2019 NCAA Basketball Tournament Betting Analysis: #5 vs. #12

Special thanks to @matteise for compiling the data used in this analysis. Check out our #4 vs. #13 first round analysis here.

Nowadays, it seems like there’s too many 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)

#5 Auburn vs. #12 New Mexico St.

DateSpreadO/U1st Half Spread1st Half O/U
3/21Auburn -5.5145.5Auburn -367.5

#5 Marquette vs. #12 Murray State

DateSpreadO/U1st Half Spread1st Half O/U
3/21Marquette -3149.5Marquette -1.569.5

#5 Wisconsin vs. #12 Oregon

DateSpreadO/U1st Half Spread1st Half O/U
3/22Wisconsin -2117Wisconsin -153

#5 Mississippi State vs. #12 Liberty

DateSpreadO/U1st Half Spread1st Half O/U
3/22Miss State -6.5134Miss State -3.562.5

Five Interesting Historical Facts On #5 v. #12 Spreads

  1. In the last five years, the #5 team is 7-10-3 ATS, but went 3-0-1 ATS last year.
  2. When favored by 4 or fewer points, the #5 team is 10-13-1 ATS. Both Wisconsin and Marquette are favored by less than 4.
  3. When the #12 team has a 3PT FG% ranking of 50 or worse AND a defensive 2PT FG% ranking of 125 or worse, the #5 team is 12-5 straight up and 8-8-1 ATS. The only #12 team that meets the above criteria is Oregon. This seemingly favors Wisconsin due to the small spread.
  4. When the #5 team scored 75 or more points, the #5 team is 17-9-3 ATS, 3-0-1 last season. Auburn, Marquette, and Mississippi State all averaged over 75 PPG in Power 5 conferences.
  5. When the #5 team scored 74 or fewer points, the #5 team is 10-24-1 ATS. Wisconsin averages just under 70 PPG.

Five Interesting Historical Facts On #5 v. #12 O/U

  1. In the last five years, the O/U record is 15-5, including 4-0 in 2016 and 2018.
  2. When the #5 team has a KenPom ranking that is no more than 30 ranking spots better than the #12 team, the O/U is 12-13-1. The Marquette/Murray State matchup fits this criteria.
  3. If the #5 team scores 75 or more points, the O/U is 27-2 (!!).
  4. When the #12 team scored 65 or more points, the O/U is 30-7-1.
  5. If the #5 team scores 74 or fewer points, the O/U is 7-27-1.

Our Safest Play – Auburn/New Mexico St. OVER 145.5

We’re going to qualify this by stating we’re a Wisconsin based startup and that we can see arguments for or against the spread for both the Wisconsin and Marquette games. And if you held a gun to our heads, we’d lean towards betting the OVER on both games instead of the spreads based on the matchups.

But we’d prefer a safer play, and we believe the Auburn/New Mexico St. OVER is the safest of them all with their #8 and #37 rankings in adjusted offensive efficiency, respectively.

Even better, both teams strengths on offense are perfect for the defensive weaknesses of both teams. Auburn is ranked #8 in 3PT attempts as a percentage of FG attempts and #27 in 3PT %. New Mexico State is ranked #105 in defensive 3PT % allowed. Conversely, New Mexico State is #9 in 2PT %, while Auburn is #192 in defensive 2PT % allowed.

The final stat that seals this is that Auburn is #1 in the nation in forcing turnovers and one of the top teams in transition FG%

Thus, we believe that the OVER here is the safest bet out of these first round matchups.

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2019 NCAA Basketball Tournament Betting Analysis: #4 vs. #13

Special thanks to @matteise for compiling the data used in this analysis. Check out our #3 vs. #14 first round analysis here.

Nowadays, it seems like there’s plenty of 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)

#4 Kansas vs. #13 Northeastern

DateSpreadO/U1st Half Spread1st Half O/U
3/21Kansas -6.5143Kansas -366.5

#4 FSU vs. #13 Vermont

DateSpreadO/U1st Half Spread1st Half O/U
3/21FSU -9133.5FSU -4.557.5

#4 Kansas State vs. #13 UC Irvine

DateSpreadO/U1st Half Spread1st Half O/U
3/22Kansas State -4.5119Kansas State -2.563.5

#4 Virginia Tech vs. #13 Saint Louis

DateSpreadO/U1st Half Spread1st Half O/U
3/22Virginia Tech -10.5126Virginia Tech -6.565

Five Interesting Historical Facts On #4 v. #13 Spreads

  1. In the last five years, the #4 team is 7-12-1 ATS, including a 0-4 record ATS last year.
  2. When favored by 10 or more points, the #4 team is 6-15-1 ATS. Virginia Tech is favored by 10.5 points.
  3. Conversely, when the #4 team has a KenPom ranking that is 85 ranking spots or better than the #13 team, the #4 team is 9-4-1 ATS. Also, when the #13 team has a KenPom ranking of 90 or worse, the #4 team is 13-7-1 ATS. Virginia Tech is ranked #11, while Saint Louis is ranked #104.
  4. When the #4 team scored 75 or more points, the #4 team is 22-8-1 ATS, but went 0-1 last season. Kansas averaged 75.4 PPG against the hardest adjusted strength of schedule according to KenPom.
  5. When the #4 Seed scored 74 or fewer points, the #4 team is 9-24 ATS. Kansas State has scored 75 or more points only FOUR times this season against an adjusted SOS ranking of #32.

Five Interesting Historical Facts On #4 v. #13 O/U

  1. In the last five years, the O/U record is 9-11, including 0-4 in 2018.
  2. When the #4 team is favored by 10 or more points, the O/U is 9-13. Virginia Tech is favored by 10.5 points.
  3. When the #4 team scored 75 or more points, the O/U is 20-11. Kansas averaged 75.4 PPG against the hardest adjusted strength of schedule according to KenPom.
  4. When the #4 Seed scored 74 or fewer points, the O/U is 10-23. Kansas State has scored 75 or more points only FOUR times this season against an adjusted SOS ranking of #32. Florida State has scored at least 75 points only two out of their last ten games.
  5. When the #4 team scores 70 or more points, the O/U is 22-16. Conversely, when the #4 team scores 69 or less points, the O/U is 2-24.

Our Safest Play – Kansas -6.5

This line feels like an overreaction to the one advantage Northeastern has over Kansas; shooting from deep. Northeastern is in the top 20 in 3PT FG% and top 25 in 3PT shots as a percentage of overall attempts. Conversely, Kansas barely cracks the top 300 in 3PT shots allowed as a percentage of overall attempts.

However, Kansas is just outside the top 100 in 3PT % allowed. Otherwise, Kansas is far superior in every other facet of the game in terms of talent, coaching, and advanced metrics.

The individual talent and coaching speaks for itself, but Kansas is #15 in adjusted defensive efficiency and will dominate on the glass. Northeastern generally a lineup with 4 guards and one center, which has a lot to do with why they’re ranked #328 in the nation in offensive rebound percentage.

Finally, Northeastern has played only two teams with top 25 adjusted defensive efficiency in Syracuse and Virginia Tech. In both those games, they lost by over 20 points.

Thus, we believe that Kansas ATS is the safest bet out of these first round matchups.

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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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