Selection Sunday for the Men’s NCAA College Basketball Tournament is March 18. That gives us about a month before the most exciting sporting event of the year tips-off. A month sounds like a long time to prepare, but when it comes to March Madness, it’s really not!
Check out some March Madness trends that should help us put together a strong strategy heading into the NCAA Tournament. Don’t forget to keep reading for the 5 college basketball teams that are killing it against the spread.
NCAA Basketball Betting Trends & Stats Could Help Predict 2019 March Madness
Top Trends for March Madness
Favorites aren’t great against the spreadIf you like to back favorites, you could lose your shirt in Round 1. Favorites don’t perform well against the spread because lines are often off. In Round 1, teams that have no clue about each other face-off. That means favorites end up losing against the spread while eking out a straight up win.
In 2017, favorites went 14-15-1 ATS in Round 1. In 2016, favorites went 15-16 ATS.
Dogs can often win on the moneylineIn the NCAA Tournament, underdogs can often win on the moneyline. Even underdogs that don’t appear to have any shot can beat their opponents on the moneyline. The key to finding underdogs is to look at shooting percentage allowed.
Favorites often average more points than their underdog counterparts. However, if the dog has a better shooting percentage allowed than the favorite, they’ll have a good shot to win the game. Shooting percentage allowed tells us if the team will instill its style of play.
In basketball, the team that instills its style of play has a much better shot of winning outright as a dog than a team that gets caught up in the favorite’s style of play.
Teams that mustn’t travel too far often coverIt goes without saying that the closer you play at home, the better your chances of showing up in the NCAA Tournament. Once seeds are set, look for underdogs that play their more heralded opponents closer to home. You’re going to find a few dogs that should score big profits on the moneyline.
Favorites that play close to home are also likelier to cover.
When facing double-digit spreads, dogs perform betterThe higher the spread, the better the underdog performs ATS. This makes sense because the underdog has more points to work with. But, don’t just settle on backing double-digit does in the NCAA Tournament against the spread. Also consider backing them on the moneyline.
Top 10 Sure Thing NCAA Tournament Teams Against the Spread
- Virginia Cavaliers 17-6
- Michigan State Spartans 18-7
- Gonzaga Bulldogs 18-7
- Houston Cougars 16-7-1
- Nevada Wolf Pack 15-7-1
- Villanova Wildcats 16-8
- Marquette Golden Eagles 16-9
- North Carolina Tar Heels 14-8-2
- Tennessee Volunteers 13-8-1
- LSU Tigers 14-9-1
Which teams should garner 1-seeds?Tennessee, Gonzaga, and Virginia are on their way to 1-seeds. However, Virginia lost straight up to UMBC in the only 1 vs 16 upset in tournament history last season. The Selection Committee might not give Virginia a 1-seed.
That could be to UVA’s benefit. Tony Bennett’s squad still possesses the best defense of any team in college hoops. Make sure to circle UVA as a potential favorite to back against the spread. The only team that’s stuck with Virginia this season is Duke, who beat the Cavaliers twice.
It’s unlikely Virginia faces Duke until deep in the tournament.