NCAA Tournament Tempo Report: How Pace Will Affect First Round Betting Totals

NCAA Tournament Tempo Report: How Pace Will Affect First Round Betting Totals article feature image
  • Pace of play is one of the factors in determining how to bet over/unders in the NCAA tournament.
  • Ryan Collinsworth lists the fastest and slowest teams playing in the first round along with the matchups with contrasting styles.

The NCAA Tournament is just days away, and it’s time to start planning your viewing (and betting) schedules.

Let’s take a quick look at this season’s fastest and slowest teams in the field. I’ll also highlight some of the fastest and slowest First Round matchups and the interesting style clashes to monitor.

Check out the following articles for more in-depth analysis on each First Round matchup.


Fastest Teams in the Field

You’re definitely going to want to tune-in to Buffalo’s First Round matchup, because the Bulls boast one of the elite high-flying offenses in the country. The Bulls rank third in average possession length (14.4), fifth in scoring offense (85.0) and 19th in AdjO (114.9).

They’ll play the winner of Arizona State-St. John’s from the 11-seed play-in game. The Sun Devils rank 46th in Adj. Tempo and the Red Storm come in at 48th. No matter who Buffalo faces in that First Round matchup, it’s sure to be entertaining basketball.


Slowest Teams in the Field

If you love high-octane basketball, you should maybe avoid watching games from the entire South Region. 10 of the 16 teams in this region rank in the bottom 100 in Adjusted Tempo, and eight of them rank in the bottom 50.


Fastest First Round Matchups

All-time, the under has gone 808-722-23 (52.8%) in games with an opening total of 160 or higher. In the postseason, however, value on the under ticks up significantly. The under has gone 74-54-6 (57.8%) in such games during postseason play, which translates to a 11.3% ROI.


Slowest First Round Matchups

The over is 133-118-1 (53.0%) in postseason games with an opening total of 120 or lower, which translates to a 2.9% ROI. There’s also cause to fade favorites in these snail-like matchups.

Postseason favorites with an average pace of 66 or lower have gone a paltry 183-201-9 ATS for an ROI of -7.4%. Notable teams that fit this trend include Nevada, Michigan, Villanova, Kansas State, Virginia and Wisconsin.


Biggest First Round Style Clashes

In style clashes like these, slow underdogs have the clear edge. Postseason dogs with an average pace of 66 or lower have gone 204-167-7 (55.0%) ATS with an ROI of 7.0%. Notable teams that fit this trend include Florida, Baylor, Saint Mary’s, Old Dominion and Oregon.

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