Sports books in Las Vegas reported
brisk betting action and standing-room-only crowds for the opening rounds of the
March Madness basketball tournament.
“We were packed throughout the
weekend,” said Micah Roberts, sports book director at Palace Station. “We
had a lot of two-way action and parlay players were out in full force.”
Roberts said the sports book “fared
very well” during the opening rounds, when underdogs edged out the favorites
to start the tournament.
But in second round action, players
began to hit their bets as more of the favorites hit the board.
“The players did pretty well in the
latter stages of the weekend,” he said.
But not well enough to really make a
big dent in the sports books, according to a sports ÂÃ‚Âdirector for a mid-Strip
“The house did very well the first
round, but we took some small losses in the
later rounds,” the bookmaker said. “But overall, it was a great weekend, and
we expect the action to resume when the Sweet 16 rounds are played later this
Overall, the favorites were 26-20-2
against the spread when action was completed Sunday night.
The underdogs captured three of eight
games ATS, which included UCLA’s dramatic 105-101 double overtime win over
Cincinnati, the only No. 1 seed to fall in the tourney so far.
Nevertheless, the higher seeds own a
33-15 straight-up record heading into this weekend’s action. In most cases the
higher seed is the favorite.
Teams seeded first through third in all
four regions were only 10-13-1 ATS. The lowest seeded teams to reach this
year’s Sweet 16 are Missouri (12), Southern Illinois (11) and Kent State (10).
Missouri faces UCLA (8) in the third round at San Jose.
Some players believe the favorites
begin to cover more frequently in the later rounds of the tournament.
“You should be all right betting the favored teams to reach the Elite 8 and Final Four,” the player said. “At this point, the cream begins to reach the surface.”