No Clear Favorite for Final Four - Monday 3rd of April 2006

NEW YORK – In the most unpredictable NCAAbasketball tournament ever, Americans are betting predictably, which is tosay, they don't know which of the four teams to bet on to win the championshipon Monday night. With upsets and Cinderella teams wreaking havoc throughoutthe tournament no clear favorite has emerged with bettors at Sportsbook.com.

Despite a record volume of wagers, very little separates the betting onthe top three teams. UCLA has received 29.8 per cent of total wagers to date,followed by LSU at 28.5 per cent and Florida at 27.6 per cent. Even GeorgeMason, the least regarded of the four, has garnered significant attention with14.1 per cent of total wagers backing the Patriots.

"If this were a presidential race we'd be up until the early hours of themorning waiting to declare a winner," said Alex Czajkowski, Sportsbook.com."What the trends show is that everybody has an opinion and everybody bets onMarch Madness."

Sportsbook.com has broken the betting trends down by state and at themoment UCLA and LSU have the backing from 16 states each, while Florida is thefavorite in 12 states and George Mason is favored by bettors in six states.Sportsbook.com has created an electoral map of sorts and other than highlightinghow close the race actually is, it brings to light some other interestingtrends.

For example, of the nine states that are home to schools from the SEC,the conference represented in the Final Four by both Florida and LSU, eightare backing either the Gators or Tigers. Only bettors in Georgia are backing anon-conference school - UCLA. Does this mean hoops fans from the SEC haveadopted their rival schools as their own? By contrast, Oregon, Washington andArizona, states that house teams from the PAC 10, are decidedly against UCLA.In fact, each team is backing a different school with Oregon betting on GeorgeMason, Washington betting on LSU and Arizona betting on Florida. Perhaps thisshows a deep resentment toward the big bad Bruins by basketball fans in thatregion. Of the six states backing George Mason's improbable run, the mostsignificant in terms of population and dollars wagered is Michigan. Perhapsthe Patriots made believers of fans in Michigan with their first round upsetof Michigan State.

What doesn't seem to matter with bettors is whether they are Republicansor Democrats. LSU is backed equally by fans in states that voted Republicanand Democrat in the last election. UCLA is favored slightly by Republicanstates 10-6 while George Mason is favored slightly by Democrat states by a 4-2margin. The only significant blip in this trend comes with regards to Florida,a key battleground state in each of the last two elections. Of the 12 stateswhere the Gators are receiving majority backing 11 of them voted Republican in2004.

Other news from around the same time

Blue Square Re-launches Website - Monday 3rd of April 2006

March 29th 2006 saw the re-launch of Bluesq.com. The re-branding exercise coincided with a comp....


Choctaw Casino Durant Implements GSA Protocol - Monday 3rd of April 2006

LAS VEGAS – The crown jewel in the ChoctawNation's collection of casinos, Choctaw Casino Durant....


WSOP Champ Wins Extreme Poker Challenge - Monday 3rd of April 2006

KEMI, Finland – Robert Varkonyi, the 2002 WorldSeries of Poker Champion, is accustomed to keepi....


NLOP Launches Free Online Site - Monday 3rd of April 2006

FRAMINGHAM, Massachusetts – Responding to the increasingdemand for online poker alternatives, T....


Harrah's Eyes More Atlantic City Investments - Monday 3rd of April 2006

ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey – As reported by Reuters: "Harrah's Entertainment Inc. (NYSE:HET), whic....


Michigan Tribal Casino Expansion Update - Monday 3rd of April 2006

In December of last year, I provided an update on the permanent casino plans in Detroit, Michigan. ....


Vegas Visitors' Spending Shows 15 Percent Rise - Monday 3rd of April 2006

by Chris JonesLas Vegas Gaming WireLAS VEGAS If the love of money is truly the root of all evil,....


Seven Springs Mountain Resorts Unveils Design - Monday 3rd of April 2006

CHAMPION, Pennsylvania – Officials from Seven SpringsMountain Resort today unveiled the exterio....


Lipscomb to Deliver Keynote Speech at Poker Congress - Monday 3rd of April 2006

LAS VEGAS – The organizers of the World PokerCongress last week announced that Steve Lipscomb, ....


Arlington Park Names New President - Monday 3rd of April 2006

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Illinois – Arlington Park has named Roy A. Arnold president of the historic ....