The battle for the holy grail of NCAA basketball is just a few hours away and action is starting to heat up at sportsbooks.
We talk with Bert Osborne, sportsbook manager at South Point in Las Vegas, and Michael Stewart, oddsmaker for online sportsbook CarbonSports.ag, about the betting action heading into Monday’s national title game.
Michigan Wolverines vs. Louisville Cardinals – Open: -3.5, 137, Move: -4, 139
The early money on this spread quickly moved the line from -3.5 to -4 but the action has since leveled out and oddsmakers are expecting Michigan money to flow in Monday afternoon.
“The straight-up money is currently quite even,” Osborne told Covers. “But we are expecting Michigan money all afternoon.”
Although Michigan is the popular play at South Point, Louisville money continues to pour in on parlay bets.
The expected flood of Wolverines’ cash has already hit the online sportsbooks hard. Around 65 percent of the SU (straight up) money is backing Michigan and 56 percent of bettors are on the Wolverines plus the points.
But the action on the moneyline and sides is child’s play compared to the attention the total is getting from bettors.
“They’re (bettors) hammering the over,” says Osborne. “We opened at 137.5 and have been forced to move the total up to 139. We are still seeing action on the over even after the adjustment.”
The over is also getting bombarded online. It's being backed at a 75 percent clip by bettors at CarbonSports.ag. That's in line with what Covers users are thinking with 55 percent on Michigan +4 from the Covers Consensus and nearly 60 percent on the over.
Louisville has been a popular futures bet at many sportsbooks throughout the tourney, but Osborne isn’t too concerned about a Cardinals victory.
“We will have a very good day futures-wise if Michigan wins,” Osborne notes. “But we are in pretty good shape even if Louisville does prevail.”
CarbonSports.ag is offering Most Outstanding Player odds for the tournament and Louisville’s Russ Smith (-200) is leading the way with 32 percent of bettors backing the favorite.
When asked for his game prediction tonight Osborne simply replied, “Michigan on the moneyline is the play.”