Tips for betting on Cats

LEXINGTON — Kentucky basketball winning its ninth national championship would be a dream come true for the team’s fervent fan base. It also would be the worst nightmare for two of America’s largest sportsbooks.

The Wildcats are the biggest liability for BetMGM and DraftKings. At BetMGM, UK leads the country in ticket percentage (the percent of total bets) at 11.6 and is second in handle percentage (the percent of total money) at 13.0, trailing only defending national champion UConn (14.6%), with both figures as of Monday. Kentucky is tops nationally in both categories at DraftKings, with 18% of tickets and 24% of the handle at the beginning of this week.

Not surprisingly, those numbers are even more pronounced in the Bluegrass State. More than 70% of bets made within Kentucky at BetMGM are on the Wildcats to win it all, accounting for 75% of the total money wagered. Those percentages are even higher at DraftKings: 75% of bets in Kentucky are on coach John Calipari‘s team to capture the 2024 NCAA Tournament title, which is 81% of the handle.

Despite the abundance of bets placed on UK, there’s still value to be found, Steve Bittenbender said.

“For a futures market — where they’re winning the national title — I would recommend that for anyone,” said Bittenbender, a writer and analyst for “I would recommend, though, that they do it within reason. Kentucky’s odds are quite lucrative, depending on which sportsbook you go to.

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