March Madness Elite Eight Betting Trends

March Madness Elite Eight Betting Trends

A momentous March Madness Sweet 16 has given way to the octagonal extravaganza of the Elite Eight. The Madness of March rolls along, with eight teams poised to battle in a round steeping with history and betting opportunities. 

Buckle up college hoop heads, the Elite Eight promises to be a wild ride! Before you lock in your picks, let's take a dive into some trends that could shape this year's exhilarating round.

'Dogs Will be Barking

Underdogs have shifted the tide of the 2024 NCAA Tournament. Early rounds saw a multitude of lower seeds pull off stunning upsets and that trend continued into the Sweet 16 with five underdogs emerging victorious. This momentum bodes well for bettors looking to back the 'dogs in the Elite Eight. Some truly phenomenal underdog squads also help.

Remarkably, underdogs have dominated the Elite Eight recently, going a stellar 20-10 ATS in the last seven tournaments.

And it gets even bettor for underdogs of 4-points or fewer. Dogs of four or less have gone an astounding 10-1-1 ATS in the Elite Eight going all the way back to 1998. Hello, Clemson and Tennessee!

Think Twice before Backing Top Seeds

Many a team with championship aspirations have fallen in round of eight. In the last 22 tournaments, #1 seeds are 32-25 SU and 23-30-4 ATS. Keep that in mind before blindly backing the UConn Huskies and Purdue Boilermakers.

Both UConn and Purdue are statistical darlings sitting inside the top-20 in offensive and defensive efficiency according to BartTorvik. However, Illinois and Tennessee are also each in the top-10 of BartTorvik, Haslametrics and KenPom's rankings. Similarly, our computer picks love the Fighting Illini to cover the spread.

ACC & Big East Feast

If you haven't noticed the ACC and Big East absolutely eat in the octarchy of the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals.

Behind blue bloods like Duke, North Carolina, and...NC State (?) dominating teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference are on a ridiculous 32-10-1 ATS run over the last two tournaments. Can Clemson ride the wave and cover as 3.5-point underdogs against Alabama?

Meanwhile, the equally intimidating Big East have run opponents off the floor with an 22-9 ATS record in the big dance since 2016. UConn will look to continue that dominance as 8.5-point favorites over Illinois.

OVER Affairs

Historically, the Elite Eight has been an oasis for high-scoring contests. Over the past 23 tournaments, the OVER has gone an astounding 87-63-2. This trend only grows in stature for games with lower totals (143 or less) where the OVER has gone 59-29 in that same span.

With five of the top nine most efficient offenses in the sport competing in the round, this trend looks set to explode in the 2024 edition.

Embrace the Madness

As you lock in your bets for the Elite Eight, remember to embrace the unpredictable drama of March Madness. These trends offer valuable guidance, but shouldn't be blindly followed. The tournament is full of surprises, and any team has the potential to carve their name into history. That's why we all tune in, after all.

So, as you handicap this year's Elite Eight bear in mind: the underdogs are hungry, top seeds are vulnerable, and teams score points in bunches in this round.

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