Early Basketball Betting Shift NCAA Tournament Game Lines

  • The Baylor Bears have seen their spread move from -23 to -26.5.
  • The Illinois Fighting Illini have seen their odds on the spread move from 18.5 to 23.5.
  • The Virginia Cavaliers have seen their spread move from -12 to -10.5.

INDIANAPOLIS - With the March Madness Tournament just about to get underway, college basketball bettors should be keeping up with all of the latest movement on the opening lines for the first round.

After Selection Sunday had come to an end, odds were posted just moments later for the opening round and it did not take long for online sportsbooks to see a shift.

What causes these March Madness odds to move is how much action is being placed on the lines. When a team gets a lot of betting action, online sportsbooks will shift their lines in an attempt to even out their losses by having others bet on the opposite side of the line.

Some of the more notable line movements have come from teams such as the Baylor Bears, Illinois Fighting Illini and the Virginia Cavaliers.

Big March Madness Opening Line Movements

  • Baylor -23 to -26
  • Illinois -18.5 to -22.5
  • Virginia -12 to -8

Taking a look at Baylor, they finished their season going 15-9 against the spread, however, they have taken a bit of a step back in their last seven games as they have gone 2-5 ATS overall. Also, looking at their upcoming opponent, the Hartford Hawkeyes, they are actually 5-0 against the spread in their last five games.

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For Illinois, they saw a pretty significant four-point jump in their spread. The Fighting Illini have had a nice season against the spread as they have gone 18-10-1 and have stayed hot throughout the season’s end as they finished their last seven games going 7-1 ATS overall. As for their first-round matchup with the Drexel Dragons, they have done well against the spread as well, however, Illinois has been an absolute powerhouse against any opponent.

Virginia saw their spread actually shorten a total of four points. On the season they have gone 11-12-1 against the spread. They have also done an awful job to finish off the season as they have gone just 1-5 against the spread in their last six games. As for their matchup, the Ohio Bobcats have been hot as they have gone 4-0 against the spread in their last four games going in as the underdog.

All in all, with all of this line movement, college basketball betting players should do their research on teams before jumping on the side that has the most action and take different betting trends into consideration.

Other notables early line movements include Arkansas shifting from -7.5 to -9.5 and Loyola-Chicago (-2), which opened as a pick ‘em.