NCAA Tournament Betting Trends: Teams to Avoid
The NCAA Tournament is not so much unlike any other major sports betting event. The betting windows get crowded by square sports bettors that don’t understand the tourney. Sports betting is contrarian by nature. That is created by the upside-down nature of the sports betting world. What seems obvious is often the inverse of those opinions. Here is a look at what the bettor may see as an advantage, that ends in disappointment, because what looks obvious isn’t.
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ATS numbers for apparently advantaged teams are all negative:
A team that comes into the Tournament with a +5 rebound per game advantage over their opponent is 44-61-2 ATS 41.9% AGAINST (Utah State, Houston)
A team that averages 3 or more assists per game than their opponent is 68-83-1 ATS 45.0% AGAINST (FDU, Arizona, Xavier, Marquette, Gonzaga, Kansas State, Indiana)
A team that averages 10 or more points than their opponent is 37-51 ATS 42.0% AGAINST (Pitt, Furman, Oral Roberts, Gonzaga)
A team that allows 60 ppg or less on the season is 64-78 ATS 45.1% AGAINST (Houston, Tennessee, St. Mary’s)
A team that averages 82 ppg or more is 56-70-6 ATS 44.4% AGAINST (Furman, Alabama, Arizona, Oral Roberts, Gonzaga)
A team that averages 3 or more offensive rebounds per game than their opponent is 63-77-4 ATS 45% AGAINST (Arizona State, Duke, Texas A&M, UCLA, Baylor)
A team that averages 3 fewer turnovers a game than their opponent is 34-40-1 ATS 45.9% AGAINST: (Houston, Texas A&M, UNC Asheville)
This clarifies the big picture, that where there seems to be a wide advantage that can create a win, has an inverse, or contrarian, outcome! This displays why so many lose at sports betting. What seems like helpful input in making a decision, becomes part of the reason for losing! If you look closely, you see several teams appearing multiple times. These are teams the bettor should stay away from, or play against, or leave the game alone and move on.
Notes of Past Observation:
The Big Sky in their last 15 appearances in the Tournament is 0-15 SU, with the average loss coming by -19.73 ppg. Look elsewhere for an upset!
The NCAA Tournament is a DOG Tournament. Over the past 591 games, dogs are 305-276-10 at 52.5% ATS. I call this a vig eater. They win blindly enough to cover the vig. If you see something you like on a dog, you are starting from a 2.5% advantage.
The Pac-12 has quietly dominated the Tournament when posted as an underdog, where they collectively own a 30-15 ATS mark. (USC +2 over Michigan St.)
Many bettors in this Tournament love the best teams. If we define that as a team that has 3 or fewer losses, these fan favorites are 34-52-1 ATS 39.5% often under tremendous pressure, and trying to cover padded lines, and it has worked for the opponent. Many cases of this is from the mid or low major teams. The 3 or fewer losses usually means they did not go out and play very good teams before conference play.
Hope you have a great NCAA Tournament, and this is some helpful material to avoid some common pitfalls.
May the hook be with you!
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