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First-Round Bracket Trends

For the second straight year, higher-ranked teams were slightly profitable in the first round, as the higher seeds went 18-14 ATS in the 2013 tournament.

Will 2014 see more of the same or is there more rooom for Cinderella at the sportsbook windows? Florida is a top seed again, and the last time they were in this position their first-round margin of victory was 43 points.

Arizona is a No. 1 seed again and they ride a 6-0 ATS record in six recent tournament games. Virginia has historically struggled at the dance, but this Cavaliers team is a solid one and should buck the 1-4 SU streak in recent tournament action.

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The Wichita State Shockers, the only unbeaten team in the bracket, has been dominant in all areas, even against the spread. They will be favored big against the winner of the Cal Poly/Texas Southern play-in game.

Favorites got the best of underdogs in the first round of the 2012 bracket, but when the dogs bit, they bit hard. First-round betting trends show that the chalk went 18-14 ATS in 32 games in 2012. But in those 14 games where the underdogs covered, they won outright 11 times.

It included the biggest upset in March Madness history when No. 15 Norfolk State took out No. 2 Missouri as a 21.5-point dog. It also included No. 15 Lehigh's upset of second-seeded Duke as 11-point underdogs and VCU's win over Wichita State as 7.5-point underdogs.

Favorites were just 13-19 ATS a year earlier and 10 of those 19 covers were outright wins by the dogs.

[ Get odds on every tournament game, along with matchup stats and trends ]

In 2010, favorites were 13-18-1 ATS, with underdogs winning outright 11 times in those 18 covers. Over three seasons, where underdogs cover the spread, they win outright at a clip of 11-3, 10-9, and 11-7 (32-19).

"It means, from a historical standpoint, that it might be a better idea to bet underdogs on the moneyline since the payout is better," said Mike Pickett of OddsShark.com.

[ Also see 1 vs 16 stats, 2 vs 15 stats, 3 vs 14 stats, 4 vs 13 stats, 5 vs 12 stats, 6 vs 11 stats, 7 vs 10 stats and 8 vs 9 stats ]

The story is different when it comes to totals where UNDERs have prevailed at a money-making clip. In 2012, totals were 19-12-1 favoring UNDER. It was 18-12-2 favoring the UNDER in 2011 and 18-14 in 2010 for a three-year total of 55-38-3.

Check out last year's first-round March Madness trends and results. Where the fave-dog category is bolded, it means the underdog won the game SU. Odds are for Team2.


Team1 Score Team2 Score Odds Total Seed Seed OU Fave/Dog
Colorado St 41 Murray St 58 -5 138 11 6 UNDER F
Southern Miss 64 Kansas St 70 -5.5 134 9 8 PUSH F
Davidson 62 Louisville 69 -5.5 139.5 13 4 UNDER F
Montana 49 Wisconsin 73 -8.5 117 13 4 OVER F
BYU 68 Marquette 88 -5.5 154 14 3 OVER F
UNC Asheville 65 Syracuse 72 -15.5 147.5 16 1 UNDER D
Long Beach St 68 New Mexico 75 -4.5 138.5 12 5 OVER F
Harvard 70 Vanderbilt 79 -5.5 123.5 12 5 OVER F
Western Kentucky 66 Kentucky 81 -26.5 136.5 16 1 OVER D
VCU 62 Wichita St 59 -7.5 137.5 12 5 UNDER D
West Virginia 54 Gonzaga 77 2 133 10 7 UNDER D
South Dakota St 60 Baylor 68 -7.5 140.5 14 3 UNDER F
UConn 64 Iowa St 77 1.5 137 9 8 OVER F
New Mexico St 66 Indiana 79 -6 155.5 13 4 UNDER F
Loyola 59 Ohio St 78 -17.5 131.5 15 2 OVER F
Colorado 68 UNLV 64 -5.5 136.5 11 6 UNDER D
Texas 59 Cincinnati 65 -3.5 129.5 11 6 UNDER F
NC State 79 San Diego St 65 2.5 138.5 11 6 OVER F
Alabama 57 Creighton 58 1 136 9 8 UNDER D
Virginia 45 Florida 71 -2.5 122.5 10 7 UNDER F
St. Bonaventure 63 Florida St 66 -6.5 130 14 3 UNDER D
Belmont 59 Georgetown 74 -3.5 137 14 3 UNDER F
Vermont 58 North Carolina 77 -15.5 144.5 16 1 UNDER F
Norfolk St 86 Missouri 84 -21 144.5 15 2 OVER D
Saint Louis 61 Memphis 54 -2.5 127 9 8 UNDER D
Lehigh 75 Duke 70 -11 148.5 15 2 UNDER D
Ohio 65 Michigan 60 -5.5 125.5 13 4 UNDER D
Purdue 72 St. Mary's 69 -2 141.5 10 7 UNDER D
Long Island 67 Michigan St 89 -19 153 16 1 OVER F
Xavier 67 Notre Dame 63 -2 123.5 10 7 OVER D
South Florida 58 Temple 44 -3 120.5 12 5 UNDER D
Detroit 50 Kansas 65 -13.5 143 15 2 UNDER F