Books root against Virginia to win NCAA tournament

GamingToday.com is an independent sports news and information service. GamingToday.com has partnerships with some of the top legal and licensed sportsbook companies in the US. When you claim a bonus offer or promotion through a link on this site, Gaming Today may receive referral compensation from the sportsbook company. Although the relationships we have with sportsbook companies may influence the order in which we place companies on the site, all reviews, recommendations, and opinions are wholly our own. They are the recommendations from our authors and contributors who are avid sports fans themselves.

For more information, please read How We Rank Sportsbooks, Privacy Policy, or Contact Us with any concerns you may have.

Gaming Today is licensed and regulated to operate in AZ, CO, CT, IN, LA, MI, NJ, NY, PA, TN, and VA.

I can’t tell you who is going to win next month’s NCAA Basketball Tournament, but I can tell you who the Nevada sportsbooks don’t want to win it and it’s a different team weighted with liability at almost every bet shop.

MGM Resorts sportsbook VP Jay Rood said his biggest risk among legitimate contenders is No. 2 ranked Virginia who he now has at 5-to-2 odds after opening 12-to-1.

Virginia (24-2) leads the nation with fewest turnovers and are fourth by allowing opponents to shoot just 37.7 percent and also fourth in margin of victory at 17.2 ppg — they only score 71.8 ppg. They’re also third in the nation against-the-spread at 19-7 for +11.3 units of profit if betting them each game. However, they’ve been disappointments the last couple of postseasons, including being the first No. 1 seed to ever lose in the first round of the tournament last season.

William Hill has over 100 sportsbooks across the state, including mobile wagering, making the chain one of the highest volume books and they’re going to get stung with a big loss if the local team wins it all.

“We’re a big loser with Nevada and Louisville, a medium loser with Florida State (21-6) and Marquette (23-4) and a small loser with Virginia,” said head bookmaker Nick Bogdanovich.

Nevada (25-2) is fifth in the nation with a 16.7 scoring margin, but Ken Pomeroy’s respected ratings have the Wolf Pack only No. 21 because of one of the poorest strength of schedules among his top-40 teams, and a bad loss at San Diego State last week certainly doesn’t help Nevada’s creditability. Only Houston (26-1) has a worse strength of schedule among top teams.

“Kansas State,” said South Point sportsbook director Chris Andrews without any hesitation of his biggest risk. “We started them at 100-to-1 and are down to 20-to-1 now.”

Kansas State (21-6) has a one-game lead at the top of the Big 12 where they’ve gone 11-3 this season. The strength of the Wildcats this season has been their defense which allows only 59.8 ppg, the fourth lowest in the nation. They’ve gone 16-11 ATS and are No. 25 in Pomeroy’s ratings.

A great defense is a good start to slowing any quality team in the tournament and the second-place team in the Big 12, Texas Tech (22-5), leads the nation allowing opponents to shoot just 36.1 percent from the field.

Despite averaging a 72-57 score, betting them against-the-spread has resulted in -3.4 units (12-14-1 ATS). Pomeroy has the Red Raiders No. 8 in his ratings. The South Point opened them 40-to-1 to win the Tournament and they’re still at 40-to-1. The Westgate SuperBook has them 25-to-1. 

“Louisville currently at 40-to-1 is a loser for us as well as Kansas State and Iowa at 30-to-1,” said Station Casinos sportsbook director Jason McCormick. “Buffalo is in our field at 60-to-1 and also no good for us.” 

Pomeroy currently has Buffalo (24-3) rated No. 20, Louisville (18-10) No. 19 and Iowa (21-6) No. 28. 

“Our only risk among the top teams is North Carolina (22-5) and Tennessee (24-3), said SuperBook oddsmaker Jeff Sherman. “We do well with Kansas (20-7), Virginia and Kentucky (23-4).”

The SuperBook is currently offering odds on 192 teams and their theoretic hold is an incredible 30 percent, which is a huge value to the public with so many options . 

CG Technology VP of risk management Jason Simbal is sweating Kentucky the most. He said they opened the Wildcats 10-to-1 and are now +550. They’re currently Pomeroy’s No. 5 rated team only behind Virginia, Gonzaga (27-2), Duke (24-3) and Michigan State (22-5). The Spartans come off a huge win at Ann Arbor Sunday to briefly take a half-game lead over Purdue (20-7) atop the stacked Big Ten Standings.

The future pools are generally considered easy expected money for the sportsbooks to take to the bottom line after each season ends. When a book loses on any of the futures it’s a big deal.

As it looks now, Duke, which is the 2-to-1 favorite at the SuperBook, winning it all would be very good for the house.

Get signed up for a VIP account today to enjoy all we have to offer.

At Gaming Today we are dedicated to providing valuable up-to-date information on the casino industry and pari-mutuel race wagering. With news and features, plus expanded coverage in key areas – race and sports analysis, picks, tips, and handicapping.

About the Author

Get connected with us on Social Media

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]