Two of my friends from Iowa attended the Duke/Utah game last night in Houston. Little did they, or any other obnoxious Dukies know as they filed out in full force, that a final second free throw by Blue Devil guard Quinn Cook stuck a nail in the casinos coffin of a bad day.
See what had happened was that many bettors took parlays that pulled Duke in at anywhere from 4.5, to the final 5.5 point spread. With Duke up five with less than a tick to go, many parlay tickets would have lost or pushed along with their straight up counterparts. However, Cook’s final tally made the margin of victory rise above the betting line, subsequently giving mucho moula back to the working man.
Duke was so popular that casinos were reporting that nearly 80% of all bets AND money was connected to the South Region’s semifinal.
All four favorites covered Friday’s action, leading to the worst night of the tournament for the books. The MGM reported taking $100,000 bets on Duke and Louisville earlier in the week, who both obviously covered their lines.
One local book who took the ugliest face plant allowed 4x more money wagered on Michigan State than Oklahoma, and as 1.5 point favorites the Spartans snuck past the Sooners 62-58. Gonzaga was the fourth team to cover when they beat UCLA by 12 in the West Region.
Favorites are now 27-29 against the spread in the NCAA tournament.