Bettors Hammering UConn, Kentucky, and Houston in 2024 NCAA Tournament First Round

The public is not afraid of the first-round chalk with some of the NCAA Tournament’s heavy hitters.

Mar 15, 2024; New York City, NY, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Cam Spencer (12) reacts during the Big East Tournament against St. John's.
Mar 15, 2024; New York City, NY, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Cam Spencer (12) reacts during the Big East Tournament against St. John's. / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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According to the American Gaming Association, legal sportsbooks will take in nearly $3 billion in action for the 2024 NCAA Tournament. So far, public sports bettors haven’t been afraid to lay the lumber with some of the NCAA Tournament’s top teams. 

According to Ben Fawkes, No. 1 seeds UConn and Houston along with No. 3 seed Kentucky have taken over 80% of the action in their respective first-round contests at DraftKings Sportsbook. 

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Stetson vs. UConn

UConn, the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament, is a 26.5-point favorite over No. 16 Stetson in the first round on Friday. The Huskies are the betting favorite to run the table and win the NCAA Tournament (+370 on FanDuel) for the second consecutive season. UConn is bidding to become the NCAA’s first back-to-back national champion since Billy Donovan’s Florida Gators won two straight in 2006-2007. 

Longwood vs. Houston

Houston is a 24.5-point favorite over No. 16 Longwood, also slated for Friday. The Cougars, coming off the worst loss of the Kelvin Sampson era in the Big 12 Tournament championship game, have made the Sweet 16 in each of the last four NCAA Tournaments. Houston has not made the national championship game since 1984. Houston is the third-favorite to win it all at +600 (FanDuel). 

Oakland vs. Kentucky

No. 3 Kentucky drew No. 14 Oakland in the first round. The Grizzlies won the Horizon League and are dancing for the first time since 2011. A Blue Blood program, Kentucky will always draw the majority of the betting splits despite an up-and-down recent NCAA Tournament history. The Wildcats haven’t made the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament (Sweet 16) since 2019. Kentucky is a 13.5-point favorite over Oakland. 

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Game odds update periodically and are subject to change.