College Basketball Betting: Postseason Records by Conference
The NCAA Tournament is down to 16 teams while the minor tournaments have reduced the number of teams still included to 17. At this point we have over 100 samples to use and there are some interesting trends emerging.
– EXTRA teams only went 2-8 in the NCAA Tourney, but 7-3 ATS. Overall they come in at 21-30, BUT again do very well ATS at 30-21. There are some good teams in this bunch, and are often overlooked by the linesmakers/general public against more familiar teams.
See full Postseason Records Chart here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1WzRPV52YYPQ6WZ8YGFH9oXaNZKWQxGyCiGu58a96Fjc/edit#gid=898935977
-The ACC was a dreadful, money-burning 1-6 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament and when we add the minors the ACC is a combined 4-12 ATS in all postseason games. With three #1 seeds, it seems the linesmakers were asking too much of the conference overall. The ACC is 13-3 straight up, but having trouble covering the unrealistic expectations of a public market.
-EXTRA teams from the WAC and Big South are seventh and eighth in games played in the postseason. They lead everyone else other than the Power 6 (I am including the American Conference in this group). This is impressive for two reasons: first you must get a number of teams invited and second, and more importantly, you have to win games. The Mountain West played 2 games. Nevada and Utah State lost their NCAA openers, and not one other team played in a minor tourney. Meanwhile these two extra conferences have combined for 25 games! That’s a lot of exposure.
-The Big East has been really disappointing. Only 1-4 in the tournament, a close win by Villanova but no cover left them 0-5 ATS.
-The SEC is a stellar 9-3 in the NCAA tournament, but the opposite for bettors as they have produced a 4-8 ATS record. This may be another case of the market asking too much out of them early. If you think there’s good value in fading them you’ll have plenty of chances. Four SEC teams made the Sweet 16.
-Let’s give some credit to the Pac12. After enduring the naysayers all season, the PAC-12 is an impressive 7-2 straight up and ATS. Colorado and Oregon have led the way with two wins apiece. Both teams are loaded with players who will likely be returning next season. The future is looking up in the west.
-All totals combined are as close to 50% as you can get. While I have heard several people say that the linesmakers must be doing a great job with totals and you can’t find value, it’s just not true. It’s fascinating what has happened in the minor tournaments. Because of several factors, totals have been, to date, about 5.72% higher (down from 10% early) than regular season totals (1st halves have been 7.55% higher). The linesmakers have been continually posting totals higher than normal and the market keeps driving them higher and higher. So, the strategy is to bet overs and win easily? Not necessarily. Jumping on select overs last week when there was a steady volume of games that were still too low was the key. Betting early to get the best number was the strategy for overs, and waiting on the artificial moves over to get a better number on the few unders with value worked as well. Recently, the scores have been dropping off of their original 10% increase early, as some coaches see the chance to win a championship and resort to their old ways. The strategy going forward is simple: wait until game time to bet on unders and bet overs immediately. However, adjusting your model properly to account for the increase in the totals is the most important aspect. If you can adjust properly, and use betting strategy to get the best number possible for your bet, these minor totals can be exploited.