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NCAA Tournament Biggest Betting Mismatches: Round of 64
The NCAA tournament presents college basketball bettors with some unique matchups they wouldn’t get anywhere else, which makes the Big Dance ripe with mismatches.
Of course, you see more of these in games involving high and low seeds – like a No. 1 versus a No. 16 – but here are four underlying mismatches that may make or break your bets in the second round.
No. 3 Michigan State Spartans vs. No. 14 Valparaiso Crusaders (+10, 127)
Spartans’ home-court edge vs. Crusaders’ Indiana roots
Michigan State wound up in the toughest region in the tournament – the Midwest – but it got the luck of the draw with its first two tournament games scheduled in its home state. The Spartans make the short trip to Detroit to face the Crusaders in the Palace of Auburn Hills Thursday, a homecoming for many of MSU’s players.
Valparaiso is just four hours from Detroit but Michigan basketball fans don’t take kindly to teams from Indiana, whether their names are the Hoosiers or the Crusaders.
"It's going to be a home game for them basically in Michigan," Valpo head coach Bryce Drew told MLive.com.
Rebels’ up-tempo offense vs. Badgers’ slow-motion sets
Ole Miss ranks 10th in the country in points per game (77.9) and fires up an average of 62 shots an outing – fifth most in the land. Wisconsin, on the other hand, attempted just 47 field goals in its 50-43 loss to Ohio State in the Big Ten title game and averages 65.5 points on the season. Someone’s got to give in this West Regional showdown.
The Rebels come into the tournament with a ton of momentum and a chip on their shoulder after winning the SEC championship but only receiving a No. 12 seed for their efforts. Ole Miss is hoping starting point guard Jarvis Summers can return from a concussion and dictate the flow but books seem to think Wisconsin will control the pace with the total set at 128 points – Mississippi’s second-lowest total all season.
No. 4 Saint Louis Billikens vs. No. 13 New Mexico State Aggies (+9, 122)
Billikens’ undersized F Dwayne Evans vs. Aggies’ 7-footer Sim Bhullar
Saint Louis built a ton of buzz heading into March, winning both the A-10 regular season and tournament titles. That success is in part due to 6-foot-5 forward Dwayne Evans, who has stepped up as the Billikens’ go-to scorer in recent games. Evans was recently called a "below-the-rim workaholic” by local reporters, which may not bode well for the SLU junior versus the Aggies’ towering frontcourt.
New Mexico State will plug 7-foot-5, 355-pound center Sim Bhullar in the middle of the paint in order to disrupt Evans. Bhullar averaged 10.2 points, 6.5 rebounds and swatted more than two blocks per game. Behind him is fellow Toronto native 6-foot-10 forward Renaldo Dixon, who averaged 1.3 blocks in just under 19 minutes a game. The Aggies finished 13th in the nation in swats – 5.5 an outing – and held opponents to 39.8 percent shooting.
VCU leads the nation in steals (11.8 per game) and turnovers forced (19.9 per game). The Rams thrive on their foes' mistakes and turn those into points, a big reason why they shoot 44.9 percent from the field. It’s not too tough when you keep getting fast break layups.
The Zips are a man down heading into the NCAA after starting point guard Alex Abreu was arrested for drug trafficking and suspended before the MAC tournament. Akron had 31 total turnovers in the two games without Abreu and average 13.7 on the year. VCU head coach Shaka Smart was once an assistant for the Zips and knows Akron head coach Keith Dambrot very, very well.
NCAA tourney early round betting trends
By MARC LAWRENCE
The 2013 NCAA Tournament has arrived and with it a final chance to pad our bankrolls for the season.
To make that shining moment happen, let’s take a look at how teams in this event have fared most recently in the past.
Because it’s my belief that success in handicapping this tournament is tantamount to breaking the action down into rounds, let’s take a look at some of the more relevant and most recent first round betting trends.
Here are notes from the 2013 PLAYBOOK NCAA Tournament guide. Note all results are since 1991 unless noted otherwise. Abbreviations: ATS (Against The Spread), SU (Straight Up).
If your dream of designs is completing the perfect bracket (read: picking every winner in every game), enjoy the dream.
You have a better chance of winning 50 Powerball lotteries in your lifetime!
Since expanding to 64 teams in 1985, the odds of randomly picking a perfect bracket sheet are one in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 – or better than one in nine quintillion.
Hint: you can reduce the odds to one in 13.5 billion simply by picking the No. 1 seeds over the No. 16 seeds in the first round and going from there.
Now that you’re feeling better about your chances, concentrate, instead on picking the Final Four teams. That’s 16 to the fourth power, or one in 65,536.
Incidentally, there have been only seven teams seeded lower than No. 6 to reach the Final Four since 1985: 1985 Villanova (8), 1986 LSU (11), 2000 North Carolina (8), 2000 Wisconsin (8), 2006 George Mason (11), 2011 Butler (8) and 2011 VCU (11).
For what it’s worth, Sheldon Jacobson, a computer science professor at the University of Illinois, informs us the most likely Final Four seed combination is 1, 1, 2, 3. The odds against this occurring are about 16 to 1. It has happened three times in the past 28 years. Chalk artists beware: the odds of all four No.1 seeds reaching the Final Four: 47.5 to 1.
And long shot lovers note: the odds of a No. 16 seed reaching the Final Four: 828 to 1. The odds of all four No. 16 seeds reaching the Final Four: about one trillion to 1.
PLANTING THE SEED
• No. 1 seeds are 88-0 SU and 50-37-1 ATS vs. No. 16 seeds, including 16-3 ATS if favored by fewer than 10 points off back-to-back SU wins.
• No. 2 seeds are 82-6 SU and 37-47-4 ATS vs. No. 15 seeds, including 11-25-4 ATS vs. foes off a SU win.
• No. 3 seeds are 78-10 SU and 47-39-2 ATS vs. No. 14 seeds, including 34-1 SU & 26-8-1 ATS off a SU favorite loss.
• No. 4 seeds are 69-19 SU and 49-38-1 ATS vs. No. 13 seeds, including 34-16 ATS as favorites of less than 10 points.
• No. 5 seeds are 57-31 SU and 43-45 ATS vs. No. 12 seeds, including 9-6 SU and 6-9 ATS the last four years. In addition, No. 12 seeds that participated in last year’s event are 21-16 SU against No. 5’s dating back to 1985. Those who did not play in this tournament the previous season are 17-58 SU in this round. FYI: a No. 12 seed has failed to beat a No. 5 seed only twice since 1988.
• No. 6 seeds are 60-28 SU and 47-39-2 ATS vs. No. 11 seeds, including 9-8 SU and 4-12-1 ATS vs. an opponent off an ATS win of more than seven points.
• No. 7 seeds are 49-39 SU and 46-41-1 ATS vs. No. 10 seeds, including 1-7 SU and ATS 1-7 ATS when off back-to-back SU losses.
• No. 8 seeds are 43-45 SU and 42-44-2 ATS vs. No. 9 seeds, including 8-14 SU and 7-15 ATS as favorites of three or more points.
Pete Tiernan of Bracketscience.com reminds us that since 1985, No. 5 and 6 seeds own identical 74-38 SU marks against No. 12 and 11 seeds respectively.
FIRST ROUND NOTES
Conference tournament champs most recent trends in this round (numbers all ATS):
ACC: 3-1-1, Atlantic 10: 2-4, Big Ten: 4-2, Big 12: 0-3, Big East: 5-1, Big West: 1-6, Colonial: 7-4, C-USA: 1-5, Horizon: 4-1, MAC: 3-0, Missouri Valley: 2-5-1, Mountain West: 4-1-1, Pac-12: 5-2, Sun Belt: 3-2, SEC: 2-3, WAC: 2-6, West Coast: 2-5.ß
The Wildcats are in my humble opinion one of the most over rated teams in the nation. Dont get me wrong they are a solid team, and are strong on the glass and defensively effecient! However, it has been diocumented that they have had problems keeping their opposition from connecting from downtown behind the 3-point line. Belmont with its talented duo of guards Kerron Johnson and Ian Clark- when given room in an uptempo transition game, can fire their cannons with scarey accuracy from trey land! Belmont has taken out the likes of Midd Tenn State,and Ohio this season and are a dangerous dog that must not be underestimated or ignored!