Minnesota Gophers #1 Team in Nation Against the Spread and Oddsmakers are Dumbfounded

minnesota gophers against the spread
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Currently, Ben Johnson has his Minnesota Golden Gophers men’s basketball team performing at the highest level of his tenure, by far, holding a record of 17-9 overall and 8-7 in Big Ten play. As March approaches, the Gophers are gaining momentum methodically quieting their doubters.

But the oddsmakers in Vegas and across the internet are growing increasingly frustrated with Minnesota. Why? Because they can’t beat them. Ben’s squad is an absurd 23-3 against the spread this season, leaving Vegas scratching their heads.

Sure, the Gophers are still outside of the March Madness picture, looking in. But if there were an NCAA Tournament for teams against the betting spread, they’d be the number one overall seed and it wouldn’t be close.

Dominant: Minnesota Gophers against the spread

minnesota gophers pharrel payne
Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

If you’re someone who frequently engages in sports betting, you’ve probably taken note of just how consistently successful the Gophers have been this season, in the betting world. The Gophers have been terrific in all situations, going:

  • 12-1 ATS as a favorite
  • 11-2 ATS as an underdog
  • 17-1 ATS at home
  • 6-1 ATS on the road

Let me clarify what that means by providing some context. When betting against the spread, your odds are usually pretty close to even. That’s what spreads are for. A spread gives points to the underdog before the game starts, in an effort to make it a fair fight.

That’s why you hear or see things like, ‘the Gophers are +6.5 point underdogs vs the Cornhuskers’. Those +6.5 hypothetical points are called the ‘spread’. And in fact, that is the current spread on tonight’s Minnesota vs Nebraska game. So, to beat Nebraska Sunday ‘against the spread’, Minnesota doesn’t have to win the actual game. They just need to be within 6.5 points when the final buzzer sounds.

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If you’re a gambler who caught onto this Gophers ATS train early, they’ve made you a lot of money this season. Veteran sports bettors are well aware of the ‘juice’ fees and other +/- numbers that go along with making the final number you are betting, when trying to cover a spread, but there is no need to confuse anyone with those.

As mentioned earlier, betting spreads are meant to make betting odds EVEN so let’s assume they are, in order to keep this exercise simple. If you had bet $100 on the Gophers against the spread for every game this season, you’d be about $2,000 richer.

  • Winning bets = 23 * ($100) = $2,300
  • Losing bets = 3 * ($100) = $300
  • Net profit = $2,000

Oddsmakers stunned by Gophers 23-3 record ATS

And, unsurprisingly, oddsmakers are growing increasingly frustrated with how often they are paying out on Minnesota games. Ben Fawkes (For The Win – USA Today) is an avid Minnesota sports enthusiast and deeply immersed in the world of sports betting.

Recently, Fawkes tapped into the expertise of a BetMGM college basketball oddsmaker, who expressed his shock at what the Gophers have done to them this season. Despite repeatedly adjusting their odds and expectations for the Gophers, Ben & Co continue to cover.

“There’s always a team like this, but I honestly don’t know what is particularly special about this team,” Seamus Magee, a college basketball trader at BetMGM told For The Win. “They’re a .500 Big Ten team, their offense is Top 40 on KenPom, but they’re not crushing teams on 3-pointers. What’s even more shocking is that they’re 23-3 ATS and one of the worst free-throw shooting teams in the country. That’s usually not a recipe for covering spreads.”

“The Gophers have been playing above their power rating all season,” Thomas Gable, sportsbook director at The Borgata in Atlantic City, told For The Win. “I’ve upgraded them seven points from where I had them to start the season. We have been raising Minnesota throughout the season, they just keep beating the number.”

Ben Fawkes – USAToday

The Gophers’ exceptional performance has left oddsmakers completely astonished, a rare occurrence in the world of sports betting where “Vegas always wins” is often the rule. This season, the Gophers have defied expectations and continually silenced doubters.

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If they can continue their hot streak for another handful of games, they could give us degenerate sports gamblers another very interesting betting option during March Madness.

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