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.
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