2023 NCAA Tournament odds: Princeton shocks Arizona, huge sports-betting upset

One of the fun things about betting on March Madness is that every game matters, a lesson that was reinforced with resounding force on the first day of 2023. NCAA Men’s Tournament.

The #15 Princeton Tigers defeated the #2 Arizona Wildcats with an impressive 59-55 victory.

Oddsmakers, like most fans and punters, predicted AZ to come out on top in this one. The Wildcats entered Thursday’s contest as heavy 14.5-point betting favorites at FOX Bet. Princeton’s monyeline odds going into the match were listed at +600 at FOX Bet. That means punters who threw some cash at the Tigers to win outright got a huge return on their investment.

Arizona was a popular pick among pundits and sportsbooks, as the team’s title odds were +1600 at FOX Bet (seventh lowest odds) entering the tournament.

To say the Tigers are underdogs in this tournament is an understatement. Before the ball was tipped in this season’s Madness, Princeton’s odds to win it all were +50,000 at FOX Bet. A $10 bet on the Tigers at these unbeatable odds could win bettors $5,010 if they somehow manage to make it all the way.

According to FOX Sports Research, a favorite of more than 14 points has lost straight up 12 times since 1985, and all 12 instances came in the round of 64. With Arizona closing as a 14.5-point favorite at FOX Bet, this loss is tied for the 10th largest upset in NCAA Tournament history by the spread.

Arizona has done that twice since 1985, joining Iowa State as the only programs to lose as 14-point favorites more than once in that span.

As for Princeton, this is the team’s first tournament win since 1998. It’s also the first tournament win by an Ivy League team since Yale defeated Baylor in 2016.

Watch this space for more crazy rants and bad beats!

RELATED: Social reaction to the descent of Arizona to Princeton

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