Everyone loves an underdog and Florida Gulf Coast ranks among the biggest in March Madness wagering history.
Everyone, except for sportsbook bosses who have too much money riding on them.
"Florida Gulf Coast is a great story as a 15 seed making the Sweet 16 and they are getting lots of positive press which is great for March Madness betting odds business ," said Kevin Bradley of Bovada.lv. "Normally we are happy when underdogs cover spreads, but we are cheering for the Gators as 13-point favorites because so much of the early action is on FGCU."
Indeed, 80 per cent of the early betting action was on the Eagles, the 15 seed that upset Georgetown and San Diego State in becoming the first No. 15 to make the Round of 16.
Defeating No. 3 Florida would likely to rank among the biggest upsets in sports betting history but there are plenty of other dangerous underdogs among the eight matches Thursday and Friday. And we are at a stage in the bracket where underdogs historically bite very hard.
In the past two national tournaments, underdogs are 11-5 ATS in 16 games. And the bigger the underdog, the bigger the chances for covering the spread.
In 2012, three teams seeded 10 or higher played in the Sweet 16. All covered the spread (NC State, Ohio, and Xavier), giving hope to Oregon as the 12 seed against No. 1 Louisville in the Midwest region, aforementioned FGCU against Florida, and No. 13 La Salle against fellow interloper Wichita State, the No. 9 seed in the West Regional.
Speaking of Oregon, Bradley says the book would like to see the Ducks shot down by the Louisville Cardinals. Their biggest remaining huge underdog bet to win the tournament is Oregon.
"We have one player with $100 on them at 300/1, so that would be a big hit and a big surprise if they keep marching through the Madness."
Sweet 16 matchup trends
Louisville (1) vs Oregon (12)
Cardinals 6-0-1 ATS past seven tournament games
UNDER is 8-1 past 9 Oregon games as underdog
Michigan State (3) vs Duke (2)
Spartans 6-2 ATS past 8 trips to Sweet 16
Duke 2-5-1 ATS past 8 trips to Sweet 16
Kansas (1) vs Michigan (4)
Michigan 0-2 SU & ATS recently vs Kansas
UNDER is 11-1 past 12 Kansas tournament games
Florida (3) vs Florida Gulf Coast (15)
Florida 11-3 ATS past 14 tournament games
Florida Gulf Coast is 14-2 SU past 16 games overall
Wichita State (9) vs LaSalle (13)
Shockers 6-1 SU past 7 games as favorite
LaSalle 6-2 ATS past 8 games overall
Arizona (6) vs Ohio State (2)
Ohio State 8-2 ATS past 10 games overall
Arizona 5-0 ATS past 5 tournament games
Indiana (10) vs Syracuse (4)
Indiana 1-5 ATS past 6 Madness games
Syracuse 0-3 ATS past 3 tournament games as underdog
Marquette (3) vs Miami (2)
No trends of note