The Zion Effect: Duke Heaviest NCAA Favorite Since 2014-15 Kentucky

Chops March 18, 2019
March Madness favorite

Unless you went to Duke, you likely hate Duke.

But even if you hate Duke, which you likely do, you like betting Duke. Especially this year.

Duke heaviest bet this season

According to David Purdum at ESPN, more money was bet on Duke at US sportsbooks to win the NCAA national title than any other team this year. As the clear front-runner (+220 odds at FanDuel Sportsbook NJ), Duke is the heaviest NCAA March Madness favorite since the 2014-15 Kentucky Wildcats team (near even money). That team, which featured future #1 draft pick Karl-Anthony Towns, lost in the semifinals to Frank Kaminsky’s Wisconsin team. Wisconsin lost to Duke in the finals.

This year’s Duke team is led by mortal lock #1 NBA draft pick Zion Williamson. Combine Duke’s national brand with their ACC tournament win and public interest in legit superstar Williamson, it’d actually be a shock if the Blue Devils were not the most heavily bet team in this year’s field.

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More March Madness data from FanDuel Sportsbook

So far, the most popular futures wagers at the FanDuel Sportsbook in New Jersey are (by bet):

  • Duke (23% of the futures wagers)
  • Virginia (17% of future wagers)
  • Gonzaga (13% of futures wagers)

Given Virginia’s epic meltdown as a #1 seed last year to #16 UMBC (and what it cost and/or won bettors), seeing them receiving the second most in wagers is a surprise.

If you’re looking for some intel in filling out your brackets, consider the following from FanDuel:

  • 59% of customers have Duke winning it all in their free bracket contest
  • North Carolina is second at 14% of entries
  • 22% of entries have all the #1 seeds in the Final Four

2019 March Madness title odds

SchoolDraftKingsBetStarsFanDuel
Duke+230+200+220
Virginia+400+500+420
Gonzaga+450+600+550
North Carolina+500+800+550
Michigan State+1100+1100+900
Kentucky+1100+1200+1300
Tennessee+1100+1500+1600
Michigan+1400+1400+1700
Texas Tech+2500+2200+2600
Purdue+3000+2500+3300
Houston+3000+3000+7000
Virginia Tech+3000+6000+5000
Villanova+3300+3300+5000
Auburn+3300+3500+5000
Florida State+3300+3000+5500
Kansas+4000+4000+5500
LSU+4500+5500+7000
Wofford+8000+6600+15000
Buffalo+8000+6000+15000
Florida+10000+7500+25000
Maryland+15000+8000+18000
Oregon+10000+15000+25000
Oklahoma+10000+17500+25000
Baylor+12500+20000+25000
Iowa+12500+6000+25000
UCF+12500+20000+15000
Ohio State+15000+20000+25000
Minnesota+15000+10000+25000
Murray State+15000+7000+9000
Washington+20000+20000+25000
Liberty+25000+25000+25000
UC Irvine+25000+25000+25000

ALSO READ: NCAA Tournament Odds: Round Of 64 Spreads, Totals And Moneylines For Every Game

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