NCAA Tournament Betting Trends and Futures Odds Report

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

NCAA Tournament betting trends have been in the making for months, and with the Big Dance now at the championship game, interest is piling up. March Madness odds are attractive to bettors of all stripes, with everyone fascinated by the 64-team event.

The Final Four saw Florida Atlantic's surprising run finally end – and Miami bow out, as well. No. 4 UConn will meet No. 5 seed San Diego State in Monday's final.

BetMGM sports trader Seamus Magee provides his insights on NCAA Tournament futures odds, betting trends and action. Check back for updates throughout the tournament.

2022-23 March Madness Odds

Boon for the Books

Jim Larranaga and Miami are alive and well in NCAA Tournament betting trends. (Getty)

With the March Madness odds board decimated of any and all favorites, Magee is fairly certain this tournament couldn't have gone any better for BetMGM.

"It's hard to argue otherwise. This was a dream scenario for the futures book," Magee said. "Going into [Final Four] week, every single team is a big winner on the futures book. Again, this all could change over the course of the week, but Houston going down early was huge. The Cougars were short all year after the Mattress Mack bet, and it didn’t feel great for better parts of the year."

To refresh: In November/December, Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale placed a series of bets on Houston's NCAA Tournament futures odds. BetMGM took a $500,000 bet at +1000 – a potential $5 million liability – and McIngvale had four additional wagers at other books for another $3.5 million, to win another $30 million or so.

"But Miami did us a big favor knocking Houston out," Magee said of the Hurricanes drilling the Cougars 89-75 in the Sweet 16. "Duke became a huge loser for the book, and the Blue Devils lost on the first weekend. Gonzaga became a big loser for the book, and the Bulldogs lost in the Elite Eight. Then finally, Texas goes down in the Elite Eight, and we're in a great position going into the Final Four."

Duke fell to Tennessee in the second round, Gonzaga got throttled by UConn in the West Region final, and Texas tumbled to Miami in the Midwest Region final.

Updated on 05/25/2024
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Ticket Takers and Money Makers

UConn is now the favorite in March Madness futures odds, at -125. (Getty)

To reiterate, BetMGM is a big winner to No. 4 seed UConn and No. 5 seed San Diego State, and upstart No. 9 seed Florida Atlantic. But there's still a pecking order of best-to-worst outcomes to win the championship.

"UConn looks to be the most-loved team for bettors on our futures book," Magee said, noting BetMGM would rather see San Diego State pull the title-game upset, but is good to both teams. "We're still not worried about futures. They look great for us right now."

To demonstrate just how good either the Huskies or Aztecs are for BetMGM, consider the top five teams in ticket count and money in BetMGM's March Madness futures odds market:

  • Tickets: Alabama, Kansas, Texas, UCLA, UConn
  • Money: Houston, Alabama, Texas, Kansas, UCLA

UConn is the only team remaining among all those outfits, and the Huskies aren't even among the top five in money wagered on. Further, not only are there zero No. 1 seeds left – Purdue fell first, then Kansas, then almost simultaneously Alabama and Houston – but there are no No. 2 or 3 seeds, either, and just one No. 4.

"It’s very surprising," Magee said. "Throughout the year, I felt like there would be a lot of upsets, I also felt like there were really only about six teams who really could’ve won the championship. All those teams, with the exception of UConn, didn’t make the Final Four. This feels like the weirdest Final Four of my lifetime."

What Happens Next?

Nathan Mensah and the Aztecs are still alive in March Madness betting trends. (Getty)

To Magee's credit, over the course of the season, he's consistently noted San Diego State as a team to keep an eye on. The Aztecs clamped down on overall No. 1 seed Alabama in the Sweet 16, notching a 71-64 win. For the season, 'Bama averaged nearly 83 points per game. Then San Diego State edged Creighton 57-56 in the South Region final.

In the Final Four, the Aztecs rallied from 14 points down with about 15 minutes remaining against Florida Atlantic. San Diego State didn't regain the lead until literally the buzzer sounded, on Lamont Butler's jumper that gave the Aztecs a 72-71 victory.

"I’ve liked San Diego State all season. The Aztecs can guard every single position. However, their offense leaves a little to be desired," Magee said, something that showed quite a bit against FAU, particularly at the free-throw line.

Then there's Connecticut, which has boatraced all five of its March Madness foes. All five Huskies wins have come by at least 13 points, and three were by 23 points or more. In the Final Four, the Huskies took out Miami 72-59.

"It’s so hard to pick someone else other than UConn, with how well the Huskies have played in all of their games. They’ve just been crushing teams," Magee said. "But I don’t think you could necessarily count out Miami yet. The Hurricanes are getting 5.5 points as of this very moment, and they're last in odds to win the championship. But this is a team that’s beaten Indiana, Houston and Texas (and Miami), all in a row."