Las Vegas sports books have lowered Syracuse's odds to win a national title after the school announced that star center Fab Melo is ineligible for the entire NCAA Tournament.
MGM sports book manager Jay Rood said that they dropped Syracuse's future odds from 9 to 2 odds down to 6 to 1. Rood said that he would consider dropping the Orange even further depending on what kind of action the new odds bring in.
Syracuse is still a heavy favorite to defeat UNC-Asheville at 16.5-points, but expect to see that margin get smaller and smaller the farther that the team advances. Melo was the team's leading rebounder and shot blocker in 2011-12, which were already areas of weakness for coach Jim Boeheim's crew.
Syracuse ranked 341st out of 345 Division-1 teams in defensive rebounding and could be badly exploited against a strong offensive rebounding team like Kansas State in the Round of 32.
Kansas State hasn't seen a huge jump in its future odds since the Melo announcement, but other teams within the East Region have already seen their odds move. The biggest movers are Ohio State and Florida State, according to Rood.
Ohio State improved from 8 to 1 odds to 11 to 2 odds as gamblers around the country race to put money on the Buckeyes instead of the Orange. Ohio State is the new favorite to win the East Region with ACC Tournament champion Florida State checking in behind the Buckeyes and the Orange. The Seminoles have seen considerable interest since the bracket was announced, according to Rood, and have moved from 35 to 1 to 25 to 1 with further change possible.
Other gambling notes:
Missouri has gotten the most future odds action since Selection Sunday. The Tigers opened up at 10 to 1 odds and have already improved to 8 to 1 odds at MGM.
Rood noted that there has been a good amount of speculative money on Belmont and Murray State for a possible deep run. He said that this could be attributed to looking for the next VCU after the team's surprising Final Four run in 2011.
Vanderbilt could be looked at some as a potential Final Four team with Syracuse's Melo out, but don't expect the team's future odds to change too much.