Last Updated Mar 25, 2023, 9:38 PM

March Madness Betting Trends & Action Report

2023 NCAA Tournament Picks
Odds | Matchups | Futures
Elite 8 | Final 4 | Championship 

March Madness betting trends are now in full swing, with the NCAA Tournament now halfway into the Sweet 16. Defending national champion Kansas isn't among the contestants, but surprising No. 15 seed Princeton is alive.

Plus, the top two teams in March Madness futures odds are on the court Friday, in Alabama and Houston.

Multiple oddsmakers provide insights on NCAA Tournament odds, betting trends and action for Sweet 16 and Elite 8 games. Check back for updates throughout tipoffs.

Saturday's Elite Eight Games

  • Most-Bet Game (by ticket count): Florida Atlantic vs Kansas State
  • Most-Bet Team (by ticket count): Kansas State
  • Most-Bet Team (by money count): Kansas State
    (Per BetMGM)

No. 4 UConn vs No. 3 Gonzaga

Drew Timme and Gonzaga are underdogs against UConn in the Elite Eight. (Getty)

Opening line: UConn -2; Over/Under 153.5
Time: 8:49 p.m. ET (TBS)

UPDATE 6:45 P.M. ET SATURDAY: Two hours before tipoff, TwinSpires Sportsbook has Connecticut out to a 3-point favorite in the West Region final. The Huskies opened -1.5 and made a stop at -2 on the way to -3.

"Sharp play on UConn -1.5 and -2," TwinSpires director of retail sports Zachary Lucas said.

Spread ticket count narrowly favors UConn, at 52%, but 68% of spread money is on the Huskies.

The total is stable at 153.5, despite heavy action on the Over, with tickets and money both in the 5/1 range.

"The public is betting the Over like it's free money," Lucas said.

UPDATE 2 P.M. ET SATURDAY: Late Thursday night, the Zags opened -1.5 (-115) at BetMGM, but within minutes, that line jumped the fence to Huskies -2.5 (-105). Earlier today, UConn adjusted to -2.5 flat, where the line sits now.

Point-spread ticket count is 2/1 and spread money 2.5/1 on Connecticut. Moneyline tickets are almost dead even, but moneyline dollars are running 3/1 on UConn.

The total has been painted to 153.5, although tickets are 2.5/1 and money 4/1 on the Over.

UPDATE 3:30 P.M. ET FRIDAY: Gonzaga trailed by as much as 13 points late in the first half and early in the second half against No. 2 seed UCLA. The Zags then fought all the way back to take a 72-63 lead with 2:23 remaining.

But the Bruins weren't dead yet, mounting their own rally to take a 76-75 lead with 12 seconds left. But a late 3, followed by a steal, allowed the Bulldogs to hang on for a 79-76 victory as 1-point favorites.

Gonzaga has won 12 in a row SU (7-5 ATS).

The opening West Region semifinal was practically over by halftime, as UConn ran Arkansas right out of the gym in the first-ever Las Vegas-hosted NCAA Tournament game. The Huskies led 46-29 at recess and didn't relent in the second half, winning 88-65 as 3.5-point faves.

UConn is 9-1 SU/8-2 ATS in its last 10 games.

Late Thursday night, The SuperBook pegged Connecticut a 2-point favorite against Gonzaga for Saturday's West Region final in the shadow of the Las Vegas Strip. The total opened at 153.5. There's been no movement on the line or total thus far.

"Most of the bets so far are on UConn, but nothing that would cause us to move the number yet," SuperBook executive director John Murray said. "Gonzaga is a very talented team. It's a great regional final. For our city's first regional final, it's a tremendous game. Two really good teams, and two really good fanbases, too."

No. 9 Florida Atlantic vs No. 3 Kansas State

Coach Jerome Tang and guard Markquis Nowell have Kansas State in the Elite 8. (Getty)

Opening line: Kansas State -1.5; Over/Under 144
Time: 6:09 p.m. ET (TBS)

UPDATE 3:45 P.M. ET: With game time about 2.5 hours out, TwinSpires Sportsbook has Kansas State at -2, up from the -1.5 opener. As is the case at other sportsbooks, TwinSpires is seeing heavy Wildcats action, with spread tickets 3/1-plus and spread money 4/1.

Further, moneyline tickets are 5/1 and moneyline cash 10/1 on the favorite Wildcats (-148).

"Overwhelming action on Kansas State. FAU is our biggest need of the tournament so far," TwinSpires director of retail sports Zachary Lucas said.

The total is down a tick from 144 to 143.5 on two-way play, with 55% of tickets/52% of money on the Under.

UPDATE 2 P.M. ET SATURDAY: Four hours before tipoff, BetMGM has Kansas State at -1.5 (-115) in its March Madness betting market. That matches the opening number from late Thursday night, from which the Wildcats quickly advanced to -2.5 (-105).

K-State then spent about 24 hours at various iterations of -2.5 (-105/even/+105) before falling back to -1.5 flat late Friday night. The Wildcats briefly got to -2.5 (even) this morning, then returned to -1.5 (-115).

Contrary to the line shortening, spread betting is all K-State, at 86% of tickets/87% of money. The Wildcats are popular on the moneyline, too, landing 63% of tickets/78% of cash.

BetMGM opened the total at 143.5 (Over -115), went to 144.5 Friday morning, then backed up to 143.5 (Over -115) this morning. The Over is getting 57% of tickets/66% of money.

UPDATE 3:30 P.M. ET FRIDAY: Kansas State played an absolute thriller tonight in the Sweet 16 against Michigan State. In a game with a total of 138, the Wildcats and Spartans went to overtime tied at 82, for a total of 164 points.

The extra five minutes were bountiful too, and K-State notched a 98-93 victory as a 1-point favorite. The Purple Cats are 3-0 SU and ATS so far in the NCAA Tournament and are 7-2 SU and ATS in their last nine overall.

In the second East Region semifinal, FAU kept its run going from the No. 9 seed to the last eight remaining in the tournament. The Owls, 4.5-point underdogs to No. 4 seed Tennessee, notched a 62-55 victory.

Florida Atlantic (34-3 SU, 23-11-1 ATS) is on a 10-0 SU tear (7-3 ATS).

Late Thursday night, The SuperBook opened Kansas State a very modest 1.5-point favorite for Saturday's semifinal, and the line moved to K-State -2 this morning.

"We've got some pretty significant liability on Florida Atlantic to make the Final Four," SuperBook executive director John Murray said. "So we've been writing Kansas State moneyline bets. We're keeping our moneyline price a little bit lower in Nevada than our other states, trying to knock down that FAU liability as best we can."

The total opened at 144 and, like the spread, is up a tick to 144.5.

Sunday Elite Eight Games

  • Most-Bet Game (by ticket count): Creighton vs San Diego State
  • Most-Bet Team (by ticket count): Creighton
  • Most-Bet Team (by money count): Creighton
    (Per BetMGM)

No. 6 Creighton vs No. 5 San Diego State

Adam Seiko and San Diego State upended overall No. 1 seed Alabama on Friday. (Getty)

Opening line: Creighton -1.5; Over/Under 132.5
Time: 2:20 p.m. ET Sunday (CBS)

UPDATE 2 P.M. ET SATURDAY: Creighton hit BetMGM's March Madness betting board as 1.5-point chalk late Friday night. Within the past hour, the Bluejays moved out to -2.5, and they're now -2.5 (-105).

Early spread betting is two-way with a lean toward Creighton, at 61% of tickets/58% of cash. On the moneyline, San Diego State is seeing 62% of tickets, but dollars are running almost dead even.

The total opened at 132.5 and moved to 133.5 in the past hour. Tickets and money are 9/1 on the Over.

UPDATE MIDNIGHT ET FRIDAY: The South Region got turned on its head over the past week, with none of the top four seeds even reaching the Elite 8.

San Diego State struck arguably the biggest blow Friday night against tournament overall No. 1 seed Alabama. The Aztecs led 28-23 at halftime, but gave all that back and more in falling behind 48-39 with 11:31 remaining. Then San Diego State put the hammer down, finishing the game on a 32-16 run to win 71-64 as a 6.5-point underdog.

The Aztecs (30-6 SU, 18-15-2 ATS) are 7-0 SU/6-1 ATS dating to the last game of the regular season.

With so much destruction in this section of the bracket, Creighton got to face No. 15 seed Princeton in the Sweet 16. The Cinderella Tigers made it interesting in the first half, trailing just 47-43 at the break. But the Bluejays pulled away early in the second half en route to a 72-61 win and cover as 10-point favorites.

Despite Miami's big upset win, The SuperBook opened Creighton -1.5 late tonight, with a total of 132.5. There's been no movement on the line or total so far. Check back Saturday for more March Madness betting trends on this matchup, including odds moves, action and betting splits.

No. 5 Miami vs No. 2 Texas

Opening line: Texas -4.5; Over/Under 149.5
Time: 5:05 p.m. ET Sunday (CBS)

UPDATE 2 P.M. ET SATURDAY: Texas has been stable at -4.5 (-105) since this line opened late Friday night at BetMGM. Early spread action is actually leaning toward underdog Miami, at 55% of tickets/61% of money.

The Hurricanes are also netting 62% of early moneyline tickets, but moneyline cash is almost dead even.

BetMGM opened the total at 149.5 and this morning made a minor tweak to 149.5 (Over -115). The Over is drawing 62% of early bets/71% of early money.

UPDATE 12:30 A.M. ET SATURDAY: Miami joined the beat-a-No.-1 seed party Friday night, dispatching No. 1 seed Houston in the Sweet 16. And oh, BTW, a handful of sportsbooks exhaled, dodging a total of $35 million-plus in Mattress Mack Houston futures liability, on $4.05 million in wagers.

But back to the Hurricanes, who led 42-36 at recess and stretched the lead to as much as 17 (70-53) with nine minutes remaining. Miami (28-7 SU, 21-14 ATS) then coasted to an 89-75 victory catching 7.5 points.

The 'Canes are 12-2 SU in their last 14 games (9-5 ATS).

Meanwhile, Texas lived up to its seeding in the Midwest Region. In Friday's Sweet 16 tilt, the Longhorns rolled over Xavier 83-71 laying 4.5 points. Texas is on a 7-0 SU/6-1 ATS surge heading into the Elite Eight. Check back Saturday for more March Madness betting trends on this matchup, including odds moves, action and betting splits.

In the wee hours today, The SuperBook opened Texas -4.5 with a total of 149.5. There's been no movement early on.

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