- No. 5 Auburn was at +2500 to win the NCAA Tournament before round one
- The Tigers are now +3300 after an ugly win over New Mexico State
- In the Round of 32, the Tigers will face No. 4 Kansas, which dominated Northeastern
The No. 5 Auburn Tigers earned a win over No. 12 New Mexico State on Thursday, but it was one heck of a sloppy performance. They blew a comfortable lead and won by the narrowest of margins, 78-77.
That result, coupled with a hugely impressive win from No. 4 Kansas, their second-round opponent, has led to their title odds falling from +2500 to +3300 at BetOnline.
Odds To Win 2019 NCAA Tournament
|Team||2020 NCAA Tournament Odds at BetOnline|
Is there value betting on the SEC-Tournament champion Tigers now? Let’s take a closer look.
Tigers Nearly Fumble Away First-Round Win
The Tigers did get a win in the first round but it wasn’t very pretty. Head coach Bruce Pearl probably lost a few years off of his life given the stress the team put him through down the stretch.
Auburn held a 62-50 lead with 8:37 left in the game, which under most circumstances, is a very comfortable lead. They also had a 73-66 lead with just 51 seconds remaining.
However, the wheels fell off with turnovers, awful fouls, and missed free throws. In the end, Auburn won but they were lucky to advance.
Odds Tumble as a Result
The tournament has mostly been tepid in terms of upsets, but the Auburn game was one that was viewed closely. Bettors and oddsmakers saw it, and neither want anything to do with the Tigers.
Bruce Pearl’s interactions with his players during this timeout is HILARIOUS 🤣 pic.twitter.com/VTqBhJ88f6
— Danny Vietti (@DannyVietti) March 15, 2019
Part of the issue is that this team doesn’t have a rich history in the NCAA Tournament. If they had either a tournament pedigree or a more experienced roster, they’d get the benefit of the doubt.
Instead, one has to wonder if this team actually has what it takes to beat better teams down the stretch. Their awful second-round performance in last year’s tournament is still fresh in the mind of anyone who backed with 2018 Tigers.
CLEMSON OWNS THE BATTLE OF THE TIGERS!
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 19, 2018
Auburn’s Path Looks Tougher
The other main factor in the Tigers’ drop in odds is the fact that their bracket looks tougher all of a sudden. We still haven’t seen the top quarter of the Midwest, where No. 1 North Carolina will play No. 16 Iona and No. 8 Utah State will play No. 9 Washington. Even so, Auburn’s second-round matchup could be tricky.
The No. 4 Kansas Jayhawks advanced out of the first round in one of the most convincing performances in the Round of 64. They crushed Northeastern easily, 87-53.
A lot of people felt the Jayhawks were ripe for the picking as they’re without three key players: Silvio De Sousa, Udoka Azubuike and Lagerald Vick. They put that notion to bed early … and sung it soothing lullabies all night, just to be sure.
The Jayhawks are on 🔥!
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 21, 2019
The difference between the Jayhawks and the Tigers is that Kansas does have that pedigree. The program is not new to the tournament or making deep runs, and they have one of the best coaches in the business in Bill Self.
Yes, Self has his share of earlier-than-expected exits from March Madness, but he also has the the 2008 national championship on his resume. That resonates with bettors.
Although Auburn is favored in the second round, matchups with No. 1 North Carolina, No. 2 Kentucky, and some other strong programs are looming. I’d pass on them at +3300 to win the NCAA Tournament.