March Madness Trends

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March Madness trends.

March Madness Trends


You are a sports bettor and pumped for another year of March Madness. There is much chaos, drama, and more to unfold in the coming weeks of college basketball. What about betting trends during the madness of March? What have we seen in previous tournaments? Here’s what you need to know about March Madness betting trends.

You are looking for an edge for betting on the Sweet 16, Elite Eight, Final Four, and more for March Madness 2023. Let’s look at some trends in March Madness over the years.

Should You Fade the Public

If you look at teams with at least 60% of the bets on them, they are just 56-80-5 against the spread since 2016. Basically, when it comes to betting on the March Madness bracket, the public hasn’t been picking great in the NCAA Tournament. It might be worth considering going the fade route instead of following public money.

Number 1 Seed Final Four Teams

In the history of the big dance, there have only been two Final Fours in which a number 1 was not included. On the other side, only one Final Four included all of the top seeds. For 30 of the last 36 years, Final Fours have included two or fewer number 1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament.

Betting on No. 1 Seeds in the First Round

The round of 64 can provide for some lopsided games. Those games don’t always come in just the number 1 vs 16 matchups. Sure, number 1 seeds are 103-1 straight up vs 16 seeds in the first round, but they are 59-45 against the spread over the last 27 years.

If you look at historical trends for number 2 seeds in first-round tournament games, they are 97-7 straight up. When you look at against the spread records, the number 2 seeds are 46-58 in the last 27 games.

Number 1 Seeds in the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight

Number 1 seeds have been great straight up in the Sweet 16 since the 2015 tournament. They hold a record of 19-3 overall. When you get to the next round of the tournament, things change slightly. Number 1 seeds see their overall record fall to 14-10 in the Elite 8.

The 5-12 matchup gets a lot of hype each year in the tournament. It’s understandable as number 12 seeds have been able to win 55 times since 1985. There have only been five college basketball tournaments since 1985 that didn’t include a number 12 upsetting a number 5. Some believe it’s a giant conspiracy by the selection committee to guarantee an upset.

Now in terms of sports betting, number 5 seeds are 21-19 straight up since 2012 and 15-24-1 against the spread in those opening-round matchups. In the past three years, number 5 seeds are 6-6 straight up and 4-8 against the spread.

Best ATS in the NCAA Tournament Since 2010

There might not be a lot of carryover from year to year, but some teams have done particularly well against the spread since 2010. Butler is 14-2-1, Oregon is 16-5, and Villanova is 21-9. On the other side, Texas is 1-10 while Virginia is just 6-13-1 despite winning the National Championship in 2019. Butler is 23-5-1 since 2003 in the March Madness Tournament.

The Duke Blue Devils are 16-17 ATS and North Carolina is 19-19-1. North Carolina was a perfect 6-0 ATS during its 2022 run to the title game. They weren’t able to win the NCAA Tournament and fell to National Champion Kansas. Kansas was just 3-3 covering the spread on their way to winning the National Title. Kansas is just 13-14 ATS in the last 10 NCAA Tournaments.

The betting strategy you use is up to you. Take the time to do research and figure out the best approach. It’s never smart to just blindly trust historical NCAA Tournament trends. You need to take a look at the data for yourself and figure out what the best bets are for you when you’re online sports betting.

There is a lot of action since the tournament expanded to 64 teams back in 1985 and 68 teams in 2011. You can go wild from the First Four all the way to the championship game. Be smart and don’t bet too much. Get ready for Selection Sunday to see the announcement of the March Madness field and start planning your bets.

2023 Rounds of March Madness and Tournament Schedule

The tournament starts with the First Four games. These will be played on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 14-15. The First and Second rounds take place at the end of the week from Thursday to Sunday.

For the 2023 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament, the schedule is as follows:

First Four Games: March 14-15

First-Second Round: March 16-19

Sweet 16 and Elite 8: March 23-26

Final Four: April 1

National Championship: April 3

What are the most common NCAA Tournament betting trends?

The parity of the NCAA Tournament has made it difficult to count on any trends when betting on college basketball. Trends worth looking into involved 5-12 seed matchups, number 1-2 seeds in the first round, and more.

Does a number 12 seed always upset a number 5 each year?

Not always. There have been five tournaments in which a number 12 seed didn’t advance to the round of 32. These years were 1988, 2000, 2007, 2015, and 2018.

How important is seeding in March Madness?

In terms of winning it all, number 1 seeds have won the most National Championships. A number 1 seed has won 24 times. The next closest is five championships by number 2 seeds.

What is the lowest seed to ever reach the Final Four?

A number 11 seed has reached the Final Four five times. It’s the lowest seed to ever get there in the NCAA Tournament bracket. LSU did it in 1986, George Mason in 2006, VCU in 2011, Loyola-Chicago in 2018, and UCLA in 2021.

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Author: Sam Russell

Sam hails from Grandville, Michigan. He has a rich sports background, including playing baseball at Central Michigan before covering high school sports and working with the Orlando Magic. He earned his degree from Central Michigan University and was a member of the 2010 MAC Championship baseball team. Sam grew his knowledge of sports betting while working with Betsperts in various areas such as writing, social media, betting research, and business development. He's a big fan of the NBA, NFL, and MLB, highly interested in data and statistics.