It seems too easy, maybe a bit square, to blindly bet the heavily favored Gonzaga Bulldogs in every game this NCAA tournament.
But there's no shame in cashing winning bets.
Gonzaga is a machine. The Bulldogs are undefeated, three wins from the first perfect college basketball season since 1976.
They are destroying the competition, too. Gonzaga was a 13.5-point favorite against Creighton on Sunday at BetMGM, the largest spread of any Sweet 16 game. Gonzaga won 83-65, easily covering the spread.
About halfway through the second half, it was pretty obvious that the huge percentage of bettors who had taken Gonzaga to cover were going to take another bite out of the sportsbooks.
Gonzaga was popular among bettors
Gonzaga was getting almost all of the action against Creighton. Of all the money bet on the point spread, 80 percent was on Gonzaga. That was despite a $112,200 bet on Creighton +13.5 to win $102,000, the fourth-largest wager at BetMGM on the last set of Sweet 16 games as of Sunday morning. No matter how large the spreads are, bettors are still taking the dominant Bulldogs.
Gonzaga bettors must have felt confident from the opening tip. The Bulldogs started hot, going out to a quick lead. They pushed the lead to double digits before halftime. Creighton found out right away how hard it is to keep up with Gonzaga's offense.
Gonzaga led 43-33 at the half and it seemed very difficult to believe Creighton was going to pull off the upset. The only intrigue was the 13.5-point spread.
That drama faded quickly too. The Bulldogs pushed their lead to more than 20 before 10 minutes remained in the game. It went to 25 with about eight minutes left. Creighton isn't a bad team, but the Bluejays had absolutely no chance.
Can anyone keep it close against Gonzaga?
Gonzaga has had the largest spread in each round of the tournament. They covered in the first two rounds, easily in the first round with a 98-55 win over Norfolk State as a 33.5-point favorite, and then barely getting the cover against Oklahoma. The Bulldogs won by 16 points as a 15.5 point favorite.
It's possible Gonzaga has the largest spread of all six rounds, if they advance to the title game. They'll be favored against anyone in the championship game, and perhaps by a significant amount. The Bulldogs will be a big favorite in the Elite Eight.
Nothing is guaranteed in the tournament. A few of the best teams of the last 30 years were upset before winning a title. But Gonzaga looks really hard to beat. And bettors are going to keep taking them.
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