Betting: Which teams does Vegas not want to win March Madness?

Jared Quay is joined by the Director of Trading for MGM Resorts, Jeff Stoneback, to discuss the upcoming NCAA Tournament & what the Las Vegas books will need for a successful March Madness.

Video Transcript

JARED QUAY: Hey, what's up, guys? I'm here with Jeff Stoneback, director of trading at MGM Resorts. Jeff, let's get right into it. What team do the books not want to win March Madness?

JEFF STONEBACK: Well, believe it or not, the number one overall seed Gonzaga is a loser for us. And also Michigan, which is a number one seed, not good for the book at all. And then, of course, we've got some small teams that had some huge odds, like Colgate, UNC Greensboro, Winthrop, Abilene Christian, and Drake. They don't have legitimate shots at winning it, but those are some significant losers for us also.

JARED QUAY: With the conference championships, I know you guys refunded certain tickets of teams who lost due to COVID, like Duke. I'm wondering what are the odds of something like that happening in the big dance?

JEFF STONEBACK: Well, hopefully this doesn't happen. I mean, hopefully we can get through this tournament without any teams having to drop out or anything. But we haven't made a final decision.

But probably what we'll do if you bet before the tournament was confirmed, which was tonight, obviously, you got action on your wagers. If you bet, let's say, Virginia, bet them on Monday and they drop out on Tuesday or something, we will probably end up refunding those. We did refund the conference tournaments on Virginia, Duke, and Kansas this past weekend.

JARED QUAY: And last but not least, with the whole tournament being held in Indiana, how does that affect you guys handicapping and setting lines?

JEFF STONEBACK: Well, actually it is obviously a neutral site for each team, but they are allowing fans in there. So Indianapolis is Big Ten country. So we figure those Big Ten teams may have, obviously, more fans than anybody else. And they'll be rooting for the Big Ten, their conference. So it doesn't affect the line that much really, if at all, but you will probably have a swing there on the Big Ten teams having more fans than the other conferences.

JARED QUAY: Definitely. So some homefield advantage, but not all teams equal. Well, thank you, Jeff, for spending time with me. And I'm looking forward to an exciting March Madness tournament.

JEFF STONEBACK: So are we. We made it through one year, and let's let the madness begin.

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