Princeton Defying The (Sports Betting) Odds With Sweet 16 Run

Written By David Danzis on March 20, 2023 - Last Updated on March 22, 2023
Princeton March Madness NJ Sports Betting

For the second consecutive year, New Jersey is the talk of the NCAA men’s college basketball championship tournament.

Sports gamblers across the country ripped up betting tickets Thursday afternoon when Princeton University knocked off No. 2-seed Arizona.

The next day, 16-seed Fairleigh Dickinson University stunned the entire basketball world by upsetting top-ranked Purdue.

The 15-seed Tigers continued their improbable march toward a national title Saturday by rolling over No. 7 Missouri. FDU’s season came to an end Sunday.

Last year, Saint Peter’s University, a 15-seed from Jersey City, was the tournament’s Cinderella story. The Peacocks made it all the way to the Elite Eight in 2022.

Princeton is going to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1967. The Ivy League champs are +15000 to cut down the nets in April at BetMGM New Jersey Sportsbook, the longest remaining odds on the board.

No NJ sports betting on Princeton — here are the odds anyway

In a cruel twist of fate, legal NJ sportsbooks do not offer betting odds on in-state college teams. Voters soundly rejected a proposal to change that law in 2021.

Nonetheless, those who backed either of the NJ schools where betting on them is permitted had something to be happy about.

Princeton (+700) was a 14.5-point underdog to the Wildcats (-1100) on Saturday. Missouri (-275) was a 6.5-point favorite two days later but lost by 15 to Princeton (+220).

The FDU Knights cost a lot of people a lot of money. At PointsBet Sportsbook, almost 91% of the money was on the Boilermakers, according to an ESPN report. FDU (+2100) was getting 23.5 points in Friday’s matchup against Purdue (-10000).

Breaking down Princeton’s Sweet 16 game

Princeton will play the No. 6 Creighton Bluejays in Louisville, Kentucky on Friday at 9 p.m. Princeton (+400) is getting 10 points against Creighton (-524), as of Monday afternoon.

Creighton is +1000 to win the national championship.

When the Princeton Tigers are 10-point dogs, they are 1-0 against the spread this season (Saturday’s win against Mizzou). Creighton is 5-7 ATS as a double-digit favorite.

The total for Friday night’s game is 140 points (-110). Princeton and Creighton combine for an average of 151.2 points per game in 2022-23.

Creighton is an average offensive team and a below-average defensive squad. The Bluejays +287 scoring differential overall equals an average winning margin of 8.2 PPG.

Princeton is the definition of average on both sides of the ball. However, the Tigers can score in bunches and average almost nine three-pointers per game.

Watching the NCAA tourney betting lines

Only two No. 1-seeds remain in the 2023 NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Alabama (-350) and Houston (-400) have the shortest remaining odds at BetMGM.

The Crimson Tide have the highest percentage of tickets written (10.9%) and the most money (14.7%). After Duke and Kansas were sent packing, Alabama is now the biggest liability for BetMGM.

UCLA (+800), Texas (+900) and Connecticut (+900) are the only other remaining schools under 10-1 odds.

Michigan State (+2500) is always dangerous in March. Tennessee (+1400) is another team to keep an eye on as the Vols were ranked as high as No. 2 nationally earlier this season.

Photo by AP / Randall Benton
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David Danzis

David Danzis is the lead writer for PlayNJ. He is a New Jersey native and honors graduate of Rutgers University. As a newspaper reporter for the New Jersey Herald and Press of Atlantic City, David earned statewide awards for his coverage of politics, government, education, sports, and business. Today, he is PlayNJ’s Atlantic City “insider” and gaming industry expert on casinos, sports betting, and online gambling. David lives in Atlantic County, NJ with his wife and two children.

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