The Saint Peter’s Peacocks have become the first 15-seed to ever reach the Elite 8 of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. The Peacocks were only the third 15-seed to reach the Sweet 16 and have gained fans each round of the tournament.
Many are now backing the 15-seed to continue to do the unthinkable and win the National Championship.
What Happened: President Joe Biden picked a 15-seed to advance to the Elite 8 in the 2022 NCAA Men’s National Tournament. Turns out, Biden just picked the wrong one, selecting his alma mater Fighting Blue Hens of the University of Delaware, and not the Saint Peter’s Peacocks.
During their historic run, the Saint Peter’s Peacocks first knocked off 2-seed Kentucky with an 85-79 overtime win. The team then beat 7-seed Murray State with a 70-60 win to become the third 15-seed to ever advance to the Sweet 16.
On Friday, the Peacocks defeated 3-seed Purdue 67-64. The victory came on a holiday known as National Peacock Day, which when combined with the basketball team has become a top-selling t-shirt.
Bets Pouring In: Saint Peter’s were huge underdogs in all three of their to-date games in the NCAA Tournament. The team was offered at odds of +1400, +290 and +650 to beat Kentucky, Murray State and Purdue respectively.
The Peacocks entered the 2022 NCAA Men’s National Tournament with odds of 1000/1 or higher to win the National Championship.
As the number of teams remaining has shrunk, the odds of Saint Peter’s have improved. Being the underdog and gaining love from the public has also helped boost the odds of the Peacocks to win the National Championship.
Some sportsbooks are reporting big wagers coming in or already placed on Saint Peter’s to win it all. Caesars Entertainment (NASDAQ: CZR) took a $2,000 bet on Saint Peter’s to win the championship at odds of +20,000, which would pay out $400,000. The bet was placed on March 24.
Saint Peter’s is the second biggest one-bet liability, next to a bet on Villanova that would pay out $540,000.
Odds to win the National Championship by Saint Peter’s were offered at 1000/1 to start the tournament at Caesars. Odds were cut in half to 500/1 after beating Kentucky and have now dropped to 50/1 after beating Purdue and could drop further.
BetMGM, a unit of Entain and MGM Resorts Worldwide (NYSE: MGM) reported that Saint Peter’s is now the third most bet team of those remaining at 4.4%. Only Duke (8.1%) and Kansas (5.1%) have more tickets at the sportsbook on outright champion.
BetMGM opened odds on Saint Peter’s at 3,000 to 1 to win and has lowered them to 30 to 1 now.
BetMGM has a ticket of $4,000 on Saint Peter’s to win the championship that would pay out $800,000 to the bettor.
FanDuel, a unit of Flutter Entertainment (OTC: PDYPY), has reported 45% of all tickets on a winner of the tournament have been placed on Saint Peter’s after the Elite 8 was set.
The public has increased their love for Saint Peter’s in individual games along the way. Caesars had 54% of tickets and 50% of money wagered on Saint Peter’s in their matchup against Murray State.
Against Purdue, the public was backing Saint Peter’s and the +12.5 or +13 spread in over 60% of bets by money wagered at DraftKings, FanDuel, WynnBet and Caesars. DraftKings was one of the highest reported, with 68% of money wagered on Saint Peter’s and the points.
Kentucky was selected by 95.6% of people to win the first round game against Saint Peter’s in the Tournament Challenge hosted on ESPN, a unit of The Walt Disney Co (NYSE: DIS).
Related Link: Perfect March Madness Bracket? Don’t Count On It: The Longshot And Potential Impossible Odds
What’s Next: Saint Peter’s will take on 8-seeded North Carolina on Sunday, Mar. 27 at 5:05 p.m. EDT. The game will be televised on CBS, a unit of Paramount Global (NASDAQ: PARA)(NASDAQ: PARAA).
Saint Peter’s is an eight point underdog and offered at odds of +270 to win the game at DraftKings Inc (NASDAQ: DKNG).
The win by Saint Peter’s over Purdue was the biggest Sweet 16 upset of all time, based on the spread of 12.5 points. The second and third-biggest Sweet 16 upsets (Indiana 2002, Arizona 1997) both reached the National Championship game.
Kansas won the National Championship in 1988 after opening the tournament at odds of 20 to 1 to win the tournament, which is the biggest longshot since seeding for the tournament began in 1979.
The state of New Jersey, where Saint Peter’s is located, does not allow betting on colleges in the state. If Saint Peter’s advances to the Final Four, BetMGM will pay the second place team (North Carolina in that case) as the winner for anyone who bet on them to win the region.
Photo: Courtesy of telwink on Flickr
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