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March Madness predictions, odds: North Carolina Tar Heels popular among sports bettors



The North Carolina Tar Heels are one of the most popular teams among sports bettors ahead of the NCAA Tournament.

Hubert Davis’ club is the most bet team, in terms of tickets, to make the Final Four and Elite 8 at BetMGM Sportsbook.

They are also garnering the third-most tickets to reach the Sweet 16.

The Tar Heels have quickly become one of BetMGM’s most substantial risks should they make a deep tournament run.

“Kentucky is our biggest liability to win the NCAA Tournament,” BetMGM senior trader Michael Ranftle said in a statement. “However, with the recent launch of legal sports betting in North Carolina, the Tar Heels are becoming a big loser for the sportsbook with their hometown fans believing in them.

“Both blue bloods getting knocked out of the bracket early would be great for BetMGM.”

North Carolina currently trails only the defending champion UConn Huskies with the second-most national championship tickets (10.1 percent) and handle (11.2 percent) at BetMGM.

Head coach Hubert Davis of the North Carolina Tar Heels talks to his players during a timeout in the first half against the Florida State Seminoles. Getty Images

Despite an upset loss to NC State in the ACC Championship game, the Tar Heels grabbed the No. 1 seed in the West Region, the last top seed available.

They finished 27-7 during the regular season with a dominant 17-3 in-conference record.

The Tar Heels are +1300 to win the tournament, which are the fifth-best odds at BetMGM behind UConn (+400), Houston (+600), Purdue (+650) and Arizona (+1100).

They are +300 to make the Final 4 and +120 to make the Elite 8.

Betting on College Basketball?

North Carolina opened the 2023-24 season at +2500 to win the national championship, which was tied with Creighton and Michigan State for the 11th-best odds in college basketball.

The Tar Heels will play the winner of Tuesday’s game between Howard and Wagner on Thursday during the Round of 64.

If they win that game, they will play either Michigan State or Mississippi State in the Round of 32.

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