2013 Final Four Betting Trends
by Trevor Whenham - 4/1/2013
From a betting perspective, these are four pretty solid teams assembled for this year’s Final Four. All four teams delivered at least a small profit to bettors who backed them all season. That’s not the most common situation at this stage of the tournament.
That’s not the only thing that is noteworthy and a bit strange about this tournament. We have the top seed in the tournament still alive and favored to win it all, but they are up against two No. 4 seeds and a No.9 — all teams that clearly were better than where they ended up in the bracket. To get ready for the two big games on Saturday, here is a look at the betting trends affecting each of the four remaining teams:
The Cardinals are not only the top seed in this tournament but also a pretty good team to bet on over the course of the season. They are 23-15 ATS for 2012-13. While that is solidly profitable, it doesn’t even begin to do justice to their last month. Since March 2 they have played 10 games and have covered nine of them. The one game they didn’t cover was as 11-point favorites against Oregon in the Sweet 16. That eight-point win was so easy, though, that you hardly have to be concerned about greater implications of their failure to cover. The Cardinals have really played well away from Louisville. They were just 7-9 ATS away from home, but they were a very strong 8-3 ATS in true road game, and also 8-3 ATS in neutral-site contests like they are playing now.
Over the course of the season the team has had a slight tendency towards the “over” — 18-14 so far. That tendency has been massively magnified recently, though. They have gone over the total in each of their last eight games. That includes their regular-season finale, their march to the Big East Tournament title, and the NCAA Tournament.
At 18-16-1 ATS the Wolverines are the least profitable of the four remaining squads over the course of the season. They are an extremely strong 8-1 ATS in neutral-site games this year, though. That includes their four wins here and winning the Preseason NIT. The team wasn’t a bad team to bet on all season — just from the beginning of February to the middle of March. In the last 10 games of the regular season the team was just 5-5 straight up, and they managed to cover the spread once over that period. Wipe out that regrettable period — which the team has clearly left behind — and they were a much more impressive 17-7-1 ATS the rest of the way and 5-1 ATS in this postseason run.
With one of the best offenses in the country and a defense that hasn’t always been consistent, it’s no surprise that this team has tended towards the over. Twenty-one of their 35 games have gone over the total, including four of their last six and both of their games last weekend.
The Orange are a solid 20-15 ATS on the year — enough for a small profit on the season. Unlike the previous two teams, though, they were at their best at home where they were 10-5 ATS. They were just 4-6 in true road games. And despite going 5-2 ATS in their last seven neutral-site games, they were just 6-4 ATS in neutral-site games on the season. They have covered three of their four tournament games, with the only exception being the California contest — they were favored by 7.5 but won by six.
With a stout defense driven by their stifling 2-3 zone, it’s not a surprise that the team tends towards the “under” — they have gone under 18 times compared to 15 overs. They went under in their last two games, but they are 4-4 against the total since the start of the Big East Tournament, so the under isn’t assured despite the hype their defense is getting.
Wichita State Shockers
The Shockers have been a solid bet on the year at 19-14-2 ATS. They were a solid 7-4-2 ATS at home and an even better 7-3 ATS in neutral-site games. During their impressive tournament run they have covered all four spreads, including three as underdogs. They covered just one of three games in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament, though — a tournament they lost to Creighton — so their current success is a recent phenomenon.
The team has been a wash on the total — 14 overs and 15 unders. The story has been slightly different in neutral-site games, though, with six overs in nine contests. They have gone over in three of four tournament games and five of seven in the postseason.
Read more articles by Trevor Whenham
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