December Madness! College Basketball Upset Makes Betting History

Eastern Illinois won as 31.5-point underdogs


December 21, 2022

It’s the holiday season, and the Eastern Illinois Panthers provided the betting world with a performance they likely won’t soon forget. Especially if they were on Iowa headed into the historic matchup.

Eastern Illinois pulled off the biggest college basketball upset by point spread in 30 years Wednesday, knocking off Iowa, 92-83, on the road as a 31.5-point underdog, according to Caesars Sportsbook.

That’s right folks, they weren’t even supposed to win if they added Michael Jordan’s career points per game average to their total score.

The Panthers were such big underdogs that most sportsbooks did not offer odds on them to win the game straight up, according to ESPN. In fact, underdogs of 30 or more points were 0-558 over the past 30 seasons, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

It wasn’t a wire-to-wire effort, however. The Panthers fell behind 18-4 to start the game and trailed the Hawkeyes by eight points at halftime. Then Eastern Illinois caught fire, hitting 72% of its shots after the half to Iowa’s 31%

They’re probably not going to be dancing in March, but it wasn’t a bad day at the office for the Panthers.

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Thumbnail photo via Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen/USA TODAY NETWORK

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