NCAA March Madness betting: Michigan, Gonzaga most popular Tuesday bets, but lines moving other way

Frank Schwab
·2 min read

It's not a big surprise that Michigan and Gonzaga, the two No. 1 seeds in action for Tuesday night's Elite Eight games, are the most popular bets at BetMGM

It is surprising which way the lines are moving though. 

According to BetMGM data analyst John Ewing, the team getting the most bets for Tuesday night's games is Michigan at 71 percent. Gonzaga is second at 61 percent. Both teams have looked great, are big favorites and are big brands. Of course, most of the bets would come in on them. 

Usually when one team is getting most of the action, the spread moves that way. If a favorite is getting more than 70 percent of the bets, the line for that favorite will typically go up. 

The opposite has happened in both remaining Elite Eight games. Gonzaga has gone from a 9-point favorite over USC to 8.5. Michigan has dropped a full point despite 71 percent of the bets coming in on the Wolverines, going from 7.5 to 6.5 vs. UCLA at BetMGM

In a big event like the NCAA men's tournament, a lot of money will be bet by casual bettors. A lot of that money could be on the favorite, but a bet from a respected player on the underdog could lead to the line moving toward the underdog. That could be the case for Tuesday night. 

The same thing has happened for the totals on the games. While 73 percent of bets are on Michigan-UCLA over 136, the line moved from 136.5 to 136. The Gonzaga-USC over of 153 has a slight majority of bets at 51 percent, but the line moved from 155.5 to 153. 

We'll see if the reverse line movement is a sign of things to come. But a majority of bettors are on familiar positions, taking the favorites and the overs. 

Franz Wagner and Michigan are favored in the Elite Eight. (Photo by Jack Dempsey/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)
Franz Wagner and Michigan are favored in the Elite Eight. (Photo by Jack Dempsey/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

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