Bookies Worried: Notre Dame was 150-1 Long Shot to Win 2011 NCAA Tournament

Written by:
Tyrone Black
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Notre Dame Odds

Notre Dame was a 150-1 long shot to win the 2011 NCAA Tournament and the bookies are quite obviously rooting against them.  As of press time Wednesday, March 16, the Fighting Irish had odds of 18-1 at SBG Global, still relatively long.

This could prove to be a dangerous scenario for the Las Vegas (and online) bookmakers, as Micah Roberts of our friends at can attest to.

They’ve already seen action on the Irish from the betting public for Friday’s opening round match against Akron which has been collectively bet up a half-point from the opener to minus-13 ½. The losses for that game -- should they cover -- pales in comparison to what will happen if Notre Dame goes on to win five more games after that and win the National Championship.

As Roberts notes, many of the Vegas oddsmakers refused to adjust the line a few weeks into the regular season, believing that their 8-0 start was nothing more than a fluke, especially since some of those opponents were deemed as “soft”. 

It doesn’t take many $10 bets to make the sports book feel the possibilities of pain by paying out at odds of over 100-to-1.

Notre Dame comes into the tournament having won 12 of 14 games.  They enter the tournament ranked 5th by the Associated Press and a number two seed in the Southwest Region.

Coach Mike Brey will rely heavily on his seniors to get the job done.

The Irish’s starting lineup of Nash, Ben Hansbrough, Carleton Scott, Tim Abromaitis and Scott Martin are all seniors who have been with the program for at least three years, Tony Krausz of the Journal Gazette noted.

“It’s refreshing for college basketball to see four- and five-year guys, college guys that have had to work their way up and pay their dues a little bit,” Brey said. “It’s a great example for high school players to look and (realize), ‘Wow, those are guys who came in and worked and maybe it didn’t happen their rookie year. But they stuck in there and worked, and look at the nucleus they’ve become.’ They’ve learned to play together over time. It’s a great example for youth basketball.”

From a gambling standpoint, the Fighting Irish do have their work cut out for them early on.

Trends favor Akron quite heavily Against The Spread where they are 5-1 on neutral courts, 6-1 ATS in all Tournament games and 8-2 ATS when playing against a team with a winning record after 15 or more games.  Akron will have 13.5 points to cover.   

The Fighting Irish meet Akron on Friday, missing out on playing St. Patrick’s Day Thursday.


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- Tyrone Black,

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