March Madness is so aptly named with the tournament being single-elimination from the jump and upsets being a big part of the tournament. Even in a tournament of this nature, some trends have appeared in recent years that should be considered ahead of your March Madness betting. It is also worth considering that these are mainly based on a team’s ranking, which is given by the selection committee so they should still be taken with a pinch of salt.
Only One #1 Seed Has Ever Lost In The First Round
It’s not the most obscure betting trend, but one worth reiterating. With the schedule set around those seeds, #1 seeds have a great record in the first round vs the 16th ranked sides but are always big favorites to win
Number 1 seeds were unbeaten in the first round until as recently as 2018 when the #16 UMBC beat #1 Virginia.
#1 Seeds Are Also A Historically Safe Bet In The Second Round
So we know that all #1 seeds have won in the first round except one, but how do they fare in the second round? Well, pretty good. Not quite as much a lock as the first Round but since 1985 #1 seeds have gone 120-19 in the second round, for a win percentage of 86.3.
First Round – 5 seeds vs 12 seeds
March Madness upsets are a mainstay of the bracket, and it’s worth picking a few of them in your bracket in the early rounds. While lower-ranked teams have a poor record in the latter stages of March Madness – with no team seeded 12 or lower ever reaching the Final Four, they are usually worth a look in the first two rounds.
The 12 vs 5 upset is one of the more popular options in brackets each year, but for good reason.
Since the tournament was expanded in 1985, 12th seeds have a 47-89 record against 5th seeds, equating to a 34% win-rate, just over a third. For comparison, 13th seeds only have a record of 28-108 (20%) against 4th seeds so there is a big drop off, for just one seed either way.
Since 1985, at least one 12th seed has advanced into the second round in all bar 5 March Madness tournaments.