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Biggest March Madness Spreads All-Time

When oddsmakers posted Kentucky as a 32.5-point favorite against Hampton, folks wondered – is that the biggest March Madness point spread ever?

The answer is no, but it’s the biggest one we have seen since 2004 when Duke covered a 33-point spread against Alabama State.

Before you automatically go fade the big favorite, know that the favorites are 8-3-1 ATS when facing point spreads of 30 points or more. And in the 20 biggest spreads we found in our database, the chalk are 12-7-1 ATS.

[ Who has the best March Madness underdog lines? Often they are found at Bovada ]

And it’s slightly higher than the only other recent spread to top the 30-point mark. UCLA covered 31.5 points against Mississippi Valley State in 2008.

No, the biggest spread in tournament history (as far as the OddsShark Database, which began in 1996, is concerned) was a whopping 46.5 points in 1999 when Duke defeated Florida A&M. The Blue Devils failed to cover that game, but were 4-1 ATS in the other five games when they were favored by more than 30 points.

Kansas (-37 vs. Prairie View A&M in 1998 and -36 vs Jackson State a year earlier) faced the next two highest spreads in Madness history.

The 1996 and 1997 Kentucky teams of Ron Mercer and Antoine Walker fame also faced point spreads north of 30 points. The 1996 team covered 33.5 points against San Jose State, while the following year they covered 30 points vs. Montana.

Biggest March Madness Spreads
#16 seed#16#1 seed#1LineATS WinnerOUATS 1Year
Florida A&M58Duke99-46.5Florida A&MUNDERL1999
Prairie View52Kansas110-37KansasOVERW1998
Jackson St64Kansas78-36Jackson StPUSHP1997
San Jose St72Kentucky110-33.5KentuckyPUSHW1996
Alabama St61Duke96-33DukeOVERW2004
South Car St65Stanford84-31.5South Car StOVERL2000
Miss Valley St29UCLA70-31.5UCLAUNDERW2008
Alabama St35Michigan St69-29.5Michigan StUNDERW2001
NC Asheville61Texas82-28.5NC AshevilleUNDERL2003
Florida A&M76Kentucky96-28.5Florida A&MOVERL2004