Baylor’s Upset of Gonzaga Ruins March Madness Bets, BracketsBetting
Many bets were ruined and brackets were busted on Monday night, when Baylor upset Gonzaga, 86-70, in the final of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
Baylor’s win not only gave them their first men’s basketball title in school history, it also upended Gonzaga’s perfect season. Many sports bettors had backed the Bulldogs of Gonzaga to win the entire tournament in futures bets.
They continued to pound the Zags on the pre-game and in-game line. And they were picking Gonzaga to win it all in their March Madness bracket challenges.
But it was all for naught, as the Bears of Baylor cut down the nets at the end of the game.
Gonzaga Had Overwhelming Support in Futures
Gonzaga entered the tournament as the #1 overall seed. They went undefeated through the regular season and the West Coast Conference Tournament.
They were hoping to become the eighth men’s basketball team ever to finish the entire season undefeated with a March Madness title. The last to do so was Indiana in the 1975-1976 season.
Of all the futures wagers placed on the March Madness tournament at BetMGM, more than one-third was placed on Gonzaga to win it all. The favorite almost always attracts a majority of the betting action in March Madness, but this was on another level entirely.
In fact, even as sportsbooks around the country continued to reduce the odds on Gonzaga, bettors continued to wager on them to win it all.
It wasn’t all about straight sports bets, either. Many people found their brackets busted by Baylor’s win in the final. In Yahoo’s annual Tourney Pick’Em contest, for example, 44.6% of all brackets selected Gonzaga to win it all. No other team even reached 17.6%.
Gonzaga Receives Support Throughout the Game
With in-game betting becoming extremely popular in the United States, there are so many chances to continue backing a team even after a game has started. That’s exactly what happened with Gonzaga on Monday night.
Baylor took a quick 9-0 lead in the game and never looked back. They built their lead to as much as 19 points in the game.
As Baylor took the early lead and then stretched that lead, the in-game point spread kept rising and rising. In the first half, BetMGM adjusted the in-game line to Gonzaga +9.5. Even at that point, sports bettors continued to put their money down on the Zags, hoping for a turnaround.
Gonzaga went into halftime down by 10, giving bettors some glimmer of hope that they’d bounce back and come out of the locker room strong. That never happened, though.
As Baylor continued to lead and build separation, the in-game line went higher than Gonzaga +10. Those who backed the Zags at any of those points, though, came away empty-handed, as they lost by 16 points.
Baylor’s Win Wasn’t a Huge Upset
A lot of the attention during the NCAA Tournament was given to Gonzaga, and for good reason. They proved to be the best team in the country all season long, and they entered the March Madness tournament undefeated.
But, it’s not like Baylor was a slouch. They were near the top of the ranking polls all season long, and only lost two games during the regular season and Big 12 Conference Tournament.
They were a #1 seed in the March Madness Tournament, too, so it’s not as if people thought they were no good. The pre-game point spread was Gonzaga -4.5, so most sportsbooks — and sports bettors — expected a pretty close game.
Still, it seemed much of the attention before, during and after the game from both sports bettors and non-bettors was on Gonzaga. Baylor, though, rose above all that and upset many people when they won their first ever title Monday night.