In 1985, the NCAA Men’s Tournament expanded to 64 teams. From that point through the 2017 NCAA Tournament, a No. 16 seed never beat a No. 1 seed.
Now, it’s happened twice in the past five tournaments. Maryland-Baltimore County pulled the original shocker against No. 1 Virginia in 2018. On Friday night, UMBC got company in the form of Fairleigh Dickinson.
The Bulldogs, who were +2000 or more on the moneyline and 23.5-point underdogs on the spread, shocked No. 1 Purdue 63-58.
There was both celebration and commiseration in the March Madness odds world. And for one Vegas bettor, it was a tremendous result.
Taking a Flier
Half the fun of March Madness – heck, perhaps all the fun for recreational bettors – is just firing on a few long shots in the first round. It worked out great Thursday for backers of No. 15 seed Princeton, which sent No. 2 seed Arizona packing in a hurry, 59-55.
But the Tigers were much shorter moneyline ‘dogs than Fairleigh Dickinson. FOX Bet had Princeton at +900 going into Thursday’s contest. By comparison, most books, including FOX Bet had FDU in the range of a +2000 ‘dog. On the flip side, the Boilermakers were as high as -10000 on the moneyline.
South Point in Las Vegas had the Bulldogs even longer and took a significant hit.
“One guy had $2,100 at 25/1. We didn’t do so good,” South Point sportsbook director Chris Andrews said.
The bettor, however, did just fine, cashing out for a profit of $52,500. Plenty more oddsmakers provided examples of Fairleigh Dickinson fliers, but most of those bets were in the $20/$50/$100 range. At PointsBet USA, the largest play was $300 at 20/1.
Still, a $6,000 winner is not a bad day’s work, if you can call it work.
By The Numbers
FOX Sports Research dove into some of the statistics surrounding Fairleigh Dickinson’s upset. The information was pretty interesting:
- With FDU a 23.5-point pup, it was the largest NCAA Tournament upset since as far as the database goes back (1985)
- First March Madness win by a Northeast Conference team in the Round of 64 (previously 0-31)
- A $100 first-round moneyline parlay of Fairleigh Dickinson/Princeton/Furman would have profited $52,700
- 16 seeds now 2-150 all-time against No. 1 seeds
Lots of public/recreational bettors love to put together moneyline parlays during March Madness, piling on favorites. And favorites had a good day Friday, winning seven of the first eight games.
So make no…
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