With the round of 64 less than 24 hours away, the time to prep brackets and place bets before the tournament is dwindling. To help inform any picks and selections in the meantime, here are some betting trends for March Madness, including what seeds to back and what teams to target.
March Madness Betting Trends
We are officially one day away from tournament play and I couldn’t be more excited. If you are anything like me, then you have made countless bets in preparation for the number of hours you will be glued to the television over the next four days. When researching those bets, you have most likely been unable to avoid all the stats and trends that come with those google searches.
From conference champions, to intriguing longshots, and everything in between, here’s a list of my favorite trends that I have used to help guide my decision making.
Every National Champion won at least one game in their conference tournament
Yes. you read that right. A trend that has a 100% success rate as of writing. Every former national champion since 1978 that played in a conference tournament at least won one game. With that said, good luck to Baylor, Kansas State, Auburn, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan State, USC, and Northwestern.
Texas and the history of interim coaches
Texas has captivated the majority of national attention after steam rolling the Big 12 conference tournament. An impressive feat after everything they went through in the middle of the year, releasing their head coach amidst off court issues.
There have been ten instances of interim coaches in March Madness. Five were eliminated in the first weekend, four made it to the Sweet Sixteen, and one has won it all with Michigan cutting down the nets in 1989.
Don’t get cute with sixteen seeds
With the widespread legalization of sports betting, I see more longshot parlays and tickets than I would like to admit. Especially involving Houston this year, comparing their matchup to Virginia when they went down as the first losing one seed in tournament history.
One seeds have dominated this matchup, going 147-1 against lowly 16 seeds.
Eleven seeds have dominated as of late
A trend that caught me by surprise, 11 seeds have turned into the new 12 seeds in terms of historic upsets. Since 2010, 11 seeds have won SU at a 54.2% rate. During that time, 12 seeds have dipped to a lowly 39.6% clip with 10 seeds edging them out at 40.4%.
Target teams coming into the tournament on a losing streak
While conference champions normally capture the public’s attention for teams to target early in the tournament, you should actually turn your sights towards teams on a two or more-game losing streak as a four seed or lower.
Four seeds or lower going into opening weekend on a losing streak are an incredible 17-0 SU and 14-3 ATS.
Be weary of what day you back favorites
An odd trend that I cannot explain, favorites perform far better on Thursday’s slate than they do Friday. Favorites on Thursday have gone 133-115-3 ATS and 125-143-3 ATS on Fridays.
Back teams who can hit their free throws in crucial situations
The equivalent to my sneak the ball tweets during football season, I am notorious for yelling make your free throws during the course of the college basketball season. For good reason too as teams who complete their free throws at a 77% rate or higher have gone 60-38-2 ATS.
Go against the public
I can’t preach this one enough as it is one of the more key trends for success. Teams who get more than 60% of the ticket handle have gone a lowly 56-80-5 ATS.
Reminder, these are just a few key trends that I help guide my decision making. That isn’t to say I follow them all to a T, but they do help me pick one side of the fence when in a neutral situation. As always, do your research and bet your spots. It’s the best time of the year, might as well make it a profitable one.