March Madness Sweet 16 Betting Trends, Stats, Notes: Action Network Betting Primer
Getty Images. Design by Matt Roembke/Action Network. Pictured (left to right): Princeton’s Tosan Evbuomwan, Tennessee’s Olivier Nkamhoua, Houston’s Marcus Sasser and Arkansas’ Eric Musselman.
What. A. Weekend. What started with Princeton, made its way to Fairleigh Dickinson and then … back to Princeton, which became the third 15-seed to reach the Sweet 16, and ended with one of the wildest tourney covers in recent memory.
We’re here to answer tourney questions, dish out stats and facts, talk futures, coaches, Cinderella and more.
Welcome to the March Madness Sweet 16 edition of Action Network’s betting primer.
All data, stats and trends are updated as of Thursday, March 23, 3 p.m. ET.
1. We’re Going Down…
The story of the NCAA Tournament so far? It’s been the under-fest.
Unders are currently 35-17 (67.3%) in the 2023 NCAA Tournament, the best win percentage for unders through the Round of 32 in the last 30 years.
Part of the issue has been the 3-point shooting. Teams are shooting 31.2% through the Round of 32 — worst shooting performance in over a decade.
2. One To Rule Them All
The Elite Eight has involved a 1-seed in every NCAA Tournament since 1979.
Alabama and Houston, the streak is up to you.
3. “I’ll Take The Fade”
We’ve all heard the mantra, “fade the public.” It’s never smart to tail anything blindly, but so far in this year’s tournament — the mantra has been profitable.
The public is 20-27-1 ATS (42.6%) so far in March Madness. A $100 bettor would be down $880. In just the Round of 64 and 32, the public is 18-25-1 ATS — the fourth-worst start for the public since 2005 and worst since 2016-17.
4. Will The Streak Be Broken?
+ Since seeding began in 1978, every NCAA champion to play in a conference tournament made it to at least their conference semifinals (won 1 game) — 1998 tournament and on. The teams remaining that can break this streak: Michigan State & Kansas State.
+ Kansas State could become the 5th team in the Sweet 16 or later to open as the betting favorite (they were -1) and close as the underdog (now +1.5) since 2005.
Open as Favorite, Close as Underdog — Sweet 16 or Later
2016 Notre Dame: -1 to +1 vs. Wisconsin (ND 61-56)
2008 Kansas: -1.5 to +1.5 vs. Memphis (KU, 75-68)
2005 Kentucky: -1.5 to +1 vs. Michigan State (MSU, 94-88)
2005 Arizona: -1 to +1.5 vs. Oklahoma State (ARI, 79-78)
March Madness 2023
Futures Market & Notes
- Here’s a look at the BetMGM futures market, from opening to current lines to win it all:
What You Need To Know…
- Alabama is currently the favorite to win it all for the first time, with Houston now coming in at the No. 2 slot.
- The longshot to win it all is Princeton, which is 150-1 to win it all right now. Princeton opened the NCAA Tournament at 1000-1 to win it all entering the tournament. The first time Princeton even showed up on the odds board at BetMGM was back on March 12 at the 1000-1 number.
- The other big story is Michigan State. The Spartans opened the regular season at 100-1 odds, entered the tournament at 100-1 odds and are now down to 25-1.
- Update: Since Round of 32 ended on Sunday, the only team to see their future odds move at BetMGM was Tennessee moving from +1400 to +1100.
+ Tom Izzo is now 16-12 SU as a higher seed in the NCAA Tournament. His 16 wins are the most for any coach in the seeding era (Jim Boeheim, 15).
+ The Spartans are 21-11-1 against the first-half spread this season, including a win against Marquette in 1H and push on moneyline vs. USC. Sparty is 40-26-2 1H ATS in the last two seasons.
+ If Michigan State closes as a favorite, it would be the first team four-plus spots higher in seed differential to be a favorite in the Sweet 16 since 2015, where Michigan State and West Virginia were favorites (Sparty won, WVU lost) — the only two times it’s happened since 2008.
- Michigan State was 100-1 to win the National Championship entering the tournament this year. That would be Tom Izzo’s highest pre-tourney odds ever to make a Sweet 16. His previous high was 65-1 in 2018. His highest pre-tourney odds with a team to make the Elite 8 came in 2015 at 40-1 (Spartans made the Final Four).
- The Big Ten’s last hope. The conference hasn’t won a title since Michigan State won it all back in 2000.
- Izzo is the only remaining coach in the field who has won a National Championship.
+ Wildcats were 250-1 to win it all in the preseason. Since 2008-09, only four other top-three seeds had odds of 250-1 or longer to win it all in the preseason.
2023 3 Kansas State, (in Sweet 16)
2016 2 Xavier, 250-1, R32
2010 3 New Mexico, 300-1, R32
2018 3 Texas Tech, 400-1, E8
2018 3 Tennessee, 500-1, R32
- Through the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament, the 3 seed Kansas State has been -7.5, +3.5 and tonight +1.5 — a total of “-2.5” points.
- -7.5 vs. Montana State
- +3.5 vs. Kentucky
- +1.5 vs. Michigan State
That would be the 5th-lowest three-game spread total for any top-3 seed since 1985. Neither of the other four made the Final Four.
Lowest Combined Point Spread Through Sweet 16 for Top-3 Seed — Since 1985
1992 Florida State: +4.5 points (lost in Sweet 16)
2001 Ole Miss: +2.5 points (lost in Sweet 16)
2013 Marquette: 0 points (lost in Elite 8)
1996 Texas Tech: -1.5 points (lost in Sweet 16)
2023 Kansas State: -2.5 points
- 2-0 ATS to start March Madness, and they are 23-11 ATS this season — the best ATS percentage for any team still in the tournament.
Kansas State has excelled as a favorite going 14-3 ATS in lined games, but in toss-up games (3-point spread or less), it’s just 3-6 ATS.
Kansas State last made a Final Four back in 1964. Jerome Tang became the first Kansas State head coach to advance to the Sweet 16 in his first season with the school.
Michigan State’s defense has helped the under go 2-0 in the tourney so far. Kansas State is 2-0 to the over after averaging 76 PPG in its two games. When teams meet in the NCAA Tournament, one going over 2 straight or more, one going under in 2 straight or more, the under is 69-58-2 since 2005 in the tourney, including 8-4 in Sweet 16.
+ In Eric Musselman’s 15 NCAA Tournament games, the under is 10-4-1 and the first-half under is 11-4. Both Arkansas wins went under the total in the NCAA Tournament this year.
+ 8- or 9-seeds in the Sweet 16 are 18-9 SU and 18-8-1 ATS.
+ Arkansas knows its role under Musselman in the NCAA Tournament:
- Favorite: 5-2 SU, 2-5 ATS
- Underdog: 5-3 SU/ATS
If Arkansas pulls off the upset vs. Connecticut, Musselman would have the best win pct as an underdog with minimum 9 games coached as a dog in the NCAA Tournament.
+ Do we have a chance at new blood? Unless Michigan State, UCLA, Arkansas or Connecticut win, we’ll have a champion that hasn’t won a national championship either ever or in the last 30 years.
- Arkansas this weekend became the fourth team to ever defeat the 1-seed in their own region in back-to-back NCAA Tournaments. The other three teams made at least one National Championship game.
- 1988-90 Duke
- 2006-07 UCLA
- 2010-11 Butler
- 2022-23 Arkansas
- It was a heck of a weekend for the Big East, going 7-2 straight up and 6-3 against the spread in the 2023 NCAA Tournament. Playing all their games on Friday and Sunday, the Big East was profitable ATS on both days of the tourney.
- Dan Hurley has coached in eight NCAA Tournament games in his career, and the over is 6-2 in those contests.
- The Huskies are Sweet 16-bound for the first time since 2014.
In their last five Sweet 16 trips: five Elite Eights, four Final Fours and three National Championships.
+ Arkansas and Connecticut will be meeting for the first time since the 2017 Phil Knight Invitational, where Arkansas beat UConn, 102-67, their worst loss since 1977.
- Connecticut is the only current Sweet 16 team that’s won the NCAA Tournament since 2000.
- Florida Atlantic is 1-1 ATS in March Madness, but overall, it’s 22-11-1 ATS this season, the second-best ATS win percentage for any team left in March Madness (behind Kansas State).
- The Owls have won nine consecutive games straight up entering the Sweet 16 against Tennessee, which is just on a short two-game win streak after losing in the SEC Tournament. Since 2005, teams on a nine-plus game SU win streak, facing a team on just a two-game win streak in the Sweet 16 are 18-7 ATS.
- Florida Atlantic is 33-3 this season. No team seeded higher than a 5 has entered the Sweet 16 with a better win percentage all-time. Their nine-game SU win streak is the second-longest left in the tournament behind Gonzaga’s 11-game SU win streak.
+ Teams love to beat Duke, but what they do after beating Duke sometimes is the question. Since 2012, teams are 2-6 SU and ATS the round after beating Duke in the tournament and 3-9 SU in the last 15 years.
+ The Volunteers defense is top-notch. This is the first time a Rick Barnes team allowed under 60 points in consecutive tourney games since 2006 with Texas in Round 64 and Round 32. That Texas team went to the Elite Eight.
+ Both Tennessee wins went under the total in the NCAA Tournament. In Barnes’ last three trips to the Sweet 16, all three games went over the total.
+ Rick Barnes officially got off the schneid with the win and cover over Duke. Barnes is 20-33 ATS in the NCAA Tournament, with a near-even 27-26 straight-up record.
- Tennessee has never made a Final Four. The Volunteers have had their struggles as a top-seed in the Sweet 16.
Tennessee as Top-4 Seed in NCAA Tournament
- 2022 — Round of 32
- 2019 — Sweet 16
- 2018 — Round of 32
- 2008 — Sweet 16
- 2006 — Round of 32
- 2000 — Sweet 16
- 1999 — Round of 32
- 1981 — Round of 32
Barnes is just 3-14 ATS in his past 17 NCAA Tournament games, including games with Tennessee and Texas. That makes him the least profitable coach ATS in the tourney, per our Bet Labs database (since 2005).
Barnes is 16-27 ATS (37.2%) as a favorite in the NCAA Tournament, including a Round of 64 ATS loss to Louisiana. In the seeding era (since 1977-78), Barnes has the 4th-worst ATS pct as a favorite in the tourney (min. 20 games as favorite) and the worst ATS win pct as a favorite among the 21 head coaches with at least 30 games coached in the tournament as a favorite.
- As listed above, Barnes struggles ATS on long prep. He’s the only coach of the 16 remaining in the field to be below .500 ATS on 4-6 days rest, which is the prep between the Round of 32 and Sweet 16 games.
- Gonzaga was No. 2 in the AP Preseason poll, the highest-ranked team remaining.
Each Sweet 16 teams preseason AP Rankings (+ their seed ranking entering the NCAA Tournament):
- 2. Gonzaga (10)
- 3. Houston (2)
- 8. UCLA (5)
- 9. Creighton (22)
- 10. Arkansas (30)
- 11. Tennessee (14)
- 12. Texas (6)
- 19. San Diego State (17)
- 20. Alabama (1)
- 27. Connecticut (13)
- 28. Miami (20)
- 31. Michigan State (26)
- 33. Xavier (12)
- NR Princeton (61)
- NR Florida Atlantic (33)
- NR Kansas State (11)
- If Gonzaga advances to the Elite Eight, Mark Few is 110-93-8 ATS on two days of prep or less, but the Bulldogs are just 3-7 ATS in that spot this season.
+ The over is 37-24-1 in Few’s 62 total NCAA Tournament games coached, including 26-13 in the Round of 32 or later.
+ Gonzaga has been an underdog in the NCAA Tournament just once since the start of the 2016 tourney (26 of 27 games) — the 2017 title game vs. UNC, lost 71-65.
- Drew Timme is one 20+ point NCAA Tournament performance away from ten in his collegiate career — that would be the most such games in the tourney all-time.
- Gonzaga enters the Sweet 16 against UCLA after failing to cover the spread in both their Round of 64 and Round of 32 games, becoming the 13th team to do so since 2010. Those teams are 6-4 SU, 4-5-1 ATS in the Sweet 16, and since 2019, they are just 1-3 SU and 0-4 ATS.
(Not counting 2022 Gonzaga-Arkansas, who faced each other)
The only team since 1985 to start an NCAA Tournament 0-2 ATS and go on to win it all was Arizona in 1997.
AN ALL-TIME BACKDOOR COVER FROM TCU (+4.5) ✅pic.twitter.com/NrrQu5MpXw
— Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) March 20, 2023
+ Mick Cronin is 172-189-7 ATS as a favorite — one of the least profitable coaches ATS in Bet Labs, but recently, not so bad. The Bruins are 34-23-2 ATS as a favorite in the last two seasons, including 18-11-1 ATS this season.
+ Overall, Cronin has had tournament success with UCLA, going 9-2 straight up and 8-3 against the spread.
- UCLA has excelled ATS this season. Gonzaga not so much. Teams who are above .500 ATS, facing a team below 40% ATS (Gonzaga), are 34-26-3 ATS in the NCAA Tournament since 2005.
- Thursday will be exactly 17 years to the day of UCLA-Gonzaga, the Adam Morrison show:
Will play Thursday exactly 17 years to the day of this game pic.twitter.com/pCP3I0E968
— Stuckey (@Stuckey2) March 20, 2023
- Historically, Cronin has struggled ATS on three-plus days of prep, going 188-211-8 ATS, but the Bruins have covered three straight in that spot entering the Sweet 16.
- How important is David Singleton to UCLA’s rotation? According to KenPom, he’s in seven of the Bruins’ most-used lineups over their last five games.
+ Both UCLA wins in the NCAA Tournament went over the total. This is the first time in Cronin’s career he has gone over the total in consecutive NCAA Tournament games in the same season.
San Diego State
San Diego State
+ In the first game of the tournament vs. Charleston, San Diego State pushed the second-half spread, and it covered against Furman. The Aztecs are 9-17-2 against the second-half spread this season in lined games, a top-five worst second-half ATS team in the country.
- The Mountain West’s tournament struggles have been widely noted. How have they performed in the Sweet 16? The conference is 0-6 straight up and 1-5 ATS in the round and has never been to the Elite Eight. The Aztecs got the conference’s only cover in the round back in 2014.
- Both of San Diego State’s wins went under the total in the NCAA Tournament. Overall as a head coach, the under is 101-77-4 (56.7%) in his games and entering the Sweet 16, 10 consecutive Aztecs games have gone under the total.
Teams that went UNDER 2-0 in the NCAA Tournament this year:
San Diego State
— John Ewing 🦁 (@johnewing) March 20, 2023
+ Alabama coach Nate Oats is 18-9-3 against the spread when coaching games on two days of rest or less. The Tide are 9-2-1 ATS in their past 12 games in this spot with Oats. On extended rest, like the Sweet 16, Oats is 72-57 ATS (4 days or more) but is just 14-20 ATS in that spot the last two seasons.
- Alabama is the only remaining team in the field with an Adjusted Tempo in the top 30 in the country, according to KenPom.
+ The Tide won by 21 in the first round and 22 in the second round. Bama became the 36th team to win their Round 64/32 games by 20+ points. Those teams went 28-7 SU but just 17-18 ATS in the Sweet 16.
How those teams finished the season:
- 7 champions
- 3 runners-up
- 6 Final Fours
- 12 Elite Eights
- 7 Sweet 16s
- Jim Larranaga is 9-6 ATS in the NCAA Tournament as an underdog, and he hasn’t been a seven-point dog or higher since his run with George Mason.
- Miami has the worst Defensive Efficiency of any of the 16 teams remaining in the field, according to KenPom (108th).
- Hurricanes have close to 70% of the spread tickets vs. Houston. Only one underdog has closed with 70%+ of the betting tickets in the Sweet 16 or later in Bet Labs — Providence +7 vs. Kansas last year.
- Miami is in the Sweet 16 in back-to-back seasons for the first time ever, and this will be just the second time the Hurricanes face a 1-seed in their history after facing Kansas last season.
- Hurricanes have excelled as underdogs in the NCAA Tournament, going 8-3 ATS. If Miami closes above a 6.5-point underdog, it will be the biggest spread for it in the tourney since seeding began in 1977-78.
+ Most Sweet 16 Appearances — Florida Schools Since 2013
- Miami — 4
- Florida — 3
- Florida State — 3
- FAU — 1
- Florida Gulf Coast — 1
+ Houston was the betting favorite entering the tournament at +550. Prior to last year, the previous 10 pre-tournament favorites have advanced to the Elite Eight. Last year, Gonzaga lost to Arkansas in the Sweet 16.
+ With Houston and at his previous job at Indiana, Kelvin Sampson is 12-1 SU as a favorite in the NCAA Tournament (lost in Elite Eight last year).
+ In 16 NCAA Tournament games with Houston, the under is 11-5 when Kelvin Sampson is coaching.
+ Prior to last year, the previous 10 pre-tournament favorites have advanced to the Elite Eight. Last year, Gonzaga lost to Arkansas in the Sweet 16. Here’s a list Houston doesn’t want to make.
Pre-Tournament Favorite Loses in Sweet 16 or Earlier
- 2010: Kansas +200 (R32)
- 2004: Kentucky +350 (R32)
- 1994: UNC +600 (R32)
- 1990: Oklahoma +250 (R32)
+ Princeton is the fourth Ivy League team to make Sweet 16 (2010 Cornell, 1978-79 Penn). The Ivy League is 8-3 ATS in the NCAA Tournament since 2014.
+ Princeton itself has covered the spread in four straight NCAA Tournament games now and six consecutive games ATS this season.
- Princeton has the worst Offensive Efficiency of any of the sixteen teams remaining in the field (100th), according to KenPom .
- Princeton was 1000-1 to win it all entering the NCAA Tournament, which makes it the ninth team with 1000-1 odds entering the tourney to make the Sweet 16. Only one won: 2022 Saint Peter’s.
+ Princeton didn’t meet a single power conference team this season. It did, however, go 0-4 against top-100 competition in the regular season before beating Yale in the Ivy Tournament title game, taking out Arizona in the Round of 64 and beating Missouri in the Round of 32.
+ Princeton bucked the trend in the Round of 32. Since 2005, teams were 3-17 SU and 5-15 ATS the round after pulling off a double-digit upset in the tournament.
Here are the teams to win as a double-digit favorite in the Round of 64 and then win again in the Round of 32 as a dog of 6 or more:
- 2023 Princeton
- 2022 St. Peter’s — +13, won SU
- 2021 Oral Roberts — +11.5, covered, L
- 2013 Florida Gulf Coast — +14, covered, L
- 1998 Valparaiso — +8, covered, L
- 1988 Richmond — +10.5, didn’t cover
- The first-ever 6 vs. 15 matchup in NCAA Tournament history.
- In case it closes there, Creighton would become the 42nd team to be a double-digit favorite in the Sweet 16. Both lost last year in the Sweet 16 — Purdue and Gonzaga — but those teams overall are 36-5 straight up and just 19-20-2 ATS.
Overall, McDermott has been decent as a big favorite:
-10 or higher: 70-56-1 ATS
-8 or higher: 96-72-1 ATS
As an 8-point favorite or higher, McDermott is the eighth-most profitable coach in the country since 2005, making a $100 bettor $1,728.
- Double-digit favorites in the Sweet 16 also see an edge to the under, which is 20-10-1 since 1995.
- The Bluejays went 22-of-22 from the free-throw line in their win against Baylor, tying the NCAA Tournament free-throw record in a game set by Fordham in 1971.
+ Xavier and Texas have met twice in the NCAA Tournament — 2004 and 1990, both in Sweet 16. Both are 1-1 SU and ATS. The underdog won both meetings SU.
+ Xavier has never been to a Final Four. This is its ninth Sweet 16 appearance, and it’s been to the Elite Eight three times (2017, 2008, 2004). It’s 3-8 SU but 7-3-1 ATS in S16 and E8 (7-2-1 ATS as an underdog).
In Sean Miller’s last 15 NCAA Tournament games, he is 4-10-1 ATS, losing five consecutive games ATS in the Sweet 16 or Elite Eight (never been to Final Four).
+ Sean Miller is 21-11 SU, 18-12-2 ATS in the NCAA Tournament.
Miller has been an underdog once in the tournament over the last decade (13 tourney games). In the 2016 Round of 64, Arizona was +1 as 6-seed vs Wichita State (lost outright).
Sean Miller in NCAA Tournament
- Favorite: 18-4 SU, 10-10-2 ATS
- Underdog: 3-7 SU, 8-2 ATS
+ In 32 NCAAT games under Miller, the over is 20-11-1. He’s gone 9-3 to the over with Xavier and 11-8-1 to the over with Arizona.
+ Texas is 2-11-1 ATS in its past 14 NCAA Tournament games after a cover against Colgate and a push against Penn State. The Longhorns are also 2-8-1 ATS when the game is played past the Round of 64.
+ Texas is 6-0-1 ATS in its last seven games (7-1-1 ATS in its last nine games).
+ Both Texas wins went under the total in the NCAA Tournament.
- Longhorns face Xavier at the T-Mobile Center, where Texas is 5-1 SU and ATS, including 3-0 stretch in this year’s Big 12 Tournament enroute to a title.
+ This is Texas’ first trip to the Sweet 16 since 2008 when it made the Elite Eight. The Longhorns had gone through 10 straight tourney trips without a second-weekend appearance prior to this year. They’re 2-8-1 ATS in their past 11 Round of 32 and Sweet 16 games.
+ Rodney Terry becomes the fifth interim coach to lead their team to the Sweet 16 since the tournament expanded in 1985 and the first since Wisconsin in 2016.
The Coaches Database
- Dating back to 1978, the start of the seeding era in the NCAA Tournament, here is a search-based database of every head coach’s ATS record in the Sweet 16. Search a name and enjoy.
Most Sweet 16 Games — Coaches Still in 2023 NCAA Tournament
The Sweet Spot
The key to the Sweet 16 is the ability of a team and coach to turn the page from the previous weekend and focus on their next opponent. That time of prep is between four and six days, historically. Here are the best and worst coaches ATS since 2005 in that timeframe via Bet Labs.
Coach ATS Record on 4-6 Days Rest Since 2005
Jerome Tang: 9-5 ATS (64.3%)
Dusty May: 26-16 ATS (61.9%)
Brian Dutcher: 43-29 ATS (59.7%)
Mitch Henderson: 48-33-1 ATS (59.3%)
Dan Hurley: 75-52-6 ATS (59.1%)
Tom Izzo: 137-104-6 ATS (56.9%)
Nate Oats: 58-45 ATS (56.3%)
Sean Miller: 116-94-5 ATS (55.2%)
Kelvin Sampson: 73-61-1 ATS (54.5%)
Eric Musselman: 58-53-3 ATS (52.3%)
Mick Cronin: 99-94-5 ATS (51.3%)
Rodney Terry: 61-59-4 ATS (50.8%)
Jim Larranaga: 101-98-7 ATS (50.8%)
Greg McDermott: 110-108-4 ATS (50.5%)
Mark Few: 102-101-8 ATS (50.3%)
Rick Barnes: 104-132-2 ATS (44.1%)
Bet Labs Systems & Info
Let’s take a look at three NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 PRO Systems. Click each system for matches, bets and detailed profitability charts.
Notes: It’s not like unders haven’t been hot lately.
Notes: This system targets undervalued teams coming off of a good defensive performance. The system is 29-16 ATS in the Sweet 16.
Notes: Teams that fit this system in the Sweet 16 or Elite 8 are 26-16-4 ATS.
All Free To Me
Good free-throw shooting teams have excelled recently in March Madness.
Overall, teams that shoot 75% or higher vs. teams that shoot under that mark are 55.4% ATS since 2005, including 63-43-2 ATS since 2018 and 83-55-4 ATS since 2016.
Matches: UConn, Miami, Creighton, Texas
Up & Down League
The hot shooting tends to die off. Teams that shot 50% or higher in the Round of 32 are 37-49-2 ATS in the Sweet 16 since 2005, including 21-33-2 ATS when their opponent shot under 50% from the field in their previous game.
Matches: UConn, San Diego State, Texas
The Round Mound of Rebound
This is one I didn’t expect to see. High-volume rebounding teams have struggled in the tournament recently. Teams that average 35 RPG or more are 142-178 ATS in the NCAA Tournament since 2013. These teams have been under .500 ATS in all 10 seasons. This year, they are 4-7 ATS in the tournament.
Matches: FAU, Alabama, Houston, Princeton
San Diego State-Alabama is only Sweet 16 matchup of two teams with a 95 Defensive Efficiency or lower. Since 2010, we’ve seen 334 of these matchups. The over/under is exactly even, 164-164-6 in the NCAA Tournament.
In Sweet 16 or later, these teams are 49-39-2 to the under (55.7%), including 3-0 to under last two tournaments and 27-14 since 2014.
Matches: San Diego State/Alabama
Where is the Public Money?
Let’s look at the biggest bet teams to win it all across a few different sportsbooks right now.
What You Need To Know…
- At DraftKings, Houston is by far its biggest liability, with 18% of the handle on the Cougars to win it all. No other team has 10%.
- At BetMGM, Alabama leads the way in ticket and handle percentage, and luckily for it, Kansas came in at No. 2, as the Jayhawks were bounced in the Round of 32 by Arkansas.
- Thirteen teams have at least 2% of the total tickets to win it all at BetMGM:
In Sweet 16: Alabama (10.9%), Houston (7.2%), UCLA (6.5%), Texas (6.2%), UConn (4.1%), Tennessee (2.5%)
Eliminated: Kansas (8.8%), Purdue (6.1%), Duke (4.9%), Gonzaga (5.1%), Arizona (4.1%), Marquette (3.1%), Kentucky (2.2%)
Trends To Know
Does winning by a lot in the Round of 32 matter?
+ Teams to win by 10+ in the Round of 32 whose opponent wins by five or less are 17-12-2 ATS in the Sweet 16 since 2005.
Getting hot right now!
+ Teams who have won exactly two in a row SU entering the Sweet 16 — losing their last game entering the tournament — facing a team on a longer winning streak are just 9-20-2 ATS in the round, failing to cover the spread by 4.4 PPG.
The ATS Outliers
2-0 ATS Teams in NCAA Tournament: Princeton, Arkansas, San Diego State, Michigan State, Kansas State, Connecticut, Creighton, Miami
0-2 ATS Teams in NCAA Tournament: Gonzaga
Any Seeds To Be Weary Of?
A 5-seed has never won it all. A 4-seed or higher has won four times (all since 1985). A 3-seed or higher has won five times since 1990 (14 UConn, 11 UConn, 06 Florida, 03 Cuse, 97 Arizona).
- 1: 26
- 2: 7
- 3: 5
- 4: 1
- 6: 2
- 7: 1
- 8: 1
All Up To Princeton…
Since 1985, 21 double-digit seeds have made the Elite Eight. That’s 21 in 38 years, a little more than one every two years.
More recently, though, it’s been more common. Since 2016, we’ve had seven in six tournaments. Princeton is the only double-digit seed left in the Sweet 16.
Double-Digit Seeds vs. Non-Double-Digit Seeds in Sweet 16
8-2 ATS since 2017 and 13-4-1 ATS since 2012.
Dog Day Weekend
Since 2005, underdogs are 110-87-7 ATS in the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight, making them the two most — and only — profitable rounds for dogs in that span.
- S16/E8: +$1,732
- All other: -$4,233
(Based on $100/game wager)
Will The West Be Won?
Since Arizona in 1997, every national champion has been based east of Texas.
The teams left in the field that can break this streak: UCLA, San Diego State and Gonzaga.
Kansas State is the lone team in the Sweet 16 to be the lower seed but be listed as an underdog. Those such teams are 9-5 ATS in the Sweet 16 since 2005 and are 4-0 ATS since 2016.
Upset In the Mix?
No. 1 seeds in Sweet 16 are 114-31 SU. Since 2014, they are 21-4 SU, with two of the losses coming last year (Arizona/Gonzaga). When those 1-seeds face a team not from the Power 6 conference — SEC, Pac-12, ACC, Big East, Big 12, Big Ten — they are 44-7 SU. Prior to last year’s Arizona vs. Houston game, we hadn’t seen this type of matchup since 2014.
Big & Bad
The Big East is having its best NCAA Tournament performance since the conference reconfigured. The league is 7-2 in the Big Dance and has sent three teams to the Sweet 16 for the first time in its current makeup.
The Big East was also 6-3 ATS in the first weekend — its best ATS start for the conference since 2011.
The Great Wall
San Diego State allowed just 52 points in their win against Furman in the Round of 32. Underdogs who allow fewer than 60 points in their previous game are 220-165-8 ATS (57.1%) in the NCAA Tournament. Since 2010-11, when these teams play in the Round of 32 or later, they are 79-44-4 ATS (64.2%).
Madison Square Unders
MSG has been the house of unders in college basketball. Since 2007, unders are 187-135-6 (58.1%) at MSG, including 14-5 this season and 44-24-1 since 2019-20 in college basketball.
Worst NCAA Tournament Betting Losses in Sweet 16 or Later
2022: Purdue (-13) lost to Saint Peter’s
2002: Duke (-12) lost to Indiana
2011: Kansas (-11.5) lost to VCU
1998: Arizona (-10.5) lost to Utah
1997: Kansas (-10.5) lost to Arizona
2022: Gonzaga (-10) lost to Arkansas
1985: Georgetown (-10) lost to Villanova
Historical odds history via Sports Odds History
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