This year’s Final Four games weren’t as exciting as most anticipated as Villanova beat Oklahoma by 44 points (a semifinal record) and UNC defeated Syracuse easily by 17 points. However, Villanova and North Carolina’s dominance does make for a very intriguing title game between two deserved schools. Below we’ve analyzed the opening odds and early market trends for the National Championship:
Villanova vs. North Carolina (Monday, April 4th at 9:20 pm ET)
With about 6 minutes remaining in UNC’s Final Four matchup with Syracuse, offshore sportsbook BetOnline had already opened up odds for the National Championship Game. BetOnline opened UNC -2.5 and then Pinnacle opened UNC -2. Early bettors were pretty quick to pounce on UNC and 5Dimes even moved them up to -3. As for the total, it opened at 151 and has dropped to 150 which is a bit surprising considering the ease in which both teams were able to score on Saturday night.
Here’s a screenshot of our Live Odds page available for Pro members
Right now 62% of spread bets are taking the Tar Heels, and it looks like public tickets were the reason for the line move rather than sharp money. Most of the market currently lists either UNC -2.5 or UNC -3, and the majority of spread bets are on the Tar Heels at each of our seven contributing sportsbooks:
While it’s still early, Villanova backers appear to be bypassing the spread and taking the Wildcats to win straight up. As of Sunday afternoon, 55% of the moneyline tickets were on the underdogs which is likely another reason why the spread hasn’t increased too much. Sportsbooks will get plenty of UNC spread tickets but should be balanced out a little bit with the help of Villanova moneyline tickets. A UNC win by 1 or 2 points is probably the ideal outcome across the market, but each sportsbook will have its own risk and liabilities due to futures/title tickets.
It’s a small sample size but teams getting less than 40% of bets in National Title games have gone 5-1 ATS (dogs 4-0 ATS, favorites 1-1 ATS). If Villanova closes below that mark, it could be another added reason to take the Wildcats to at least cover.
For those still holding Villanova or UNC futures, have you already hedged or is now the time? Feel free to leave your thoughts and comments in the space below.