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Bracket Seed Trends: First Round

How can you find meaningful betting trends in your bracket when different teams and different seeds year after year?

The fact is, the same types of teams fall into the same types of seeds each year, so the motivation and the styles are often similar. Long story short, there are some March Madness seed trends that can turn a profit year after year.

And it’s not always the point spread – often matchups trend toward the over-under.

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1 vs 16 trends

Looking for a straight up win for a 16 over a No. 1? It has never happened and won’t this year either. But the 16s haven’t covered many spreads lately either.

They are 2-6 ATS in the past two Madnesses, despite point spreads ranging from 15.5 to 25.5 points.

UNDER has been the play of choice however lately, perhaps because of rust from the No. 1s or slow-down tactics by the No. 16s. Whatever, the UNDER is 9-3 past three Marches. [ Live March Madness Odds ]

2 vs 15 trends

We theorize that the same factors trending to UNDERs in 1 vs 16 matchups also applies here in 2 vs 15. Small schools play it a little safe and are little overwhelmed by the big schools at No. 2.

Whatever the case, if you bet UNDER on every 2 vs 15 the past six seasons, you would be 17-6-1.

3 vs 14 trends

Looking for Cinderella at No. 14 has been futile in recent years, with only three of them upsetting No. 3 seeds in the past decade. Most recently, Ohio stomped Georgetown in 2010.

The 3s have been the best bet among the high seeds, perhaps indicating they feel slighted by not getting a higher seed. Possibly, the pressure is les and they hit the ground running at tournament time.

Whatever the case, No. 3 is 11-5 ATS past 4 seasons vs 14s.

4 vs 13 trends

Lucky 13s have been unlucky for those betting on No. 4 seeds. 2004 and 2007 were the only years that at least one 4 seed didn’t go up in smoke at the hands of a 13. In 2001 and 2008, they took out two No. 4 seeds each year.

Last year, it was Morehead State upsetting Louisville. Of late however, 13s are on a 9-5 ATS run and they have covered spread at least twice each year since the 4’s shut them out in 2007.

5 vs 12 trends

One of the biggest bracket-busting trends involves 12s beating up No. 5 seeds. And with a 10-4 ATS mark in the past 14 meetings, this is a spot where many brackets are busted. Picking the wrong No. 5 seeds to advance is a bracket contest killer.

2007 was the only year in the past 11 where all the 5s moved on. This year, the No. 5s include Temple, Wichita State, New Mexico and Vanderbilt.

6 vs 11 trends

The lower seeds have dominated this 6 vs 11 matchup in recent years as well. The No. 11 team is 8-3-1 ATS past three Marches – the UNDER is identical 8-3-1 in those 12 games.

7 vs 10 trends

The No. 10 slot is another one where the higher seeds have been beaten up against the spread. The No. 10s are 9-3 ATS past 12 games over three Marches. And it’s not just covering the spread. In those 12 games, the lower-seeded teams are 7-5 SU.

8 vs 9 trends

As you might expect, the 8 vs 9 matchup is so close that its almost a perfect split between 8 and 9s, straight and against-the-spread.

The one spot where you find a significant trend going back several Madnesses is the underdog angle. In the past 18 games, the underdog is 14-4 ATS. It doesn’t matter if the dog is No. 8 or No. 9 – picking the dog regardless has been a great bet.

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