March Madness Cinderella Betting Trends: How Do They Do Against The Spread After Emotional Win?
Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/NCAA Photos via Getty Images. Pictured: Princeton celebrating its Cinderella upset in the 2023 NCAA Tournament.
Fairleigh Dickinson and Princeton join just nine other teams in March Madness history to have won their Round of 64 games as +15 underdogs or greater.
Never in history have there been two teams of this caliber advancing to the Round of 32.
Which raises the question: How do these sorts of teams do later on in the tournament?
If your intuition told you, “poorly,” you’re absolutely correct — in regards to the moneyline, at least.
Teams that were 15+ point underdogs in the Round of 64 have gone 2-7 in the Round of 32 — including losses in the first seven instances.
But the last two teams of this sort have won outright in the Round of 32.
The 2022 Saint Peter’s Peacocks won as about +310 underdogs against Murray State en route to an Elite Eight appearance. The Peacocks took down Purdue in the Sweet 16 as ridiculous +625 underdogs.
And Oral Roberts beat Florida as roughly +350 dogs in 2021 before bowing out in the following round.
Against the spread, these types of teams do fare better — and if recency bias takes hold of you, these Cinderellas are doing great.
Teams that were 15+ point underdogs in the Round of 64 have gone 4-5 in the Round of 32 — but the last three teams have all covered.
Alongside the aforementioned St. Peters and Oral Roberts teams, UMBC in 2018 covered against Kansas State as 10-point underdogs, losing by seven.
UMBC had been the first team to ever beat a No. 1 seed as a No. 16 seed. Fairleigh Dickinson joined them with the same honor on Friday night.
How Cinderellas Have Fared ATS In Round of 32
Note: refer to the list in the “20 Biggest Upsets” link above to glean how big an underdog the following teams were in the Round of 64, and who they played in that round.
- 2022: St. Peters (covered vs. Murray State)
- 2021: Oral Roberts (covered vs. Florida)
- 2018: UMBC (covered vs. Kansas State)
- 2016: Middle Tennessee (failed to cover vs. Syracuse)
- 2012: Norfolk State (failed to cover vs. Florida)
- 2001: Hampton (failed to cover vs. Georgetown)
- 1997: Coppin State (covered vs. Texas)
- 1993: Santa Clara (failed to cover vs. Temple)
- 1986: Arkansas-Little Rock (failed to cover vs. NC State)
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