Michigan or Colorado State? How NCAA Tournament Double-Digit Seeds Perform as Favorites Against the Spread

Michigan or Colorado State? How NCAA Tournament Double-Digit Seeds Perform as Favorites Against the Spread article feature image
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Justin Casterline/Getty Images. Pictured: Head coach Juwan Howard of the Michigan Wolverines.

NCAA Tournament seeds are just that… seeds. Just because the committee assigns a seed to each team doesn't mean it's an actual — or accurate — measure of expected performance.

A prime example of this is Thursday's Michigan vs. Colorado State Round of 64 matchup. Michigan, the No. 11 seed in the South Region, is a 2.5-point favorite over Colorado State, the No. 6 seed.

And more importantly, what does this mean from an NCAA Tournament perspective? How often are double-digit seeds favored in the Round of the 64 and how have those favorites historically performed in this situation?

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NCAA Tournament Betting Trends

Interestingly, double-digit seeds have performed very well against the spread (ATS) in the NCAA Tournament's Round of 64, though the sample is extremely small and too small to bet blindly.

This situation has happened 28 times since the start of the 2005 NCAA Tournament, and here is the breakdown per seed:

  • 10 seeds: 10-9 (52.6%) ATS
  • 11 seeds: 6-1 (85.7%) ATS
  • 12 seeds: 2-0 (100%) ATS

No 13 to 16 seed has been a favorite in the Round of 64 during that span.

For what it's worth, double-digit seeds continue to show well against the number as favorites as they advance throughout the NCAA Tournament, posting a 31-17 (64.6%) ATS record overall.

Again, the sample isn't huge, but here is the breakdown of double-digit seeds as favorites, broken down by NCAA Tournament round:

  • Round of 64: 18-10 (64.3%) ATS
  • Round of 32: 12-3 (80%) ATS
  • Sweet 16: 1-4 (20%) ATS

At the time of writing, 68% of Michigan vs. Colorado State spread bettors are laying the short number with the Wolverines.

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Doug Ziefel
Jun 13, 2024 UTC