the one time of year you’ll see the public line up heavily behind underdogs, but certainly not on Saturday.
UCLA has had an incredible run from First Four to Final Four, but just about nobody seems to believe they’ll advance any further. Given how Gonzaga has looked recently, it’s hard to argue with that. The Bulldogs just dismantled USC in their most recent game, and we think they’ll have no problem cruising past another PAC 12 opponent here. We’re laying the hefty spread as well.