Final Four: The most popular bet for national semifinals is NC State


Now that NC State has come this far, bettors are sold that they can keep it going.

NC State, one of the most unlikely Final Four teams ever, gets to face No. 1 seed Purdue in the first semifinal game on Saturday. Purdue was without a doubt one of the top three teams in the sport all season, along with Houston and fellow Final Four participant UConn. NC State had to win five straight games at the ACC tournament just to get into the NCAA tournament, and one of the wins ended up needing a banked-in 3-pointer at the buzzer in regulation after Virginia missed a free throw.

And bettors prefer the miracle Wolfpack team.

Of all the sides in the Final Four, NC State is the most popular among the players at BetMGM.

Can NC State’s run continue?

NC State is a 9.5-point underdog, one of two big underdogs in the historically high point spreads for a Final Four. Bettors want the points in that game.

DJ Burns Jr. and the NC State Wolfpack have been one of the big stories of this NCAA tournament. (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)

Of all the action on the Purdue-NC State point spread, 76% of bets and 74% of money at BetMGM is on the Wolfpack. Usually bettors prefer favorites, especially for a team like Purdue with a national player of the year in Zach Edey and a long track record over the season, but the NC State story is tough to ignore. Especially with a lot of points.

Bettors like NC State to win too, at +350 odds on the moneyline. Of all the moneyline bets on that game at BetMGM, 94% of them are on the heavy underdog Wolfpack. That makes sense considering not many bettors like taking heavy favorites on the moneyline, and Purdue is -450 to win.

The past tournament failures of Purdue might factor in as well. They’ve lost to No. 13, 15 and 16 seeds the past three tournaments. Of all the Final Four teams to draw a No. 11 seed in the national semifinal, of course it would be Edey’s Purdue team.

In the other national semifinal, bettors are all about the big favorite.

UConn a favorite pick among bettors

In the second game Saturday, UConn is an 11.5-point favorite over Alabama. And 63% of bets at BetMGM are on the Huskies.

UConn has been a dominant force not just in this tournament, but throughout last season’s tournament, too, when the Huskies won a national title. UConn has covered the spread in all four games this tournament. No matter how high oddsmakers set the number, UConn has beat it.

Alabama is a good team that can get hot from behind the 3-point line, which generally isn’t a bad formula for covering a big spread. The Crimson Tide is also subpar on defense, which could be a big problem against UConn.

The point spreads indicate that both games Saturday might not be close. Bettors are hoping NC State can at least keep the first game close.



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