There is nothing better than March Madness. Once the Bracket is announced on Selection Sunday, there is a massive amount of information regarding betting tips, strategies and trends regarding how to bet on the NCAA Tournament games. Some of these tips and trends can lead you to profits, but others may lead you to forfeit your kid’s college funds. Below are some trends to be aware of when betting on March Madness games.
Trend #1 – #5 vs. #12 seeds
Over the last few years, the 5 vs 12 seed upsets have become increasingly popular during the March Madness Tournament. So much so that people expect at least one #12 seed upset in the first round.
This matchup continues to produce profits for those picking the No. 12 seed, whether against the spread or in their straight-up in their bracket pools. Over the past four tournaments, #5 seeds are 10-7 SU and 5-11-1 ATS, including a 1-3 SU and 0-4 ATS record in the 2019 NCAA Tournament.
Since 2012 a #12 seed has had at least one upset in every tournament except two (2015, 2018). There were more than one upsets by a #12 seed in that same time span.
In 2022, two #12 seeds were able to advance to the second round. #12 beat #5 Uconn, and #12 Richmond beat #5 Iowa.
Trend #2 – Fade #2 Seeds Early On.
History Suggests that the Second Round has not been too kind to #2 Seeds. More #2 Seeds have been knocked out of the round of 32 than any other round in the tournament. More recently, only twice since 1997 that all four No. 2 seeds advanced to the Sweet 16.
In 2022, we have already seen one #2 Seed go down (Kentucky) in the First Round, and another #2 Seed (Auburn) lost in the round of 32. According to BracketResearch, 84% of the time, a #2 seed will fall in this round.
Trend #3- Adjusted Defensive Efficiency
Adjusted defensive efficiency (points allowed per 100 possessions multiplied by the national average defensive efficiency divided by the opponents’ offensive efficiency) made famous by Ken Pomeroy.
Teams that rank high in adjusted defensive efficiency typically do well in the NCAA Tournament. Since 2012, only two Final Four teams have ranked outside the Top 40 in adjusted defensive efficiency that season: Kansas (47th) in 2018 and UCLA (46th) in 2021. Seventeen of those 36 national semifinal programs ranked Top 10 in that metric, and nine were in the Top 3.
Last year’s Final Four programs ranked as such in adjusted defensive efficiency at KenPom.com: Gonzaga (11), Baylor (22), UCLA (46), and Houston (9).
Below are the 16 Remaining Teams in This year’s Tournament and their Adj. Defensive Efficiency.
Texas Tech (1)
St. Peter’s (38)
Miami FL (121)
Iowa St (5)
When betting on March Madness games, it is crucial to find the best sportsbook out there. Below I have listed the Top 3 online sportsbooks.
- BetUS – 125% Deposit Bonus up $2,500
- Bovada – 50% Deposit Bonus up to $250
- MyBookie – 100% Deposit Bonus up to $1,000
It may be hard to pick out whether March Madness trends are real. Avoid any trends that involve conference relevance, ATS or Over/Under trends and Seed vs Seed, outside 5 vs 12. As we explained earlier, the 5 vs 12 trend is the only matchups with consistent results.
Stick to trends that are more number and statistical-based. Focus on Experienced coaches, offensive and defensive efficiency, and away/neutral court performances.
Everyone loves a Cinderella story, but unfortunately, not every story can end with a happy ending. Despite hoping an underdog can overcome all the obstacles of the NCAA Tournament, a #1 Seed usually ends up cutting down the nets. 92% of tournament winners since 1996 have been a top-three seed, with No. 1 seeds winning 17 times in that span.
Remember, March Madness is meant to be fun. Have fun with your bets and brackets. Enjoy the Madness!
Kurt Blakeway – Sporting Betting Analyst
Kurt is a Sports Betting Analyst for Safest Betting Sites. He enjoys all things MLB, NFL, CFB, and CBB. While he is a fan first, he is always trying to gain an edge on the books to make a little bit of money.