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Qualifying Tourney Trends: Sweet 16 Games

By Steve Makinen  () 

If you were among the many that purchased VSiN’s 2019 College Basketball Tournament Betting Guide last week, hopefully you dug in deep to my article on tournament trends by round, seed, conference, and more. There were several great angles that continued to produce fantastic results this past weekend. If you were fortunate enough to also use the L5 Games Power Ratings as the basis for picking your brackets, then you’re probably also quite pleased to have all 16 teams remaining! That said, it’s time to move on to the next round, and I figured it would be a great idea to go back through some of the trends that were in the aforementioned article and re-qualify them for the Sweet 16 based on the actual matchups we will be seeing. Let’s dig right into it.

From the “Navigating the Tournament Round by Round” section of the article, these were the angles to watch for:

SWEET 16 GAMES

• Sweet 16 favorites of 8 points or more are on a 21- 7-3 UNDER (75%) the total run allowing 62.3 PPG Qualifying Game for 2019: VIRGINIA vs. Oregon

• Sweet 16 #1 and #2 seeds have taken care of business lately and combined are on a 22-3 SU & 18-6-1 ATS (75%) run over the L5 seasons Qualifying Teams for 2019: All top seeds remain so qualifying teams are VIRGINIA, TENNESSEE, GONZAGA, MICHIGAN, MICHIGAN STATE, DUKE, KENTUCKY, NORTH CAROLINA

• Sweet 16 round is usually the end of the line for double-digit seeds, however, they have been very competitive as underdogs, going 11-2-1 ATS (84.6%) in that role since 2011. Qualifying team for 2019: OREGON

• Sweet 16 double-digit seeds from power conferences are just 3-11 SU & 5-8-1 ATS (38.5%) since ’05 Qualifying team for 2019: Again OREGON

• Pac 12 teams are just 9-21-1 ATS in the Sweet 16 round since ‘01 Qualifying team for 2019: Again OREGON

• SEC teams have been a solid wager in the Sweet 16 round, 18-7-2 ATS (72%) since ’03, however, both Kentucky & Texas A&M lost in this round SU & ATS a year ago. Qualifying teams for 2019: TENNESSEE, LSU, KENTUCKY, AUBURN

THIS NEXT SECTION COMES FROM THE PORTION OF THE ARTICLE DEALING WITH “OVERALL TOURNAMENT TRENDS BY CONFERENCE”

• In the L9 NCAA Tournaments, Big 12 teams were just 67-58 SU & 49-73-3 ATS (40.2%). They are 5-5 SU & 4-6 ATS thus far in the 2019 tournament. Qualifying Team for 2019: Texas Tech

• West Coast Conference teams are just 1-9 SU & 2-8 ATS in their L10 NCAA games against top 3 seeds Qualifying Team for 2019: GONZAGA is taking on #4 Florida State on Thursday but will be facing a #2 or #3 seed in the Elite 8 round should it win.

• In NCAA Tournament games with totals of 140 or more, West Coast Conference teams are on an ugly 13-21 SU & 9-24-1 ATS (27.3%) slide. Gonzaga has gone 1-1 ATS in its two tournament victories of 2019 with totals of 140 or more. Qualifying Team for 2019: GONZAGA

TRENDS BY MATCHUP

• Seventeen of the L23 NCAA Tournament matchups between ACC & SEC teams went UNDER the total Qualifying Game for 2019: AUBURN vs. NORTH CAROLINA, a game in which the total climbed from 160 at opening to 163 at press time

• Favorites were on a 11-1 SU & 10-2 ATS (83%) run in NCAA Tournament games between the Big 12 & Big Ten. This record is now 11-2 SU & 10-3 ATS (76.9%) after Ohio State’s upset of Iowa State in the first round. Qualifying Team for 2019: MICHIGAN

• Underdogs were on a 15-7-1 ATS (68.2%) run in the L23 NCAA Tournament games between the SEC and Big Ten conferences. This trend is 2-1 ATS so far in 2019, bringing the record to 17-8-1 ATS (68.0%). Qualifying Teams for 2019: LSU (vs. Michigan State) and whichever team might end up the underdog in Purdue-Tennessee matchup

THESE NEXT TRENDS WERE IN THE CONFERENCE TRENDS BY LINE PLACEMENT SECTION

• ACC teams were just 21-40-1 ATS (34.4%) as favorites of 5 points or less in the NCAA’s since ’98. They were 1-2 ATS in the first two rounds of the 2019 tournament, bringing the trend record to 22- 42-1 ATS (34.4%). Qualifying Team for 2019: NORTH CAROLINA

• Underdogs were 9-1-1 ATS (90%) in the L11 Pac 12 NCAA tourney games. They are 2-3 ATS in 2019 as underdogs, leaving the trend at 11-4-1 ATS (73.3%) Qualifying team for 2019: OREGON

• Pac 12 teams had performed well as underdogs lately in NCAA tourney games, 23-12 ATS (65.7%) since ’11. Add a 2-2 ATS mark in 2019 for an updated record of 25-14 ATS (64.1%) Qualifying team for 2019: OREGON

THESE NEXT TRENDS WERE IN THE CONFERENCE

TRENDS BY LINE PLACEMENT SECTION

Over/Under Trends

• Big 12 teams had gone 25-10 OVER (71.4%) the total since 2016, and they are 5-5 OVER in 2019, for an updated record of 30-15 OVER (66.7%). Qualifying Game for 2019: TEXAS TECH vs. Michigan

L5 POWER RATINGS THEORETICAL POINT SPREADS

If you’ve bought into the L5 Games Power Ratings as your method of choice for picking your brackets, and perhaps the point spreads in the games, you should know that these are my updated theoretical point spreads using those ratings:

THURSDAY, MARCH 28, 2019

SOUTH REGIONAL

SEMIFINALS KFC YUM CENTER - LOUISVILLE, KY

(651) OREGON (-3.4) vs. (652) VIRGINIA

(653) PURDUE (-3.5) vs. (654) TENNESSEE

WEST REGIONAL SEMIFINALS

HONDA CENTER - ANAHEIM, CA

(655) FLORIDA ST (-0.8) vs. (656) GONZAGA

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