Makinen: March Madness Elite Eight trends




For the first time in the history of the NCAA tournament, not a single #1 seed reached the Elite Eight round, and furthermore, just one of the #2 seeds is still around. We can debate the merits of what that means for the intrigue of the rest of the bracket for hours, but for bettors, it doesn’t matter. There will still be money lines, point spreads, totals, and all the other usual wagering options to take advantage of. In continuing my series on qualifying all of the trends I posted in my Round-By-Round and Conference articles on the VSiN Tournament Betting Guide to the specific 2023 matchups, I am back to share the Elite Eight data. As you’ll see once again, there is some very definitive data pointing in specific side and total directions to help you sort it out, even if the teams you thought would be here aren’t. You’ll see that I’ve again added any pertinent head-to-head series trends when they were worthwhile.


Elite Eight Round Trends

–  Elite Eight favorites of 4 points or fewer have gone just 1-7 SU and 0-7-1 ATS (0%) in their last eight games and are just 14-30-1 ATS (31.9%) since ’98. (Against Kansas St -1.5, Connecticut -2, Creighton -1.5)

–  Elite Eight games have been decisive, with outright winners owning a stellar record of 57-5-2 ATS (91.9%) since ’06. (All outright winners)

–  Cinderella teams, or those not from power conferences, have been good bets when they reach the Elite Eight round, 12-11 SU and 13-9-1 ATS (59.1%) since ’03, including 9-2-1 ATS as underdogs of 3 points or more. (Fla Atlantic 1.5, San Diego St 1.5, Gonzaga 2.5)

–  Elite Eight #1-#3 seeds have struggled mightily against teams seeded #4 or worse, going 17-14 SU and 8-21-2 ATS (27.6%) since ’01. However, they were 3-0 SU and ATS last year. (Against Kansas St -1.5, Texas -4.5, Gonzaga 2.5)

–  The Elite Eight round has easily been the best round to play OVER on totals, 85-61-2 (58.2%) since ’01. We could be witnessing a turn, however, as the last six Elite Eight games went UNDER. In games with lower totals of 143 or less, it has been 59 OVERS and 28 UNDERS, for 67.8%. (OVER 149.5 MIA-TEX, OVER 143.5 KSU-FAU, OVER 153.5 CON-GON, OVER 133.5 SDSU-CRE)

–  In Elite Eight games between teams “both not supposed to be there,” or both seeded #3 or worse, the worse-seeded team has gone 6-2 SU and 7-1 ATS (87.5%) since 2013. (Miami 4.5, Connecticut -2.5, Fla Atlantic 1.5)


Applicable Conference Trends for Elite Eight Round games