NCAA Tournament Betting Guide: How to Profit During the Big Dance

Mar 15, 2018

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Professional bettors love this time of year because the NCAA Tournament attracts millions of dollars from the public.

This influx of amateur money allows professionals to exploit the market inefficiencies created by the public’s misperception of the various teams playing in the Tournament.

Certain teams attract more money from the betting public than others.  For example, ‘public’ teams like Duke, North Carolina and Kansas always receive a disproportionate amount of money from inexperienced bettors.

March Madness provides astute sports bettors with a unique opportunity to generate a significant return on investment, which is why hundreds of thousands of bettors hirer professional sports handicappers like Oskeim Sports for advice.

I wanted to provide sports bettors with useful historical data pertaining to the seed-versus-seed matchups in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.

NCAA from Jeffrey Keim on Vimeo.

NCAA Tournament Seed vs. Seed Trends

No. 1 vs. No 16

A No. 16 seed has never defeated a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, posting an all-time record of 0-132.  Since 1998, 95.2 percent of these matchups have been decided by ten or more points.

No. 2 vs. No. 15

No. 15 seeds have shown some life in the past six NCAA Tournaments, posting four upsets over No. 2 seeds.  However, since 1985, No. 2 seeds have prevailed in this matchup in 124 of the 132 games.

No. 3 vs. No. 14

From  2012 to 2016, at least one No. 14 seed has defeated a No. 3 seed in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.  Overall, No. 3 seeds have won 111 of the 132 games against No. 14 seeds.

No. 4 vs. No. 13

No. 13 seeds have enjoyed success in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament,  with at least one No. 13 seed knocking off a No. 4 seed in 23 of the past 33 years.  However, No. 4 seeds have won 87.5 percent of the clashes against No. 13 seeds over the last four Tournaments.

No. 5 vs. No. 12

Nearly everyone is familiar with the upset potential of No. 12 seeds in the NCAA Tournament.  Historically, at least one No. 12 seed has advanced to the second round in 87.9 percent of the Tournaments, a period covering 33 years.

No. 6 vs. No. 11

Since 2013, No. 6 seeds are just 14-18 versus No. 11 seeds!  Overall, No. 6 seeds have prevailed in 63 percent of their opening round matchups against No. 11 seeds.

No. 7 vs. No. 10

In four of the past 5 NCAA Tournaments, No. 7 seeds have won three of the 4 matchups in the first round.  Since 2010, 24 games opening round games between No. 7 and No. 10 seeds have been decided by fewer than ten points.

No. 8 vs. No. 9

This first round matchup has been the most difficult to predict over the years as No. 8 seeds own a nominal 67-65 advantage.  Since 2010, No. 8 seeds have won 67.9 percent of the meetings in this matchup.

NCAA Tournament Betting Information

  • Since 2013, No. 12 seeds are 14-6 ATS vs. No. 5 seeds in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament;
  • Since 2015, No. 11 seeds are 6-2 ATS against No. 6 seeds in the Round of 64;
  • Michigan head coach John Beilein is 20-10 ATS in the NCAA Tournament during his career;
  • Oklahoma head coach Lon Kruger is 0-6 ATS in his last six first round NCAA Tournament games and 1-8 ATS in his past nine games on the first weekend of the Big Dance.
  • Arizona head coach Sean Miller is 12-4-2 ATS in the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament;
  • Purdue head coach Matt Painter is 12-4 ATS in the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament, including 7-2 ATS in the first round.

If you are looking to make money during the NCAA Tournament, be sure to check out Oskeim Sports’ award-winning March Madness Package!