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Entering the 2016-17 men’s college basketball season, the North Carolina Tar Heels were viewed by many as one of the favorites to not only return to the finals after losing to Villanova last year, but to win the whole thing this time around.
Now, just one game stands between them and making those preseason prognostications a reality, and bettors and experts are putting their money on the Tar Heels to beat the Gonzaga Bulldogs and take home the championship.
According to Bovada Sportsbook, roughly 75 percent of the money being bet on tonight’s game has been placed on the Tar Heels to beat the Bulldogs. North Carolina is currently a 1.5-point favorite to get the job done, but that point and a half isn’t deterring bettors.
“As we expected, 75 percent of the money tonight is coming in on the Tar Heels at almost a pick’em,” Bovada said in a statement. “This has been the trend throughout the tourney and in turn the same with Gonzaga getting little respect all year from the wagering public, despite this being the first game they are underdog all year long. Gonzaga is one of our best positions we had going into the tournament, so there is no question we need them big tonight.”
Entering the season, the Tar Heels were given odds of 16-1 to win the NCAA Tournament. Entering the NCAA Tournament however, North Carolina were tied with UCLA at odds of 6-1 to win it all.
Gonzaga, meanwhile, were given long-shot odds of 66-1 to win it all at the beginning of the year (props to you if you placed that bet in October). The Bulldogs entered the tournament with 9-1 odds of winning it all.
As always though, odds and ends are fun for us to look at before the game, but it’s truly anybody’s game once things tip off at 9:20 p.m. ET tonight on CBS.