Daily March Madness public money update: Bettors hammering USC in Sweet 16

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Andrew Ortenberg


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I'm an NFL handicapper here at Pickswise who was raised in a household full of sports fanatics. Since I unfortunately never had LeBron James' jumping ability I wasn't able to make it to the NBA, and chose writing about sports as the next best thing. An avid sports bettor myself, I'm excited to get to write about the industry as it gets set to take off across the country. Buckle up. For Andrew Ortenberg media enquiries, please email contact@pickswise.com.

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 second day of the Sweet 16:

Gonzaga -13 vs. Creighton

Let’s start things off with a big favorite. Gonzaga has established themselves as the clear team to beat, and the public isn’t about to fade them in the first game of the day. 69 percent of the bets and 69 percent of the money are laying the points with the Bulldogs here, per DraftKings’ internal numbers shared with us.

The Bulldogs dominated Norfolk State in the first round then beat Oklahoma by 16 in the second, so this one isn’t too hard to understand. The public has also seen Creighton not do anything special, as they squeaked past UCSB by a single point in the first round and then got to play Ohio in the second. We can’t fade Gonzaga either. 

Michigan -2 vs. Florida State

Bettors are over their fear of the Big Ten. LSU was a trendy underdog pick against Michigan due to the Big Ten’s failures overall, but the Wolverines showed pretty well against the Tigers and redeemed the conference a bit. Now, the public is expecting them to do it again. 64 percent of the bets and 66 percent of the money are on Michigan as a short favorite here.

Florida State just annihilated Colorado in the Round of 32, so I’m a little bit surprised to see the public fading them here. It’s possible everyone just sees a one-seed only laying a couple of points against a four-seed and doesn’t need to see anything more. That would be pretty faulty logic, and we’re fading the public here to back the Seminoles. Check out our full game preview to find out why.

Alabama -6.5 vs. UCLA

March Madness is the one time of year you often see the public gravitate heavily toward underdogs, but not on Sunday. Bettors are flocking to yet another favorite in the third game, with 63 percent of the bets and 68 percent of the money laying the points with the Crimson Tide over UCLA. This one is also interesting to see because the PAC 12 has been the subject of endless positive press since the tournament started.

The PAC 12 is 10-1 ATS entering Sunday, and I would’ve thought that trend alone would be enough to get more of the public on the Bruins here. Apparently not. However, there are some matchup advantages for Alabama here, including the fact that they’re elite at defending the pick and roll that UCLA relies on. For that and more, we’re taking the Crimson Tide as well here.

USC -2 vs. Oregon

One last game, one last favorite. You can throw out the trend listed above here, since bettors will have to choose between two PAC 12 teams in this one. So far they’re lining up behind the Trojans, as 73 percent of the bets and 73 percent of the money are taking USC over Oregon here in the West region semifinals.

The last time everybody saw USC they were absolutely dominating Kansas, so it’s easy to understand this one. Oregon solidly beat down a favored Iowa team, but it wasn’t quite the same dazzling show that USC put on. Public perception of the Trojans is at an all-time high, and now is the time to fade that perception. Oregon has been quietly ascending steadily the past two months, and we’re taking the Ducks here.

Pickswise is the home of March Madness Predictions. Check out all of our March Madness Picks, including daily March Madness Parlays throughout the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

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