March Madness: Among early betting trends, bettors really like Virginia and UAB

Virginia wasn't very good this season. The Cavaliers lost 10 games this season. They went 4-5 down the stretch.

Bettors don't care.

The most popular team at BetMGM among bettors for the initial matchups in the NCAA tournament is Virginia. Virginia plays Colorado State on Tuesday in Dayton and the Cavaliers are the most bet team among all the First Four and first-round matchups in terms of number of bets on the spread and the moneyline as well. Virginia is +120 on the moneyline, meaning bettors placing $100 on Virginia to beat Colorado State would win $120.

Virginia has won a championship recently, but this team hasn't been on that level. But bettors think they're getting out of Dayton.

UAB taking in big bets

Virginia isn't the most popular team among bettors for the First Four/first round of the tournament, in terms of most money bet.

The most money bet on any team's game so far is on UAB. That's a bit of a surprise too. UAB is a No. 12 seed against No. 5 San Diego State — bettors surely know the history of No. 12 seeds pulling off upsets in the first round — and UAB is an enticing underdog at +6.5. It's a bit surprising though because San Diego State's run to the championship game last year is so fresh, and the Aztecs had another good season. Maybe, like the NCAA tournament selection committee, bettors don't have much respect for the Mountain West.

Among the other teams that have the most money bet on them for their first tournament game: Drake (-1.5) over Washington State, Morehead State (+11.5) over Illinois, Grambling State (+3.5) for a First Four game against Montana State and Colorado (-2.5) for a First Four game against Boise State.

Can Tony Bennett and Virginia make a run in the NCAA tournament? (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
Can Tony Bennett and Virginia make a run in the NCAA tournament? (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)

Other popular bets for the tournament

Not only do bettors like Virginia, they like the Cavaliers to score points. The most bet over so far is Colorado State vs. Virginia at 120.5. The most bet under is Northwestern vs. FAU at 141.5.

There are some big underdogs getting some attention on the moneyline. The most-bet teams on the moneyline (which is a bet on which team will win, with no point spread involved) after Virginia are NC State (+180) over Texas Tech, then No. 16 seed Longwood over Houston (+1600), No. 15 seed Long Beach State (+1300) over Arizona and McNeese State (+230) over Gonzaga.

No. 16 seeds have won just twice in NCAA tournament history, but perhaps the memory of Fairleigh Dickinson knocking off Purdue last year is leading bettors to take a shot on Longwood making some history.

March Madness is a huge sports betting event. And a lot of bettors will be rooting on Virginia and UAB this week.