Loyola-Chicago the most popular bet in Las Vegas to win NCAA title

Will the clock strike midnight on Loyola-Chicago? (1:11)

Dick Vitale breaks down the Ramblers' chances against John Beilein and the Wolverines in the Final Four. (1:11)

The most popular Final Four bet this week in Las Vegas is longshot Loyola-Chicago to win the whole thing.

Since Sunday, more bets have been placed on Loyola-Chicago to win the NCAA tournament than on Villanova, Kansas or Michigan at multiple sportsbooks. Around 50 percent of all bets placed this week at both William Hill and Caesars Palace books were on the underdog Ramblers, who are listed around 8-1.

Villanova enters Saturday's action as the slight odds-on favorite to win the tournament. The Wildcats were around -110 favorites as of Saturday morning. Michigan is next at +250, followed by Kansas at +350

The 11th-seeded Ramblers take on the third-seeded Wolverines at 6:09 p.m. Top seeds Kansas and Villanova are slated for an 8:49 p.m. tip.

"They're loving Sister Jean and Loyola," Jay Rood, vice president of MGM race and sports, told ESPN on Friday. "We did well on them in the previous games of the tournament. The public didn't buy in, but they have now."

Not everyone's on board with Sister Jean and the Ramblers. On March 3, Derek Stevens, owner of The D Las Vegas Hotel and Casino, placed a $25,000 bet on Michigan to win the tournament at 40-1 odds. The ticket would net $1 million if the Wolverines prevail.

Stevens, who is known to place big wagers around town, made the bet at the Golden Nugget sportsbook. He told Vegas Stats and Information Network's Brent Musburger that he placed two separate $25,000 hedge bets on Loyola-Chicago -- one on the Ramblers to beat Michigan straight-up and the other plus 5.5 points. If Loyola-Chicago were to spring the upset over the Wolverines, Stevens would end up with a $50,000 net profit from his bets. He says he'd prefer the $1 million.

"These are my two biggest bets I've ever made," Stevens told Musburger on Saturday, "and I hope I lose."

Loyola-Chicago is looking to become the first team seeded 9 or lower to reach the national championship game. The Ramblers began the tournament as 300-1 longshots at some books. William Hill took 32 bets on Loyola-Chicago to win the tournament at 300, including a $150 bet that would net $45,000 with a Ramblers title.