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.
ADVERTISEMENT: Odds and props on every March Madness game, along with tournament specials and bonuses galore - check out Bovada before tipoff!
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.
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.
|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|
|Long Beach St||68||New Mexico||75||-4.5||138.5||12||5||OVER||F|
|South Dakota St||60||Baylor||68||-7.5||140.5||14||3||UNDER||F|
|New Mexico St||66||Indiana||79||-6||155.5||13||4||UNDER||F|
|NC State||79||San Diego St||65||2.5||138.5||11||6||OVER||F|
|St. Bonaventure||63||Florida St||66||-6.5||130||14||3||UNDER||D|
|Long Island||67||Michigan St||89||-19||153||16||1||OVER||F|