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How to Pick First-Round Upsets

If you want to make some real money during the NCAA Tournament (solid bracket games at SportsBetting.ag and Bovada), or avoid having your bracket busted, you’ve got to seek out at least a few upsets in the opening round. Here are a few trends that could help you do just that.

The trend that everyone needs to know about involves No. 12 vs. No. 5 seeds. These games have been upset havens in the tournament for more than a decade. At least one No. 12 seed have taken down a No. 5 seed in the opening round of the tournament for the last 10 years.

Last year was especially profitable for anyone who dumped some cash on the No. 12 seeds. Three No. 12 seeds, Arizona, Wisconsin, and Western Kentucky, all delivered upsets in the opening round, taking out No. 5 seeds Utah, Wisconsin, and Illinois.

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The only No. 5 seed to survive the opening round last season was Purdue, but they did lose ATS, getting past Northern Iowa 61-56 as an 8.5-point favorite. That’s an 0-4 record ATS for No. 5 seeds last season.

This year’s No. 5 vs. No. 12 matchups include:

Michigan State vs. New Mexico State
Temple vs. Cornell
Butler vs. UTEP
Texas A&M vs. Utah State

Stay away from the Blue Devils

One team bettors should avoid in the opening round is the Duke Blue Devils. Duke always receives plenty of buzz heading into the tournament and this year is no different, as they’ve been placed as a No. 1 seed. If you’re going to be betting the moneyline Duke deserves your cash, as they’re 22-2 in their last 24 games in the opening round. But if you’re a spread bettor don’t believe the hype surrounding the Blue Devils.

In those 24 games the Blue Devils are only 9-15 ATS. They’ve been even worse in recent years. In their last seven first-round matchups the Blue Devils are 1-6 ATS.

12 seeds are good, 14 seeds are not

While betting on No. 12 seeds has been the way to go in the tournament, No. 14 seeds have been a huge money loser for anyone hoping to cash in on an upset. There have been no upsets by No. 14 seeds in the last three years, so stay away from them.

Look at these numbers. Since 2007 the No. 3 seeds are a perfect 12-0 SU against No. 14 seeds. Things are almost as good ATS, as the No. 3 seeds are 10-2 ATS in those games. If you want your wallet to stay full avoid betting against a No. 3 seed later this week.

Don't forget to check out the bracket games at SportsBetting.ag and Bovada.

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