HomeCollege BasketballFirst Round NCAA Betting Trends

    First Round NCAA Betting Trends

    Steve Makinen reveals betting trends you need to know for the first round of March Madness.

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    Admittedly, the VSiN Bracket Mania Betting Guide is jampacked with trends from past NCAA tournaments, perhaps one might even consider it “overload.” For those of you that might be overwhelmed and just looking for a quick tip or two (or 100), I present the first in a series of pieces I will be doing over the next few weeks for the tournament. In it, I will be taking all of the trend data that I presented in the Round-by-Round and Conference trend pieces in the guide and fitting the information to the specific matchups for the 2024 tournament. Unfortunately, because of the time crunch associated with the bracket announcement and the submitting of the articles, this is logistically impossible. This article series will address that problem. Plus, it will help keep bettors apprised of the key trends available to the games as we progress deeper in the tourney.

    Without further ado, here are the first-round trends qualified for the 2024 matchups. Look for the next piece in the series on Saturday morning.

     

    First Round Games

    Overall Trends

    • Teams that didn’t make their conference tournament championship game are on a first-round slide of just 37-58-2 ATS (38.9%) versus conference champions, good go-against teams. (AGAINST CLEMSON +2, DUKE -12, BAYLOR -14, BYU -9.5, KANSAS -7, TEXAS TECH -5.5, CREIGHTON -12.5, ARIZONA -20.5, WASHINGTON STATE +1.5, ALABAMA -10, KENTUCKY -13.5, SOUTH CAROLINA -1, TENNESSEE -21.5)

    • Power conference schools that lost SU and ATS in their conference championship game are 60-16 SU and 42-32-2 ATS (56.8%) in the first round over the last 15 seasons, a sign that the tournament experience they gained was valuable despite the conference championship loss. (NORTH CAROLINA -24.5, HOUSTON -24.5, MARQUETTE -13.5, WISCONSIN -5.5, COLORADO +1, FLORIDA -1)

    • Oddsmakers have done bettors a favor by signaling first round upsets, as small first round favorites of -1 to -3 are just 54-59 SU and 43-66-4 ATS (39.5%) since 2009. However, this trend also swung the other way last year, going 6-2 SU & ATS. (AGAINST MICHIGAN STATE -1, TEXAS -2.5, DRAKE -1.5, NEVADA -1.5, FLORIDA ATLANTIC -3, NEW MEXICO -2.5, NEBRASKA -1)

    • Of late, mid-level favorites of -3.5 to -7.5 have also struggled, going 38-22 SU but 27-33 ATS (45%) since 2016 in the first round. (AGAINST TEXAS TECH -5, GONZAGA -6.5, KANSAS -7, WISCONSIN -5, TCU -4, SAN DIEGO ST -7, ST MARY’S-CA -5.5)

    • In the last 10 NCAA tournaments, first round favorites of 13.5 points or more have only enjoyed one winning ATS season, that coming in 2022. In that span, they have compiled a record of 82-9 SU but 39-50-1 ATS (43.8%). Last year, these teams were 2-5 ATS with both Arizona & Purdue losing outright. (AGAINST NORTH CAROLINA -25, TENNESSEE -21.5, KENTUCKY -13.5, IOWA STATE -16, ARIZONA -20, CONNECTICUT -26.5, MARQUETTE -14.5, HOUSTON -24, BAYLOR -14, PURDUE -26.5)

    • On totals in the first round recently, games posted with totals of 149 or higher have trended decisively Under in the last four tourneys, going 17-6 (73.9%). (UNDER 162.5 KEN-OAK, UNDER 150 McNeese-Gonzaga, UNDER 153.5 Samford-Kansas, UNDER 163.5 LBSU-Arizona, UNDER 158.5 WKU-Marquette, UNDER 150.5 TCU-Utah St, UNDER 151.5 Clemson-New Mexico, UNDER 173 Charleston-Alabama)

    By Seeds

    • There are some sweet spots when it comes to betting #1 seeds. As favorites of -19 to -25 points, they are just 13-24 ATS (35.1%) since 2009. When favored by 18.5 or less, they are on an 8-1 ATS run.  (AGAINST PURDUE -26.5, HOUSTON -24, N CAROLINA -24.5)

    • #1 seeds have flexed their muscles defensively over the last six tournaments, going 12-4 Under the total (75%) while holding opponents to 60.6 PPG.  (UNDER PURDUE, N CAROLINA, HOUSTON, CONNECTICUT)

    • Be wary of laying big numbers with #2 seeds, as they are just 13-23-1 ATS (36.1%) since 2005 when favored by 17-points or more.  Those #2 seeds favored by less than 17 points are on an impressive 20-8-2 ATS (71.4%)

    run since 2007. (ON MARQUETTE -13,5, IOWA ST -16.5, AGAINST ARIZONA -20.5, TENNESSEE -21.5)

    • The last 23 #3 seeds to play in first round games are on an impressive 22-1 SU and 14-9 ATS (60.9%) surge. (BAYLOR -14, CREIGHTON -12.5, ILLINOIS -11.5, KENTUCKY -13.5)

    • #3 seeds playing as single-digit favorites are on a massive Under the total run, 20-7 (74.1%) since 2003, with games producing almost 6.9 PPG below their posted numbers on average. (NONE for 2024)

    • #4 seeds have been somewhat unreliable lately for bettors, going 13-22-1 ATS (37.1%) over the last nine tourney seasons, including 6-14-1 ATS (30%) when favored by 8.5 points or more. (AGAINST ALABAMA -10, AUBURN -13, DUKE -12, KANSAS -7)

    • #5 seeds broke a lengthy 18-31-3 ATS (36.7%) skid versus the #12 seeds last year by going 4-0 SU and ATS. Still, these #5 seeds remain extremely vulnerable when playing as 6-point favorites or more lately, 18-8 SU but 8-16-2 ATS (33.3%) since 2009. (AGAINST 6+ POINT FAVORITES; GONZAGA -6.5, SAN DIEGO ST -7)

    • Power Conference Schools are 24-18 SU and 13-27-2 ATS (32.5%) as #5 seeds in the first round since 2008. As #12 seeds, they are on a 13-4-1 ATS (76.5%) surge. (AGAINST #5 WISCONSIN -5)

    • #6 seeds are 27-29 SU and 21-34-1 ATS (38.2%) in their last 56 first-round games versus #11 seeds (also 37-18-1 Under – 67.3%) – (AGAINST and UNDER the total with BYU -9.5/142, CLEMSON +2.5/151.5, S CAROLINA +1/133.5, TEXAS TECH -5/145.5)

    • In #6-#11 games set with the #6 playing as an underdog or pick ’em, the #6’s are just 4-11 SU and ATS (26.7%) since 2001. This is a classic trap set by oddsmakers, and it happened last in 2022, with #6 Colorado State losing to Michigan. (AGAINST CLEMSON +2.5, S CAROLINA +1)

    • Be aware of a total opportunity when #6 seeds are favored by 4 points or more, as Unders are 19-5 (79.2%) in such games since 2009, with games producing just 128.7 PPG on average, with totals of about 138.2. (UNDER 142.5 BYU-Duquesne, UNDER 145.5 Texas Tech-NC State)

    • Non-power conference schools playing as #7 seeds have been a sound wagering choice, 21-9-1 ATS (70%) since 2004. In the 2022 bracket, #7 Murray State (-2) edged San Francisco by 5. (DAYTON +1.5)

    • #7 seeds playing in the +3 to -3 line range have proven to be quite profitable over the long haul, 38-21 SU and 35-23-1 ATS since 2003. (DAYTON +1.5, WASHINGTON STATE +1.5, FLORIDA -1, TEXAS -2.5)

    • #7-#10 matchups have been among the rare higher-scoring tilts of late, going 18-13 OVER (58.1%) since 2015. (OVER DAYTON +1.5, OVER 137.5 WASHINGTON STATE-DRAKE, OVER 159 FLORIDA-COLORADO, OVER 144.5 TEXAS-COLORADO STATE)

    • #8 seeds went 2-2 SU and ATS in 2023, running their five-year mark to just 7-13 SU and ATS (35%). (AGAINST FLORIDA ATLANTIC -3, MISSISSIPPI STATE +1, NEBRASKA -1, UTAH ST +4)

    • As small favorites of 3-points or less over #9 seeds, #8 seeds are on a brutal skid of 8-15 SU and 5-17-1 ATS (22.7%)! (AGAINST FLORIDA ATLANTIC -3, NEBRASKA -1)

    • Of the last 25 #8-#9 matchups, 17 have gone Over the total (68%). (OVER 142 FLORIDA ATLANTIC-NORTHWESTERN, OVER 130.5 MISSISSIPPI STATE-MICHIGAN STATE, OVER 147 NEBRASKA-TEXAS A&M, OVER 150.5 UTAH STATE-TCU)

    • Combined, non-power conference programs playing in the #4-#6 seeds over the last 21 years have gone 28-23 SU but 20-30-1 ATS (40%). They have been far more successful against the spread in the lesser pressure #7 and #8 seeds, 33-24-4 ATS (57.9%) in that same time range. (AGAINST GONZAGA -6.5, SAN DIEGO STATE -7, ST MARY’S-CA -5.5 – ON DAYTON +1.5, FLORIDA ATLANTIC -3, UTAH ST +4)

    • Power conference programs have been VERY dangerous in the #11-#14 seed range, going 27-19 SU and 28-17-1 ATS (62.2%) since 2008. (ON OREGON -1, NC STATE +5)

    ACC

    • Over the last two NCAA tournaments, the ACC boasts a record of 21-10 SU and 22-9 ATS (71%). (ON CLEMSON +2.5, DUKE -12, NORTH CAROLINA -24.5, NC STATE +5)
    • In the role of pick ’em or small underdog (up to 4.5 points), ACC teams are currently on a 16-3 ATS (84.2%) surge, including nine straight covers. (CLEMSON +2.5)
    • ACC teams are 34-3 SU but 12-25 ATS (32.4%) in their last 37 as double-digit tourney favorites. (AGAINST NORTH CAROLINA -24.5, DUKE -12)
    • ACC teams playing as double-digit seeds are 16-8-1 ATS (66.7%) since 2012. (ON NC STATE +5)
    • ACC teams are on a current surge of 8-4 SU and 10-2 ATS (83.3%) in the NCAAs versus Big 12 foes. (ON NC STATE +5)

    America East

    • Vermont’s loss to Marquette in 2023 dropped the America East record in the NCAAs to 11-4 ATS (73.3%) since 2011. (ON VERMONT +12)
    • America East teams are 15-8-1 Under (65.2%) the total in NCAAs since 2003. (UNDER 132.5 VERMONT-DUKE)

    American Athletic

    • American Athletic teams are 12-4 Under the total (75%) in their last 16 tourney games as underdogs. (UNDER 139.5 UAB-SAN DIEGO STATE
    • In their last 25 tourney games versus power conference foes, American Athletic teams are 17-10 Under the total (63%). (UNDER 142 FLORIDA ATLANTIC-NORTHWESTERN)
    • AAC teams lost both of their two NCAA tourney games versus fellow mid-major teams last year, dropping their recent record in that scenario to 7-2 ATS (77.8%). (ON UAB +7)
    • As seeds #7-#10, AAC teams have been dangerous lately, going 11-9 SU & 14-6 ATS (70%) in their last 20 tourney tries. However, Memphis did lose a year ago. (ON FLORIDA ATLANTIC -3)

    Atlantic 10

    • Atlantic 10 teams have won just two of their last 11 NCAA tourney games, SU and ATS (18.2%). (AGAINST DAYTON +1.5, DUQUESNE +9.5)
    • A-10 teams are also on a 2-9 SU and ATS (18.2%) skid in the NCAAs against fellow mid-major conference foes. (AGAINST DAYTON +1.5)
    • Favorites are on an 18-4 SU and 15-7 ATS (68.2%) surge in Atlantic 10 NCAA tourney games since 2015. (AGAINST DAYTON +1.5, DUQUESNE +9.5)

    Atlantic Sun

    • Atlantic Sun teams are on an 11-4 ATS (73.3%) run in NCAA tourney games since 2013, including 9-3 ATS (75%) vs. Power 6 conferences. (ON STETSTON +26.5)
    • Atlantic Sun teams are on 12-6 Over (66.7%) the total run in NCAAs. (OVER 145 STETSON-CONNECTICUT)

    Big 12

    • Big 12 teams have been dominant in the play-in/first-round games of the tournament since 2017, going 30-10 SU and 26-14 ATS (65%). (ON BAYLOR -14, BYU -10, HOUSTON -24, IOWA STATE -16, KANSAS -7, TCU -4, TEXAS -2, TEXAS TECH -5)
    • Big 12 teams in the #4-#8 seed ranges are on a slide of 23-31 SU and 20-33 ATS (37.7%) since 2010, popular upset victims. (AGAINST KANSAS -7, TEXAS -2, TEXAS TECH -5)
    • Against mid-major teams in the NCAAs, Big 12 teams are on a 18-6 ATS (75%) surge. (ON BAYLOR -14, BYU -10, HOUSTON -24, IOWA STATE -16, KANSAS -7, TCU -4, TEXAS -2)
    • As favorites of 7 points or more in the NCAAs, Big 12 teams are on a current run of 26-1 SU and 19-8 ATS (70.4%).(ON BAYLOR -14, BYU -10, HOUSTON -24, IOWA STATE -16, KANSAS -7)

    Big East

    • Top two seeded (#1s & #2s) from the Big East have validated their positions by going 20-5 SU and 18-7 ATS (72%) in the NCAAs since 2016. (ON CONNECTICUT -26.5, MARQUETTE -14.5)
    • Teams from the Big East Conference have been highly reliable double-digit favorites in the NCAAs since 2007, going 38-3 SU and 26-15 ATS (63.4%).(ON CONNECTICUT -26.5, CREIGHTON -12.5 MARQUETTE -14.5)
    • Favorites are 41-17 ATS (70.7%) in the last 58 Big East NCAA tourney games, including 13-3 ATS last year. (ON CONNECTICUT -26.5, CREIGHTON -12.5 MARQUETTE -14.5)
    • In NCAA tourney games between Big East programs and non-major conferences since 2015, favorites are on a 29-11 SU and 28-10 ATS (73.7%) run. (ON CONNECTICUT -26.5, CREIGHTON -12.5 MARQUETTE -14.5)

    Big South

    • Big South teams are 8-3-1 ATS (72.7%) as #16 seeds in the tournament since 2003, 3-8 ATS (27.3%) in all other seeds. (ON LONGWOOD +24)
    • Big South teams are on a 15-5 Under the total (75%) tourney surge vs. major conference teams, scoring just 57.1 PPG. (UNDER 128 LONGWOOD-HOUSTON)

    Big Ten

    • Big Ten teams have been relatively strong in the double-digit chalk role in the tournament, 49-5 SU and 29-21-4 ATS (58%) since 1998. However, Purdue has lost outright in each of the last two years. (ON ILLINOIS -11, PURDUE -26.5)
    • Big Ten teams are on an 11-7 SU and 13-4-1 ATS (76.5%) run vs. SEC foes in the NCAA tourney, but did go just 1-3 in 2023. (ON MICHIGAN ST -1, NEBRASKA -1)
    • In tourney games with single-digit point spreads versus mid-major conference foes in the NCAAs, Big Ten teams are on an ugly 28-43 ATS (39.4%) skid since 2006. (AGAINST NORTHWESTERN +3 WISCONSIN -5)

    Big West

    • Big West teams are just 4-19 SU and 8-14-1 ATS (36.4%) in their L23 NCAA tournament games. (AGAINST LONG BEACH STATE +20)
    • Big West teams have trended Under on totals in three straight NCAA tourney games. (UNDER 163.5 LONG BEACH STATE-ARIZONA)
    • Big West teams have struggled in the role of large underdog, 1-19 SU and 7-14-1 ATS (33.3%) when catching 6.5 points or more in the tourney since ’98. (AGAINST LONG BEACH STATE +20)

    Coastal Athletic

    • Coastal Athletic teams have been the country’s best in terms of NCAA tournament spread performance, 26-12-3 ATS (68.4%) since 2001. However, they have lost their last four games SU and ATS and are on a 10-game outright losing streak. (ON COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON +9.5)
    • Coastal Athletic teams are on a 23-8-2 ATS (74.2%) run as NCAA tourney dogs to major conference teams. Again, though, they are off three straight losses currently. (ON COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON +9.5)

    Conference USA

    • Florida Atlantic’s 4-1 SU and ATS run last year came on the heels of a 6-16 SU and 7-15 ATS NCAA tourney slide for Conference USA teams since 2009. (AGAINST WESTERN KENTUCKY +14.5)
    • Versus power conference schools in the NCAA tournament, Conference USA teams are just 24-38 SU and ATS (38.7%) since 1998, including 9-21 ATS (30%) as dogs of 4.5-points or more. (AGAINST WESTERN KENTUCKY +14.5)
    • Double-digit seeded Conference USA teams are on a 6-16 SU and 7-15 ATS (31.8%) slide in the NCAAs. (AGAINST WESTERN KENTUCKY +14.5)

    Horizon

    • Horizon League teams are on a 16-7 Under the total (69.6%) NCAA run. (UNDER 162 OAKLAND-KENTUCKY)
    • Line placement has been key in Horizon League NCAA tourney games. As dogs of 8 points or more, they are 0-14 SU and 5-9 ATS (35.7%) since 2002. In all other games, they are 20-10 SU and 22-8 ATS (73.3%). (AGAINST OAKLAND +13.5)
    • In their last 15 NCAA tourney games versus power conference foes, Horizon League teams are 1-14 SU and 5-10 ATS (33.3%) since 2002. (AGAINST OAKLAND +13.5)

    Ivy

    • Ivy League teams have gone 7-12 SU and 12-7 ATS (63.2%) in their last 19 NCAA tourney games, including Princeton a year ago, who won two games to reach the Sweet 16. (ON YALE +13)
    • Ivy League teams are on a 20-10 Under the total (66.7%) NCAA run. (UNDER 140 YALE-AUBURN)
    • As underdogs of 6 points or more in the NCAAs, Ivy League teams are just 3-18 SU and 9-12 ATS (42.9%) since 2000. They are also 17-4 Under the total (80.8%) in those games, scoring just 60.1 PPG. (AGAINST YALE +13/UNDER 140 YALE-AUBURN)

    Metro Atlantic

    • Metro Atlantic Athletic are now 1-6 SU and ATS (14.3%) in their last seven NCAA tourney tries as a non-double-digit underdog. They have won their last four ATS as a double-digit dog. (ON ST PETER’S +21.5)
    • Metro Atlantic Athletic teams have produced a record of 3-3 SU and 5-1 ATS versus SEC teams since 2001 in the NCAAs. (ON ST PETER’S +21.5)

    Mid-American

    • Mid-American Conference teams are 14-6 ATS (70%) in their last 20 NCAA tourney games as a #13 seed or worse but 9-11 ATS (45%) in other seeds during that stretch. (ON AKRON +12.5)
    • Mid-American Conference teams are on a run of 11-3 ATS (78.6%) in their last 14 tries as dogs of 6.5 points or more in the NCAA tourney. (ON AKRON +12.5)

    Missouri Valley

    • Missouri Valley Conference teams have gone 20-14 SU and 20-13-1 ATS (60.6%) in the NCAA tournament since 2013, but are currently on a 0-3 SU and ATS skid. (ON DRAKE -1.5)
    • MVC teams are on an 18-9-1 ATS (66.7%) NCAA tourney run against power conference schools. (ON DRAKE -1.5)
    • Underdogs are 19-7-1 ATS (73.1%) since 2013 in MVC NCAA tourney games. (AGAINST DRAKE -1.5)
    • Under the total is 14-6 (70%) in the last 20 Missouri Valley NCAA tourney games. (UNDER 137.5 DRAKE-WASHINGTON STATE)

    Mountain West

    • Mountain West teams’ struggles in the NCAAs haven’t been that well-documented, but collectively, they are just 26-57 SU and 26-54-3 ATS (32.5%) since 2001, despite San Diego State’s five outright wins last year. Collectively, the MWC was still 4-5 ATS. (AGAINST COLORADO STATE +2.5, NEVADA -1.5, NEW MEXICO -2.5, SAN DIEGO STATE -7, UTAH STATE +4)
    • As tournament underdogs, Mountain West teams are just 10-40 SU and 13-34-3 ATS (27.7%) since 2001. (AGAINST COLORADO STATE +2.5, UTAH STATE +4)
    • Mountain West Conference teams have been totally overmatched against major conference programs in the NCAAs since 2000, 11-46 SU and 14-41-2 ATS (25.4%). (AGAINST COLORADO STATE +2.5, NEW MEXICO -2.5, UTAH ST +4)
    • As seeds of 8 or worse in the NCAAs, MWC teams are on a brutal 3-32 SU & 5-28-2 ATS (15.2%) since 2003! (AGAINST COLORADO STATE +2.5, NEVADA -1.5, NEW MEXICO -2.5, UTAH STATE +4)
    • It’s a stretch to find ANY NCAA tourney trends in which MWC teams are successful, but they do boast a 13-12-1 ATS (52%) mark versus fellow mid-major schools since 2002. ( ON NEVADA -1.5, SAN DIEGO STATE -7)

    Northeast

    • Fairleigh Dickinson won two games last year and went 3-0 ATS, snapping a slide of 4-9-1 ATS in the prior 14 NCAA tourney games for Northeast Conference teams. (AGAINST WAGNER +25)
    • Northeast Conference teams are on a 7-3 Over the total surge as a double-digit NCAA tourney underdog. (OVER 133.5 WAGNER-UNC)

    Ohio Valley

    • Ohio Valley Conference teams have gone 1-4 SU and ATS (20%) in their last five NCAA tournament games after a 15-6 ATS run prior. (AGAINST MOREHEAD STATE +11)
    • OVC teams are 8-2 ATS (80%) in their last 10 NCAA tourney games when playing as dogs of 9 points or more. (ON MOREHEAD STATE +11)
    • Over the total is 9-3 (75%) in the last 12 Ohio Valley NCAA tourney games. (OVER 146 MOREHEAD STATE-ILLINOIS)

    Pac-12

    • After an amazing 13-5 SU & 18-3 ATS run in the 2021 NCAA tournament, Pac-12 teams responded by going 7-7 SU and 4-10 ATS (28.6%) the last two years. This will, of course, be the league’s final NCAA tourney run. (AGAINST ARIZONA -20, COLORADO +1, OREGON -1, WASHINGTON STATE +1)
    • Pac-12 teams have performed extremely well as underdogs lately in NCAA tourney games, 36-17 ATS (67.9%) since 2011.  (ON COLORADO +1, WASHINGTON STATE +1)
    • Double-digit seeded Pac-12 teams in the NCAAs have been hard to knock out, as they are 27-21 SU and 35-13 ATS (72.9%) since 2009. (ON COLORADO +1, OREGON -1)
    • Alternatively, Pac-12 teams in the #7-#9 seeds are on an 8-22 SU and 11-19 ATS (36.7%) skid in the NCAAs. (AGAINST WASHINGTON STATE +1)

    Patriot

    • Patriot League teams are 10-8 ATS (55.6%) in the First Round of the NCAA tournament since 2004, including 5-3 ATS last eight, but are 1-4 ATS (20%) in all other games. (ON COLGATE +14)
    • Patriot League teams are 10-5 (66.7%) ATS as double-digit underdogs in the NCAAs since 2000. (ON COLGATE +14)
    • Patriot League teams are 12-7 (63.2%) ATS vs. power conference foes in the NCAAs since 2000, but 1-7 SU and 2-6 ATS (25%) against fellow mid-major teams. (ON COLGATE +14)

    SEC

    • The last five NCAA tournaments have been a struggle for SEC teams, as they are just 36-35 SU and 25-46 ATS (35.2%) since the Friday of the first round in the 2018 tourney. (AGAINST ALABAMA -9.5, AUBURN -12.5, FLORIDA -1, KENTUCKY -13.5, MISSISSIPPI STATE +1, SOUTH CAROLINA +1, TENNESSEE -21.5, TEXAS A&M +1)
    • As NCAA favorites of more than 20 points, SEC teams are 10-0 Over the total (100%) since 2001, scoring 86.8 PPG. (OVER 130 TENNESSEE-ST PETERS)
    • Underdogs are 43-21 ATS (67.2%) in the last 64 SEC NCAA tourney games overall. (AGAINST ALABAMA -9.5, AUBURN -12.5, FLORIDA -1, KENTUCKY -13.5, TENNESSEE -21.5  – ON MISSISSIPPI STATE +1, SOUTH CAROLINA +1, TEXAS A&M +1)
    • As pick em’s or small favorites of 5-points or less, SEC teams are an ugly 42-51 SU & 34-55-4 ATS (38.2%) in the NCAA’s since 1999. (AGAINST FLORIDA -1)
    • SEC teams have gotten the better of Pac-12 teams recently in NCAA tournament games, 12-5 ATS (70.6%) in the last 17. (ON FLORIDA -1, SORTH CAROLINA +1)
    • Seeded in the bottom half of the field (#9-#14), SEC teams have struggled to an 9-24 SU and 11-20-2 ATS (35.5%) record since 2007. (AGAINST TEXAS A&M +1)
    • The #4 seed and the SEC haven’t meshed well of late, as they are 14-23 ATS (37.8%) in that spot since 2000 and have gone Under the total at a 28-8-1 (77.8%) rate. (AGAINST ALABAMA -9.5, AUBURN -12.5 – UNDER 173 ALA-CHA, UNDER 140 AUB-YAL)
    • SEC teams are on an 0-6 ATS (0%) skid versus mid-major teams in the NCAAs and are 4-12 ATS (25%) in last 16. (AGAINST ALABAMA -9.5, AUBURN -12.5, KENTUCKY -13.5, TENNESSEE -21.5)

    Southern

    • Southern Conference teams have been very competitive in the NCAA’s when playing as an underdog of less than 15 points, 16-6 ATS (72.7%) in last 22. (ON SAMFORD +7)
    • SoCon teams have trended Under the total in recent NCAAs, 12-3 (80%) in last 15. (UNDER 154 SAMFORD-KANSAS)
    • Teams from the SoCon have covered five straight NCAA first-round games (100% ATS). (ON SAMFORD +7)

    Southland

    • As underdogs of 8.5-points or less (or favored), Southland Conference teams are 8-5-1 ATS (61.5%) in their last 14 NCAA tournament tries, but when a larger underdog than that, they are 0-15 SU and 5-9-1 ATS (35.7%) since 2000. (ON MCNEESE STATE +7)
    • Southland Conference teams are 12-4 Under the total (75%) in their last 16 NCAA tournament first round games. (UNDER 154 MCNEESE STATE-GONZAGA)

    Summit

    • Overall, Summit League teams are on a 7-3-1 ATS (70%) run in NCAA tourney action, including a 3-0 ATS sweep by Oral Roberts in 2021. Underdogs are 8-2-1 ATS (80%) in those games. However, both trends are 0-2 SU and ATS in 2022 and 2023. (ON SOUTH DAKOTA ST +15.5)
    • Summit League teams have been a very competitive First Round NCAA team in recent years, going 2-7 SU but 6-2-1 ATS (75%) in last 9. (ON SOUTH DAKOTA STATE +15.5)
    • Recognized as a high scoring, up-tempo league, five of the last six NCAA tourney games featuring a Summit League team went Under the total (83.3%). (UNDER 135 SDSU-ISU)

    Sun Belt

    • Sun Belt teams have lost their last seven NCAA tournament games while going 2-5 ATS (28.6%). Under the total is also 6-1 (85.7%) in those games. (AGAINST JAMES MADISON +5 – UNDER 145 JMU-WIS)
    • As #14-#16 seeds in the NCAAs, SBC teams are on a 6-11-1 ATS (35.3%) slide since 1999, but as #13 or better they’ve gone 10-4 ATS (71.4%) in that same span. (ON JAMES MADISON +5)
    • As underdogs of 7.5 points or less, Sun Belt teams are on a 2-9 SU and 2-8-1 ATS (20%) slide in the NCAAs. (AGAINST JAMES MADISON +5)
    • Sun Belt teams seem to take some motivation from playing major conference teams, as they are on a NCAA tourney run of 8-4 ATS (66.7%) versus those foes since 2008. (ON JAMES MADISON +5)

    SWAC

    • SWAC teams are on a 6-3 ATS (62.5%) run currently in NCAA tourney games, including back-to-back wins in Play-In games. (ON GRAMBLING STATE +26.5)
    • Despite allowing 87.8 PPG, SWAC teams are 4-2 ATS in their last six NCAA first-round contests. (ON GRAMBLING STATE +26.5)

    WAC

    • WAC teams have won just two of their last 23 games in the NCAA’s since 2006, going 10-13 ATS, however, they are on a current five-game ATS winning streak. (ON GRAND CANYON +5.5)
    • Six of the last seven WAC first-round NCAA tourney games have gone Over the total (85.7%). (OVER 131.5 GCU-STM)

    West Coast

    • Going into the 2024 NCAAs, St Mary’s and Gonzaga are looking to snap a 3-11 ATS (21.4%) tourney skid for WCC teams. (AGAINST GONZAGA -7, ST MARYS-CA -5.5)
    • WCC teams have struggled against other non-major conference teams in NCAA tourney play, 19-8 SU BUT 8-19 ATS (29.6%) since ’04. (AGAINST GONZAGA -7, ST MARYS-CA -5.5)

    Head-to-Head Series Trends for First Round

    (739) AKRON vs. (740) CREIGHTON
    * Favorites are 4-0 SU and 3-0-1 ATS in the Akron-Creighton series since 2006

    (755) LONG BEACH ST vs. (756) ARIZONA
    * ARIZONA is 5-0 SU and 4-1 ATS versus Long Beach State since 2012, avg. MOV 28.6 PPG

    (779) TEXAS A&M vs. (780) NEBRASKA
    * Under the total is 5-2 in the last seven games of the Texas A&M-Nebraska series

    Steve Makinen
    Steve Makinen
    As one of the original founders of StatFox, Steve Makinen has been in the business of sports betting and data analysis for almost 25 years now. In his time in the industry, Steve has worked in a variety of capacities on both sides of the betting counter, from his early days of developing the StatFox business, to almost a decade of oddsmaking consulting for one of the world's leading sportsbooks, to his last seven years as Point Spread Weekly and Analytics Director with VSiN. Steve has always believed that number crunching and handicapping through foundational trends and systems is the secret to success and he shares this data with VSiN readers on a daily basis for all of the major sports.

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