With online gambling now legal in 25 states, betting on the 2021 NCAA tournament has been wild in March so far. According to Forbes, March Madness gamblers expect to break an $8.5 billion record this year.
With the conclusion of the first two rounds of the tournament, there have been some ridiculous bets. According to BetMGM, there were five six-figure bets on Monday of Round Two. One better risked $330,000 for Alabama to cover a -5 spread, which they did in a 96-77 win over Maryland. The bettor profited $300,000 from the game.
As Alabama has been on a hot streak recently, winning eight games straight including their tournament wins, some college basketball viewers have put more than just trust into the team. Wednesday morning, BetMGM reported receiving another massive bet on an Alabama game. A bettor will be risking $451,000 on Alabama to cover the six-point spread on Sunday against UCLA. The bet would win $410,000.
Alabama Crimson Tide, the No. 2 seed in the East Region, is 1-1 in covering the spreading so far in the 2021 March Madness Tournament. Although they weren’t able to cover the -17 spread in its Round One win over Iona, they easily covered the spread in the Round of 32 against Terrapins. The team was able to breeze through Maryland with their exceptional shooting. They shot 53 percent from the field and 48.5 percent from deep. Sophomore guard Jaden Shackelford led the way, dropping 21 points, 3 assists, and 3 rebounds. Along with him in the backcourt was Senior John Petty Jr., who contributed 20 points.
UCLA, on the other hand, has won three straight games to reach this point, covering the spread in all their games. The No. 11 seed Bruins were not expected to get this far into the tournament, as they lost four in a row before entering March Madness. Analysts call them a weak team defensively, with their 3PT defense ranked 242 nationally and their 2pt defense 156 nationally. Nonetheless, the Bruins, led by guard Johnny Juzang have been proving doubters wrong.
The Alabama-UCLA game will be broadcasted at 7:15 on Sunday on TBS.
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