Inside the Wild Ride of Betting the Iowa vs. Tennessee NCAA Tournament Thriller

Inside the Wild Ride of Betting the Iowa vs. Tennessee NCAA Tournament Thriller article feature image

Kevn Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Tyler Cook

  • Iowa closed as a 7.5-point underdog vs. Tennessee in the second round of the 2019 NCAA Tournament. It was the most-bet game of the day, with 64% of wagers coming in on Tennessee.
  • The game -- and the spread -- looked to be in the bag, when Tennessee was up 25 in the second half, but Iowa stormed back to force overtime.
  • Here's a complete rundown of the betting implications of the Vols' collapse -- and eventual victory.

For all the talk about a boring NCAA Tournament so far, Sunday’s first game did its part to squash that.

Iowa — a 7.5-point underdog — trailed Tennessee by 21 points at halftime and 25 points in the second half, only to storm back and send the game to overtime at 71-71. But the Hawkeyes almost failed to cover in overtime, losing 83-77. Talk about a wild ride.

According to the win probability metrics in The Action Network app, Tennessee had a 95.25% chance to cover toward the end of the first half.

But Iowa topped that at 98.13% cover probability with 13 seconds left.

Had Iowa won the game, it would have been the biggest second-half comeback in NCAA Tournament history (25 points) — and it would’ve made at least one longshot Hawkeye bettor very happy.

But alas, Tennessee held on to the six-point victory, making spread bettors sweat until the very end.

Under bettors were also burned by overtime, as the closing total of 155.5 almost held on before free throws with less than 30 seconds left pushed it over.

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