March Madness: Sweet 16 Betting Trends

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You are at the stage of the bracket where some teams never lose and some teams never win. Wouldn’t it be nice to know the 2014 March Madness betting tendencies of those teams over the past decade? No problem.

Underdogs have been the best bet in recent years, as they are 12-4 ATS the past two tournaments in the Sweet 16. Add in 2011 and it's a 17-7 ATS streak over three years.

Three of the four No. 1 seeds remain in 2014, but they did not cover many spreads recently at this stage, going just 2-8 ATS in 10 games over the past two Madnesses (0-3 last year).

Higher-seeded teams were 5-3 last year and 6-2 in 2013 for an 11-5 SU run in the Sweet 16 round.

Check out the Sweet 16 betting trends and watch for lines (and bonus specials) at Bovada.

South Region

Florida 1 vs UCLA 4
Gators 3-0 SU and ATS vs Bruins in Madness since 2006 (all games OVER)
UCLA 4-1 SU and ATS past five games as underdogs
UCLA 1-7 ATS in Sweet 16 since 1997
Florida won six straight Sweet 16 games (4-2 ATS)

Dayton 11 vs Stanford 10
Just second time for 11 vs 10 matchup since 1996 (No. 11 VCU beat FSU in 2011)
Dayton 6-1 ATS past seven games
Dayton 8-3 ATS in 11 games as dog this season
Six of past seven Stanford games played UNDER the total
Stanford 10-2 SU past dozen games as favorites

East Region

Michigan State 4 vs Virginia 1
Michigan State 6-1 ATS past seven games
Michigan State has played four straight UNDERs in Sweet 16 play
Spartans just 3-7 SU vs 1 seeds since 1996
Top seeds are 12-4 SU past 16 games vs 4 seeds
The only time since 1996 that a 4 was favored vs a 1, No. 4 Louisville beat Washington in 2005
Virginia 18-1 SU past 19 games overall

Iowa State 3 vs Connecticut 7
Iowa State won and covered six straight games
UNDER is 13-3 past 16 UConn games (but two OVERs in tournament)
UConn 7-2 ATS past nine tournament games
Iowa State 6-2 ATS past eight tournament games

West Region

Arizona 1 vs San Diego State 4
Arizona is 7-1 ATS past eight tournament games
Last year, No. 4 seeds went 2-1 SU against top seeds
UNDER is 6-0-1 in seven meetings of these teams since 2005
San Diego State 3-1 ATS vs Arizona since 2009 in preseason tournaments

Baylor 6 vs Wisconsin 2
Baylor is 10-3-1 ATS past 14 games overall
Wisconsin 1-4 SU past five trips to Sweet 16
Wisconsin 7-2 ATS past nine tournament games
2 seeds are 8-1 SU since 2002 vs 6 seeds
6 seeds are 7-3 ATS past 10 vs 2 seeds

Midwest Region

Kentucky 8 vs Louisville 4
Kentucky is 8-2-1 ATS past 11 games vs Louisville
11 of past 14 meetings played UNDER the total
Wildcats on 5-0 ATS run after an 0-5 ATS run
Louisville is 6-1 ATS past seven games
Louisville is 14-1 SU past 15 games as favorites
Kentucky on 7-0 SU, 6-0-1 ATS run in tournament games
Louisville is 6-1 ATS in Sweet 16 since 1997
8 seeds have played 4 seeds three times since 2000 and won all three

Tennessee 11 vs Michigan 2
2 seeds are 5-0 SU, 4-1 ATS since 11 seeds since 2002
Michigan 9-1 SU past 10 games
Tennessee is 7-1 ATS past eight games overall
UNDER is 10-2 past 12 games when Vols are underdogs
Michigan is 7-1 ATS past eight tournament games

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Underdogs have been excellent in the past two tournaments, rolling to an 11-5 ATS record in Sweet 16 action. Oregon and Florida Gulf Coast are both double-digit underdogs after crashing the 2013 March Madness bracket as No. 12 and No. 15 seeds respectively. But not everyone is cheering on the underdogs.

“Florida Gulf Coast is a great story as a 15 seed making the Sweet 16 and they are getting lots of positive press,” said Kevin Bradley of Bovada.lv, who had 80 per cent of early betting on the Eagles. “Normally we are happy when underdogs cover spreads, but we are cheering for the Gators as 13-point favorites because so much of the early action is on FGCU.”

Three of the four No. 1 seeds remain, but they did not cover many spreads recently at this stage, going just 2-5 ATS in seven games over the past two Madnesses.

Bradley would like to see Oregon sent packing by No. 1 Louisville because they have a 300/1 wager on the Ducks to win the tournament.

Still, higher seeds tend to win at this stage of the competition. Higher-seeded teams were 6-2 SU a year ago but just 3-5 SU in 2011 for a two-year total of 9-7 SU.

There are two cases where 1 seeds face 4 seeds and there has been a reliable UNDER trend when that happens historically. The Under is 9-3 in the past 12 games where a No. 1 seed plays a No. 4 seed. Indiana vs Syracuse in the East and Kansas vs Michigan in the South fit the bill.

Last year, three teams seeded 10 or higher played in the Sweet 16 and all three covered the spread (NC State, Ohio, and Xavier). If that pattern holds up, Oregon as the 12 seed would cover against No. 1 Louisville in the Midwest region, Florida Gulf Coast will cover against No. 3 Florida as the first-ever 15 seed in the Round of 16, and No. 13 La Salle will upset No. 9 Wichita State in the West Region.

The East region sees the top four seeds still intact.

Midwest Trends

Louisville (1) vs Oregon (12)
Cardinals 6-0-1 ATS past seven tournament games
Cardinals are 6-0 ATS (5-1 SU) past 6 Sweet 16 games
Cardinals 9-0 ATS in past nine games this season
Cardinals 8-0 ATS past 8 games as favorite
UNDER is 8-1 past 9 Oregon games as underdog

Michigan State (3) vs Duke (2)
Spartans 6-2 ATS past 8 trips to Sweet 16
Duke 2-5-1 ATS past 8 trips to Sweet 16
Duke 6-1 SU, 1-5-1 ATS past 7 vs Spartans
UNDER is 7-1 past 8 Spartans games
Spartans 13-5 ATSD past 18 games as underdog

South Trends

Kansas (1) vs Michigan (4)
Jayhawks 2-0 SU, 0-2 ATS recently vs Michigan
Jayhawks 11-2 ATS past 13 games overall
Jayhawks 10-2 ATS past 12 games as favorite
UNDER is 11-1 past 12 Kansas tournament games

Florida (3) vs Florida Gulf Coast (15)
FGCU first ever 15 seed to play in Sweet 16
Florida 11-3 ATS past 14 tournament games
UNDER is 9-2 past 11 Gator games overall
Florida Gulf Coast is 14-2 SU past 16 games overall

West Trends

Wichita State (9) vs LaSalle (13)
Shockers 6-1 SU past 7 games as favorite
LaSalle 6-2 ATS past 8 games overall

Arizona (6) vs Ohio State (2)
Arizona 13-3 ATS past 16 games as underdog
Ohio State 8-2 ATS past 10 games overall
Arizona 5-0 ATS past 5 tournament games
OVER is 6-1 past 7 Ohio State Madness games
Ohio State 9-0 SU, 7-2 ATS past 9 games as favorite

East Trends

Indiana (10) vs Syracuse (4)
Indiana 1-5 ATS past 6 Madness games
Syracuse 0-3 ATS past 3 tournament games as underdog
Indiana 2-6 ATS past 8 games overall
Indiana 1-6 ATS past 7 games as favorite

Marquette (3) vs Miami (2)
No trends of note

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