College Basketball
Purdue-UConn title game betting preview: 'we’ll be rooting for the Huskies'
College Basketball

Purdue-UConn title game betting preview: 'we’ll be rooting for the Huskies'

Updated Apr. 8, 2024 10:15 a.m. ET

A week into April, the March Madness odds market comes to a close with a monster matchup of No. 1 seeds: Defending national champion UConn meets Purdue on Monday night.

The Huskies are scorching hot in NCAA Tournament play. Across the 2023 and 2024 NCAA Tourneys, Connecticut is 11-0 straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS).

Yet The SuperBook is in the unusual — and beneficial — position of needing the favorite in Monday’s final.

"We have serious Purdue championship liability, while UConn is fine. So barring a total overrun of UConn money, we’ll be rooting for the Huskies," SuperBook risk supervisor Chase Michaelson said Sunday.


Michaelson imparts his insights and information on Monday's title game.

March Madness Mirrors Michigan-Washington

On Saturday night, The SuperBook opened UConn as a 6-point favorite against Purdue. Within a few minutes, that number jumped to Huskies -6.5, where it remained as of Sunday evening.

But as Michaelson alluded to above, betting on the game itself isn’t really an issue for The SuperBook. Rather, the championship futures betting market could be a boon for bettors and a bust for the bookmaker.

Michaelson compared it to the recent College Football Playoff championship game, a 34-13 Michigan win over Washington.

"It’s a similar situation to where we were on Michigan vs. Washington. We were gonna get crushed on Washington for the title," he said.

Washington was the underdog in that game, just as Purdue is in Monday's game, three months later.

Perfect Position

To be clear, Michaelson isn’t lamenting The SuperBook’s position. It’s not often that oddsmakers need the favorite, particularly in such a high-profile game.

"This is where you want to be. You’d rather need the favorite than the ‘dog. That’s why we were big UConn fans Saturday," Michaelson said.

Indeed, once Purdue advanced to the championship game — ending the Cinderella run of NC State, 63-50 — The SuperBook wanted the strongest possible opponent for the Boilermakers: UConn, not No. 4 seed Alabama.

"I certainly [didn’t] want Alabama there as a 5- or 5.5-point ‘dog against Purdue," SuperBook executive director John Murray said.

UConn gave Murray and Michaelson what they wanted. The Huskies ran away from Alabama in the final 12 minutes, notching an 86-72 victory as 10.5-point favorites.

Where’s The Action?

As noted above, UConn advanced from -6 to -6.5 for Monday’s 6:20 p.m. ET tipoff vs. Purdue. The public betting masses are already strongly backing the Huskies on the point spread.

So The SuperBook is hoping to hit the sweet spot: a UConn win and Purdue cover, allowing the book to scoop up all the UConn point-spread money and eliminating the significant Purdue futures liability.

"The public will bet UConn. We already have a decent decision on the game itself, needing Purdue," Michaelson said. "Best-case scenario: Purdue covers and loses."

Patrick Everson is a sports betting analyst for FOX Sports and senior reporter for He is a distinguished journalist in the national sports betting space. He’s based in Las Vegas, where he enjoys golfing in 110-degree heat. Follow him on Twitter: @PatrickE_Vegas.


Get more from College Basketball Follow your favorites to get information about games, news and more