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Sportsbooks Offering +225 Odds for 1 Buzzer Beater in First Round of March Madness

Robert Duff

by Robert Duff in College Basketball

Feb 20, 2019 · 1:47 PM PST

Kansas March Madness
Kansas practices during the 2016 NCAA tournament. Photo by Phil Roeder [CC License]
  • Sportsbooks have a prop bet on the number of buzzer beaters in the Round of 64 at the NCAA Tournament.
  • Last year’s round of 64 featured just one buzzer-beater.
  • There were no buzzer beaters in the first round of the 2017 tournament.

March Madness is about buzzer beaters. Stunning upsets. Edge of your seat excitement.

Right?

Yeah, that does happen. Generally, though, it doesn’t happen as often as you think in the first round.

Sportsbooks are offering a prop wager on the number of buzzer beaters that will occur in the round of 64 of this year’s March Madness, and our best advice is to go low.

Odds On Total Buzzer Beating Shots in 2019 NCAA Tournament Round of 64

Team Odds On Total Buzzer Beating Shots in 2019 NCAA Tournament Round of 64
0 -160
One +225
Two +700
Three +1200
Four +2000
Five +4000
Six Or More +5000

Odds taken 2/19
There’s been just one buzzer beater victory in the last 64 round of 64 NCAA Tournament games.

One For The Money

The Loyola-Chicago Ramblers were the darlings of the 2018 NCAA Tournament. An 11-seed that rolled all the way to the Final Four, they helped put the madness in March and it started with a buzzer-beater decision over the sixth-seeded Miami Hurricanes in their South Regional round of 64 game at Dallas.

Trailing 64-62, Loyola’s Donte Ingram launched a three-pointer with 1.8 seconds left in the second half and time expired as it swished through the basket for a 65-64 victory.

There was also a close call in the West Regional round of 64 game pitting the San Diego State Aztecs against the Houston Cougars. Rob Gray scored the final two of his career-high 39 points with less than two seconds to play to give sixth-seeded Houston a 67-65 lead.

The Aztecs hurried the ball down the floor, but Trey Kell’s desperation three-point attempt with 0.5 seconds remaining in regulation banked off the rim and failed to drop.

Buzzer Beaters? More Like Beatdowns

Close may count in horseshoes and hand grenades, but counting on close games in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament is pure folly. In last year’s round of 64, there were 17 games decided by double digits. The average margin of victory over the 32 games was 11.9 points per game.

In 2017, there were no opening-round buzzer beaters and 20 round of 64 games were determined by margins of 10 points of greater. The average margin of victory over those 32 games was a whopping 12.9 points per game.

The 2016 NCAA Tournament featured a pair of first-round buzzer beaters, including an astonishing half-court bucket from Northern Iowa’s Paul Jesperson to beat Texas 85-82.

Our best advice is that less is more when betting on round of 64 NCAA Tournament buzzer beaters. One is a solid play, but if one doesn’t grab you, zero makes more sense than betting on two.

It may indeed be March Madness, but history teaches us that this early, it’s rarely that mad.

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