The 2020 NCAA Tournament is less than a week away, with the First Four tipping off next Tuesday in Dayton. Here are a few tips for betting on the Big Dance this season at Mybookie. Let’s see how the March Madness odds and some important tips will be for this 2020 March Madness.
Must Have Tips to Mastering 2020 March Madness Betting
Don’t bet on a team to win its first national title.
There are currently 353 schools playing Division I basketball. Only 35 of them have won a national title. In 2018, Virginia was the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament but stunned by No. 16 UMBC in the first round – still the only 16 seed to beat a 1. Yet last year, the Wahoos joined the exclusive club as first-time national champions. Very unlikely it happens a second year in a row as the Cavs were the first first-time national champion since Florida in 2006.
Perhaps the best school yet to win a title? Gonzaga, which will certainly be a No. 1 seed in the 2020 NCAA Tournament. The Zags have earned a No. 1 seed three times in the last seven seasons, they’ve made the Sweet 16 (or better) each of the last five years, including the national runner-up finish in 2017. We just don’t think they can win it all.
Don’t bet on a seed worse than No. 8 to win it all … or a No. 5.
No team seeded higher than 8th has reached the national championship game title game as of yet. A No. 8 has reached the title game a total of three times and has gone 1-2. That No. 8 was Villanova in 1985 when the Wildcats shocked high-powered Georgetown in a memorial title game. That was the first year the Big Dance had expanded to 64 teams.
Meanwhile, every team seeded in the Top 8 has won it all … except a No. 5. Those schools have gone 0-3 all-time in national championship games. Strange.
Bet a No. 5 to beat a No. 12 in the first round of the 2020 March Madness.
One of the most popular first-round upset bets is picking a No. 5 to beat a No. 12. Since the field expanded to 64 teams in 1985, a No. 12 has gone 50-90 against a No. 5, a winning percentage of 35.7. Last year, three of the four No. 12s beat the No. 5s (Mississippi State, Wisconsin and Marquette were the upset losers). The fourth No. 5, Auburn, escaped No. 12 New Mexico State by just a point when the Aggies missed two late free throws.
Since 2000, No. 5 seeds have lost straight up all three times they weren’t favored against No. 12 seeds. It last happened in 2017 when No. 5 Minnesota was a slight underdog to No. 12 Middle Tennessee.
Overall, at least one No. 12 has beaten a No. 5 in all but five NCAA Tournaments: 1988, 2000, 2007, 2015 and 2018. While more than 50 percent of the No. 12 seeds that won in the first round fail to advance past the second round, 21 teams have made it to the Sweet 16.
Just don’t go betting a No. 12 to reach a Final Four. That has never happened. The furthest a No. 12 has gotten was in 2002 when Missouri reached the Elite Eight, losing to No. 2 seed Oklahoma.
On average, about 6.1 double-digit seeds win in the first round, 2.2 in the second round and 0.5 in the Sweet 16. In 2019, eight double-digit seeds won in the first round and just one advanced to the Sweet 16 – Oregon. No team seeded worse than a No. 5 seed made the Elite Eight.
Steer clear of No. 1 overall seed to win it all.
Since 2004, when the NCAA Tournament selection committee began announcing the overall No. 1 seed, that team has reached the Final Four less than 50 percent of the time (seven out of 16), and has failed to get that far each of the past four years. Duke was the No. 1 overall last year and lost in the Elite Eight to Michigan State. In that 15-year span, the No. 1 overall seed has won the title just three times and has failed to survive the first weekend four times. Meanwhile, the other No. 1 seeds have combined to win seven championships.
Conference tournaments matter.
Short but sweet: No team has ever won a national championship after losing its first game in the conference tournament, even if that first game came after a double-bye.
Pick at least two Big Ten teams to reach Sweet 16.
The Big Ten was largely considered the deepest overall conference in the nation this season, although no Big Ten school is going to be a top seed in the NCAA Tournament. Rather amazingly, at least two Big Ten teams have reached the Sweet 16 in 12 straight seasons: Michigan, Michigan State and Purdue did a year ago. Thirty-three Big Ten teams have made the Sweet 16 since 2008.