NCAA Tournament Final Four Betting Trends

Apr 3, 2024

NCAA Tournament, NCAA Tournament betting trends, NCAA Tournament Final Four round

Oskeim Sports’ expert handicappers provide NCAA Tournament betting tips to help sports bettors increase their return on investment during the Final Four Round of the NCAA Tournament.

The NCAA Tournament’s top seed – the Connecticut Huskies – are attempting to repeat as national champions and face No. 4 seed Alabama.  The 11-seed North Carolina State Wolfpack face No. 1-seed Purdue for the opportunity to play for the national championship.

Here are the odds to win the National Championship game (per ESPN BET):

(1) UConn Huskies                                                  -200
(1) Purdue Boilermakers                                         +200
(4) Alabama Crimson Tide                                       16-1
(11) NC State Wolfpack                                           18-1

Final Four Betting Trends

If you’re betting on NCAA Tournament games, it’s important to recognize certain trends. Although these aren’t rules that must be strictly adhered to, they may provide insight as you handicap the next round. Be wary of  college basketball betting trends powered by spreads and totals as they can easily mislead bettors into overestimating future returns.

Sports bettors should consider each team’s coaching styles and tempos when handicapping games. Coaches implement systems and playbooks throughout the year that may be impacted by which players they recruit based on skill sets; this becomes especially crucial when betting in March when teams may go from being underdogs to favorites, depending on how they perform against stronger opposition.

NCAA Tournament Final Four Betting Trends

  • No. 1 seeds are 9-3 ATS vs. No. 2 seeds
  • No. 4 seeds are 3-6 ATS
  • No. 8 seeds or worse are 3-6 ATS as underdogs of less than 14 points
  • Underdogs coming off an ATS loss are 6-1 ATS
  • Underdogs coming off consecutive double-digit wins are 1-7 ATS
  • Teams with revenge are 5-12 ATS
  • Big East Conference teams are 7-1 ATS since 2010
  • Big Ten Conference favorites are 5-1 ATS

Final Four History

Since 2001, only twice has the higher seed failed to cover in championship games between teams with equal records (Duke vs Butler in 2010 and Kansas vs Connecticut in 2022). Furthermore, since 2001 all 13 title games between higher seeds and mid-major schools have resulted in victories by the higher seeds.

NCAA Tournament Final Four Seeding Facts

  • Each of the past thirteen Final Fours has had at least one team seeded No. 4 or worse reach this round
  • Either one or two No. 1 seeds have reached the Final Four in 30 of 38 tournaments (79%)
  • There were zero No. 1 seeds in last year’s Final Four for the first time in ten years
  • Only once since 1970 have all four No. 1 seeds made the Final Four
  • It’s been 33 years since a No. 6 seed made the Final Four

In 2014, Michigan State was the only non-No. 1 seed to make the Final Four. In the first 29 years of the tournament’s 64-team format, a 7 seed had never reached the national semifinal. The Spartans were the second team to do it in two years (UConn, 2014).

The 83rd annual edition of the NCAA Tournament was held in 2022. Kansas overcame a 16-point first-half deficit (the largest deficit overcome in championship game history), to claim the school’s fourth national title.  On the first day of the tournament, 15-seed Saint Peters upset 2-seed Kentucky and became the third 15-seed to reach the Sweet 16 and the first to advance to the Elite Eight.

Last year’s NCAA Tournament marked the first time all the top seeds failed to make the Elite Eight (Alabama and Houston were eliminated in the regional semifinals).  Princeton became the third consecutive 15-seed to reach the Sweet 16 after upsetting Missouri in the second round.

Oskeim Sports gives free NBA Picks, NCAA Basketball Picks, NBA Predictions, and NCAA Basketball Predictions throughout the 2023-24 basketball seasons. Oskeim Sports has been an industry-leading sports handicapping service since 2007. Its lead handicapper, Jeff Keim, has received 73 awards in football, basketball, baseball, and hockey, including 15 handicapping championships and 53 Top 5 finishes. Visit daily for free NBA and college basketball odds, totals, and free picks.

Join Oskeim Sports today and save 20% on your first purchase at the online store!