TORONTO — It was a crazy start to the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
Among the early upsets was 16th-seeded Fairleigh Dickinson shocking top-seeded Purdue 63-58 on Friday. What’s even more stunning is the Boilermakers came in as 22.5-point favourites.
According to the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp., 91 per cent of Proline-plus customers successfully predicted third-seeded Gonzaga’s 84-81 second-round win Sunday over No. 6 TCU. However, just nine per cent had No. 4 Tennessee defeating No. 5 Duke 65-52 on Saturday and eight per cent correctly predicted No. 8 Arkansas upsetting No. 1 Kansas 72-71 on Saturday.
And 21 per cent of punters had No. 7 Michigan dispatching No. 2 Marquette 69-60 on Sunday.
A whopping 80 per cent of bettors correctly picked the Toronto Maple Leafs to defeat the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday night, which they did by a 5-2 score. However, just 35 per cent figured there’d be more than six goals in the contest.
Sixty-seven per cent of customers successfully predicted Toronto’s 5-4 shootout road win Saturday night against the Ottawa Senators while 91 per cent had the total over 6.5 goals.
Sixty-six per cent of bettors successfully predicted the Toronto Raptors 122-107 home victory Saturday over Minnesota but a majority didn’t feel Toronto could complete the back-to-back. Sixty per cent of customers backed the Milwaukee Bucks in their 118-111 home victory over the Raps.
Not surprisingly, the Leafs were a hot commodity among bettors last week. Toronto’s games versus Buffalo, Colorado, Ottawa and Carolina were the top-four events, with the Gonzaga-TCU basketball game taking fifth.
A 12-leg NBA/NHL parlay turned a $10 bet into a $4,944 payout for one Proline digital customer while another received $3,782 from a $4 wager that successfully predicted the over/under in 12 NCAA basketball games.
And finally, a third digital customer turned a $5 bet into a $3,423 windfall after predicting the winner of 12 different NHL games.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 22, 2023.