NCAA March Madness betting: Biggest bet of the first round at BetMGM? The Tennessee Vols

Frank Schwab
·2 min read

Tennesseans appear to be enjoying their newfound access to the BetMGM app.

There's not much other reason to explain why the biggest bet of all the first-round matchups in the NCAA tournament at BetMGM is on a Tennessee Volunteers team that has been a bit underwhelming this season.

BetMGM said the largest bet placed on a first-round game as of Thursday night, and by a fair amount, was on Tennessee -7.5. A bettor put $220,000 on Tennessee to win $200,000 if the Vols cover against Oregon State.

At least there's some conviction on that pick.

Tennessee didn't have a great regular season

Tennessee was expected to compete for an SEC title with a lot of talent coming back, but that didn't happen. The Vols got a No. 5 seed and a date on Friday with Oregon State, who is coming off a Pac-12 tournament championship. Tennessee forward John Fulkerson, a key senior who averaged 9.5 points per game, is questionable after suffering facial fractures at the SEC tournament. Vols coach Rick Barnes has a bad tournament history.

None of that dissuaded one big bettor. The fourth-biggest bet of the first round at BetMGM was also on Tennessee. It was a $110,000 bet on the Vols -8.

There were only three other six-figure bets on the first round at BetMGM as of Thursday night. Another involved a No. 5 seed in a state in which sports gambling is legal, as the Colorado Buffaloes at -5 vs. Georgetown was tied for the second-biggest bet

Here are the five biggest bets on the first round at BetMGM as of Thursday:

  • $220K to win $200K on Tennessee -7.5

  • $165K to win $150K on Colorado -5

  • $165K to win $150K on SMU +1

  • $110K to win $100K on Tennessee -8

  • $50K to win $50K on Colgate +9

The first round of the NCAA tournament should be fantastic, if a fun Thursday First Four is any indication. It'll be especially exciting for those who are putting a small fortune on the Volunteers to cover.

Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes has not found much success in the NCAA tournament. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes has not found much success in the NCAA tournament. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

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