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Public bettors did not make out well in the matchups we highlighted Thursday, easily losing with Gonzaga and St. Bonaventure while likely losing with South Dakota State as well, considering the number was +7.5 at the time our article posted.
Using our proprietary betting and money percentage data, we’ve broken down three of today’s most popular plays among public bettors.
#12 New Mexico State (+4.5) vs. #5 Clemson
9:55 p.m. ET
This game is driving an insanely large betting handle already with 73% of tickets and 79% of dollars wagered grabbing New Mexico State and the points. With one-sided action coming down on such a heavily-bet game, oddsmakers have been forced to drop the line from an opener of Aggies +5.5 down to +4.5. Trendy dog anyone?
Why the public loves New Mexico State: New Mexico State is the most popular 12-seed to advance to the round of 32 in ESPN’s Tournament Challenge brackets. Recreational bettors flood the college basketball market during the NCAA Tournament and there’s often a correlation between trendy upset picks and landing spots for public money, and this is a prime example.
# 15 Lipscomb vs. #2 North Carolina (-20)
2:45 p.m. ET
North Carolina opened as a 19.5-point favorite and bettors have been all over the Tar Heels. Seventy percent of tickets and 79% of dollars are laying the points, pushing this line up to -20.
Why the public loves North Carolina: UNC is the defending National Champion and is attempting to navigate its way to a third-straight title game. Conversely, today’s round of 64 game will be the first time Lipscomb has ever played in the NCAA Tournament.
#13 College of Charleston (+9) vs. #4 Auburn
7:25 p.m. ET
We’ve got another trendy dog alert with 68% of spread tickets backing College of Charleston. With the public loading up on the Cougars, oddsmakers have dropped the line from an opener of +11 down to +9 in an attempt to encourage Auburn action and offset building liability.
Why the public loves College of Charleston: To be completely honest, I have no idea why the public likes College of Charleston so much. However, with so much recreational money playing the same side and no sign of sharp action so far this week, don’t be surprised to see wiseguys buyback Auburn before this game tips.
Top Photo: Clemson Tigers forward Elijah Thomas (14) celebrates a three point shot against the Boston College Eagles; credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports