2022 Final Four Betting Market: Duke’s Title Run is Worst NCAA Tournament Outcome for Sportsbooks
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images. Pictured: Paolo Banchero, Trevor Keels, Duke Men’s Basketball
While the buzz in recent days has been the liability for a number of sportsbooks had Saint Peter’s won it all, this much was true: Duke was the most realistic killer.
The public believing a storybook ending for Coach Mike Krzyzewski in his final season definitely manifested itself at the betting window and with the Blue Devils in the Final Four destiny is knocking.
Ahead of the NCAA Tournament, more bets were on Duke to win it all (9.4 percent) than any other team in the title futures pool at BetMGM. Duke’s loss to North Carolina in its final regular season game, plus its loss in the ACC title game to Virginia Tech had the Blue Devils at 14-1, odds more than twice as long as other favorites like Gonzaga and Arizona, which were down to 3-1 and 6-1, respectively.
“Heading into the Final Four, Duke winning the championship would be the worst result for BetMGM,” said the book’s vice president of trading Jason Scott.
At Caesars, it’s no different.
Heading into the tournament, nine percent of all tickets were on Duke, more than any other team. Gonzaga had more total money (17 percent), but opened at +325, while Duke had 10 percent of the dollars at 14-1.
At PointsBet, at the beginning of the tournament, four of the top seven biggest liabilities were on Duke.
Their top three bets — a $50,000, $30,000 and $20,000 wager — at odds of 11-1, 9-11 and 11-1, respectively, were on Duke to win it all, along with a sizable bet ($4,000) on Duke’s leading scorer Paolo Banchero to win the Wooden Award. Banchero is the current favorite to win the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.
More than 20 percent of the money is on Duke to win it all at PointsBet, the highest percentage of any book.
Duke’s win over Arkansas on Saturday gave Coach K his 13th Final Four appearance in his 42 seasons. While Saturday’s meeting with North Carolina will be the 258th time these Tobacco Road rivals have played (UNC leads the series, 142-115), it will be the first time they will face off against each other in the NCAA Tournament.
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