2019 NCAA Basketball Tournament Betting Analysis: #3 vs. #14

Special thanks to @matteise for compiling the data used in this analysis. Check out our #2 vs. #15 first round analysis here.

Nowadays, it seems like there’s more and more advanced stats developed everyday. NCAA basketball is no different. You have sites such as KenPom and RPI, among others that crunch data to give insights as to who truly are the best teams in the nation.

Now that Vegas released the spreads and O/U for just about every tournament matchup, let’s take a look at what we believe are the most interesting historical trends that have developed in March Madness from a betting perspective.

After looking at this, we’ll give a prediction of our safest bet of the four first round matchups with these seedings.

The Matchups (Lines Subject to Change)

#3 LSU vs. #14 Yale

DateSpreadO/U1st Half Spread1st Half O/U
3/21LSU -7.5156.5LSU -475.5

#3 Purdue vs. #14 Old Dominion

DateSpreadO/U1st Half Spread1st Half O/U
3/21Purdue -12.5126Purdue -759.5

#3 Texas Tech vs. #14 Northern Kentucky

DateSpreadO/U1st Half Spread1st Half O/U
3/22Texas Tech -14137Texas Tech -866.5

#3 Houston vs. #14 Georgia State

DateSpreadO/U1st Half Spread1st Half O/U
3/22Houston -11.5141.5Houston -765.5

Five Interesting Historical Facts On #3 v. #14 Spreads

  1. In the last five years, the #3 team is 8-12 ATS. In the last three years, the #3 team went 2-2.
  2. A #3 team with BOTH an adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency ranking of 40 or better is 16-5-1 ATS. Texas Tech (#35/#1), Purdue (#5/#32), and Houston (#23/#13) meet this criteria.
  3. When a #3 team has a KenPom ranking that is 100 spots or better than the #14 Seed, the #3 Seed is 10-6 ATS. Purdue (#10) vs. Old Dominion (#112) is the only matchup that qualifies here.
  4. A #3 team from a NON-POWER CONFERENCE (Houston) is 1-6-1 ATS. Also, the #3 team led by 5 or more points at halftime just twice and trailed at half the five other games.
  5. A #3 Seed with BOTH a defensive efficiency ranking and defensive 3 PT FG% of 50 or worse is 5-15–1 ATS. LSU (#62/#161) meets this criteria.

Five Interesting Historical Facts On #3 v. #14 O/U

  1. In the last five years, the O/U record is 11-9, including 4-0 and 1-3 records in 2017 and 2018, respectively.
  2. When a #3 team is favored by 12 points or less, the O/U is 12-29. LSU/Yale opened at an O/U of 160 but has been trending down.
  3. A matchup where a #3 team with BOTH an adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency ranking of 40 or better has an O/U record of 6-16. Texas Tech (#35/#1), Purdue (#5/#32), and Houston (#23/#13) meet this criteria.
  4. When the #14 team scores 65 or more points, the O/U is 18-7. Conversely, when the #14 team scores 60 or less points, the O/U is 3-30.
  5. When the #3 team scores 70 or more points, the O/U is 22-16. Conversely, when the #3 team scores 69 or less points, the O/U is 2-24.

Our Safest Play – Texas Tech -13

This one was tough. We also like the Under at 126 for the Purdue/Old Dominion game, as well as Yale +7.5. Unfortunately, we find one too many scenarios that could happen where these bets would lose.

We like the Red Raiders to put the clamps down on Northern Kentucky and frustrate the Norse offense based on the advanced metrics of the matchup. Texas Tech has won 7 of their last 9 by double digits, with the average margin of victory to be 18.8 points.

The Norse have faced only two top 100 teams all year and lost both matchups by double digits. Even worse, the Norse free throw percentage doesn’t even crack the top 300! Come tournament time, poor free throw shooting is an easy way to throw away a game.

Thus, we believe that Texas Tech is the safest bet out of these matchups.

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2019 NCAA Basketball Tournament Betting Analysis: #2 vs. #15

Special thanks to @matteise for compiling the data used in this analysis.

Nowadays, it seems like there’s more and more advanced stats developed everyday. NCAA basketball is no different. You have sites such as KenPom and RPI, among others that crunch data to give insights as to who truly are the best teams in the nation.

Now that Vegas released the spreads and O/U for just about every tournament matchup, let’s take a look at what we believe are the most interesting historical trends that have developed in March Madness from a betting perspective.

After looking at this, we’ll give a prediction of our safest bet of the four first round matchups with these seedings.

The Matchups (Lines Subject to Change)

#2 Michigan vs. #15 Montana

DateSpreadO/U1st Half Spread1st Half O/U
3/21Mich -15130.5Mich -960.5

#2 Michigan State vs. #15 Bradley

DateSpreadO/U1st Half Spread1st Half O/U
3/21MSU -18.5133.5MSU -1061.5

#2 Kentucky vs. #15 Abilene Christian

DateSpreadO/U1st Half Spread1st Half O/U
3/21Kentucky -22.5132Kentucky -1561

#2 Tennessee vs. #15 Colgate

DateSpreadO/U1st Half Spread1st Half O/U
3/22Tenn -17.5148Tenn -1070

Five Interesting Historical Facts On #2 v. #15 Spreads

  1. In the last five years, the #2 team is 10-9-1 ATS, including 3-1 records in 2014 and 2018.
  2. A #2 team with an adjusted tempo rank of 200 or slower & an adjusted defensive efficiency ranking of 50 or better (KenPom) is 12-6-1 ATS. Both Michigan (#320/#2) and Kentucky (#265/#11) meet this criteria.
  3. When a #15 team scores 65 or fewer points, the #2 team is 28-15-1 ATS, 24-8 ATS when 60 or fewer points.
  4. The #2 team that has an adjusted defensive efficiency ranking of 10 or better is 3-10 ATS. Michigan (#2) and Michigan State (#8) meet this criteria. However, Cincinnati bucked this trend in 2018. With the #1 ADJ DEF EFF ranking, they beat Georgia State 68-53 and also beat the -14 point spread.
  5. In 13 games against a non-#1 Seed, Big Sky teams (Montana) allow 75.5 points per game, while scoring 58.8 points per game. Going back to 2005 tournament, Big Sky teams have scored 60 or more points only three times and are 4-11-1 ATS.

Five Interesting Historical Facts On #2 v. #15 O/U

  1. In the last five years, the O/U record is 7-13, including 0-4 records in 2014 and 2018.
  2. When the O/U is set at 145 points or higher, the O/U is 2-14. In these games, the average points scored is 146.5. Tennessee/Colgate opened at an O/U of 150 but has been trending down.
  3. The average number of points scored by a #2 seed in the first round over the past three years is 81.6. The average number of points scored by a #15 seed in the first round over the past three years is 65.1.
  4. When the #2 seed wins and covers the spread, the O/U is 9-21.
  5. When the #2 seed wins by 15 or more points, the O/U is 14-27.

Our Safest Play – Tennessee vs. Colgate UNDER 148

Here’s a bonus stat that’ll blow your mind. A #2 team with a 2PT FG% ranking of 50 or better AND a 3PT FG% ranking of 150 or better, AND when the #15 Seed has a defensive 2PT FG% ranking of 125 or worse, the #2 team is 13-0 straight up, 10-3 ATS, and the O/U is 3-10.

Tennessee is ranked #18 in 2PT FG% and #89 in 3PT FG%. Colgate is ranked #187 in defensive 2PT FG%.

Now, you may be tempted to bet on Tennessee to cover the spread, and we wouldn’t blame you if you did. However, Colgate has played two teams in the top #100 this season; Syracuse (#31) and Penn State (#54). They lost to Syracuse 77-56 and lost to Penn State 76-65.

Thus, we believe the UNDER is the safest bet out of these matchups.

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StakeHaul Bets On Super Bowl 53

Here are our favorite bets on the big game.

First off, we regret to inform everyone that Sports Betting Nicolas Cage is still AWOL. We’re guessing he finally snapped after posting a 1-3 record during the NFL Wildcard Weekend.

This leaves Sports Betting Nicolas Cage with a 24-15 record on the 2018-2019 NFL season, so we have big shoes to fill. Maybe you should just do the opposite of what we say.

James White O/U 5.5 Receptions
Pick: Over

Some betting places increased this O/U to 6.5 based on the action leaning towards the Over. We agree with this, despite the Rams ranked #4 during the regular season in defensive DVOA against RBs in the passing game.

In 18 games this season, James White caught 6 or more receptions in 8 games, but the Patriots have shown that will pepper White with targets when needed. In the Divisional game against the Chargers, White caught 5 balls on the opening touchdown drive alone. He ended up with 15 receptions on the game. And don’t forget, he caught 14 balls in Super Bowl LI and arguably should have won the Super Bowl MVP.

It seems this insightful SB Nation article on James White agrees, as well.

The Rams defense got torched by Alvin Kamara to the tune of 11 receptions. We think the Patriots will see what happened in the NFC Championship game and attack it, especially since they don’t have a field stretcher at WR due to Josh Gordon’s suspension.

Todd Gurley O/U 63.5 rushing yards
Pick: Over
(Potential Hedge: CJ Anderson OVER 49.5 rushing yards)

We assume that Vegas has no idea what to make of Todd Gurley’s involvement in this game, as well as no idea if his previously injured knee is still affecting his play. This line, if this were the regular season, would be criminally low.

We’re taking LA coach Sean McVay’s word for it that Gurley is 100% healthy and will be a big part of the game.

Even if you may think the Rams will split carries between Gurley and CJ Anderson, the Rams averaged 143 rushing yards per game in the regular season and blitzed the formidable Dallas rushing defense in the payoffs for 273 rushing yards. While they only rushed for 77 yards last week, they played catchup all game, not to mention New Orleans ranked even higher than Dallas in defensive rushing DVOA. New England struggled against the run all season, allowing a fourth-worst 4.9 yards per carry. 

1st Quarter Spread
Pick: Rams +0.5

Did you know that New England has scored a grand total of just three first-quarter points in the eight Super Bowls of the Brady/Belichick era? Seriously.

We believe two things will happen. One, the Rams will start off fast in this game against a mediocre Pats D. Or, the game will start with minimum scoring, and the Patriots will adjust their gameplay to counter punch the Rams as the game goes on. That’s how they’ve traditionally played in the Super Bowl.

Oh, you wondered what we’re betting on for the outcome of the Super Bowl? We’re going Rams +2.5, but we won’t blame you if you bet on the Patriots and their past Super Bowl experience. We just think that if we picked a NFL team of only Rams and Patriots players, we’d have a lot more Rams players. Talent vs. experience – which will win out?

Best of luck on your Super Bowl bets!

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Super Bowl 53 Betting Ideas

You want Super Bowl betting ideas? We got ideas for prop bets, Super Bowl Squares, and so much more!

Stop us if you’ve heard this before: The Super Bowl is the most watched event in the U.S. annually. And according to betting industry lobbyists, approximately $5B (!!!) will be bet on Sunday’s big game, far and away the largest amount bet on a single sports game annually.

Here at StakeHaul, we love betting on the big game. Therefore, we’ve put together a way-too-long list of potential bets for you to use StakeHaul on with your friends. You think you’re limited to singular, in-game bets? Think again!

Super Bowl Prop Bets

While you could simply bet on the spread (currently Patriots -2.5) or the O/U (currently 56), why not spice it up with some prop bets? Here are a number of examples, courtesy of Vegas:

Coin Toss
  • Will the coin toss be Heads or Tails?
  • Which team will win the coin toss?
  • Will the team that wins the coin toss win the game?
Halftime Show
  • What color will Adam Levine’s top be at the start of the halftime show? (Black/Any other color)
  • How many songs will be played during the halftime show? (O/U 7.5)
  • What will be the first song sung by Maroon 5 during the halftime show?
Exotic Props
  • What color of Gatorade will be dumped on the game winning coach?
  • How long will Gladys Knight sing the National Anthem? (O/U 1min 50 sec)
  • Will any scoring drive take less time than it took Gladys Knight to sing the National Anthem?
  • How many commercials will run during the Super Bowl? (O/U 96)
  • Which beer commercial will run first? (You could use this question for a number of different industries)
  • Total number of Donald Trump tweets on February 3rd (O/U 6.5)
  • Will there be an onside kick during the game?

Honestly, if you can think of a bet, Vegas likely has odds on it.

Statistical Props

If there’s a stat that the NFL tracks, you can be sure Vegas has O/U odds on it. This includes specific offensive players. For example, James White, Patriots RB, has an O/U of 5.5 catches in the game. While running backs and wide receivers do not have odds on passing yards, there is one prop bet on whether a non-QB will throw for a touchdown in the game.

We will have our favorite Super Bowl bets in the near future, so stay tuned.

Prop Sheet Pools

Want to get multiple people involved in prop betting? Create a pool with numerous questions on a sheet. The person with the most correct answers wins. Here’s an example:

Make sure you have a tiebreaker in case the top two or more individuals score the same number of points.

Super Bowl Squares

Here’s how to use Super Bowl Squares:

  1. Start with an empty 10×10 grid (seen above). This will give you 100 squares that you can let participants select.
  2. Fill in the numbers 0 through 9 vertically in the gray column.
  3. Fill in the numbers 0 through 0 horizontally in the gray row.
  4. Randomly assign numbers 0 through 9 to each column, followed by doing the same for each row. You could also let participants pick their numbers by taking turns picking numbers until all numbers are filled.
  5. Determine how much it costs to buy a square.
  6. Watch the Super Bowl. As the Super Bowl progresses, players track the score at the end of each quarter, and whoever has the square that corresponds to the last number in each team’s score is the winner of that portion of the game.

For example, the Eagles were ahead 9-3 over the Patriots at the end of the first quarter of last year’s Super Bowl. Whoever had the square that corresponded to “Eagles 9/Patriots 3” was the winner. The person holding an “Eagles 2/Patriots 2” square won when the halftime margin was 22-12. A 29-26 Eagles lead after three quarters made “Eagles 9/Patriots 6” a winner for that part of the game. Finally, with the Eagles winning the game 41-33, the “Eagles 1/Patriots 3” square won.

For the remaining squares that were bought, you could create a tiebreaker with a “winner-take-all” scenario, or you could split the remaining money evenly between participants.

Super Bowl Commercial Bingo

Now we’re getting into peak betting degeneracy.

There are numerous online sites where you can enter in 24 different brands (or 25 if you want to not have a free space) you think will advertise during the Super Bowl. They will randomize those brands into bingo cards you can print out for purchase. Same rules of bingo apply, and winner takes all.

Super Bowl Monopoly Money Challenge

  1. Have everyone chip in an equal of real money ($10, $20, $50, $1,000; etc.).
  2. Give everyone an equal amount of Monopoly money at the start of the broadcast (before National Anthem begins).
  3. Everyone uses their Monopoly money to bet on anything and everything related to the game or the broadcast as it’s happening. For example, one person can call out whether they think a team will convert a 1st down on a 3rd down play.
  4. The person with the most Monopoly money at the end of the night wins the real money in the pot (or you can split it 75%/25% for first and second place, etc.).

Are there any other betting ideas that we missed? Let us know in the comments.

Happy Super Bowl betting!

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NFL Bets of 2018: Conference Championship

We regret to inform our loyal viewers that Sports Betting Nicolas Cage has been missing since Wild Card Weekend. In any event, the show must go on, so here are our NFL Conference Championship bets.

What happened to Sports Betting Nicolas Cage? We honestly wish we knew. We thought Mr. Cage has a good gig here. Maybe he’s on the hunt for blood since he went 1-3 during the Wild Card weekend.

Even with the 1-3 record, the legend himself still owned a 23-14 on the season. Thus, we can’t rule out the possibility that a pagan group whose main economy is honey production captured Mr. Cage. All of StakeHaul is hoping for a safe return of our betting guru.

In any event, we still made a couple bets last weekend. We ended up going 2-0, bringing the cumulative record up to 25-14 on the season.

The home team is always on the right. A minus spread shows that the home team is the favorite, while a + spread shows the home team is the underdog. Remember, my picks always include the spread.

NFC: Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans Saints (-3, 56.5) 
Pick: Under

Call us crazy, but we don’t see this game being a shootout like their regular season clash. Since then, both teams placed an emphasis on running the ball and defense. The Saints defense has allowed opposing offenses to average only 16.9 points per game since Week 7. Also, in that span, Sean Payton’s defense has collected 28 sacks. 

On the other side, the Rams have #1 CB Aqib Talib back and ready to face off against Michael Thomas. Thomas decimated the Rams in Week 9, catching 12 of 15 targets for 211 yards and one score. However, Talib did not play in that game. In the eight games without Talib, the Rams passing defense allowed 300 yards, 2.88 touchdowns, and 0.75 interceptions per game. In the nine games with Talib, they’ve allowed 184-of-286 passing (64.3 percent) with an average of 215.8 yards, 0.89 touchdowns, and 1.33 interceptions. 

Finally, with the emergence of C.J. Anderson as a second rushing option for L.A., both teams will pound the ball early and often. Despite the loss of Sheldon Rankins on the Saints D-line, we think this game has all the elements of a slow, grind-it-out game that won’t look anything like their first matchup.

AFC: New England Patriots at Kansas City Chiefs (-3, 56.5)
Pick: Under

Yes, we’ve gone full Cage crazy in thinking both games will be relatively low-scoring compared to their regular season matchups. Or have we?

The temperature for tonight’s game will be in the high teens. We think this is the single greatest element for the outcome of the game. According to Pro Football Reference, the average number of turnovers in a game is about 3.5 in all games above freezing temperature. However, for all games under 20 degrees, that number jumps up to over five a game. Also, you should a 5-10% dip in total yardage for cold weather games.

Now here’s where you may say that New England plays in cold weather so they shouldn’t be affected. However, the Patriots have already placed an emphasis on running the ball, as evident by Sony Michel’s 100 yard game last weekend. We don’t see this as a game where New England will have to air it out since we believe it will be tight all the way.

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes will be playing in his coldest game ever today. The coldest game he started this season was a 23-20 overtime win over the Ravens in Kansas City on Dec. 9, when the temperature was 27 degrees (he completed 35 of 53 passes for 377 yards, with two touchdowns and an interception). We expect a similar type of game scoring wise, hence our Under pick.

Best of luck! And pray for the safety of Sports Betting Nicolas Cage.

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