Winning March Madness Betting Brackets

December 1, 2010 NCAA Basketball

March Madness betting for many people is all about the brackets.

They look to pick their brackets and win their contests and at the same time they also look to make a little money against the March Madness odds.

March Madness betting in the first round is all about the seedings. The top seeds almost always win but that doesn’t mean they cover the March Madness odds.  If you are picking a bracket though you definitely want to take the top seeds in the first round.  A #1 seed has never lost to a #16 seed in the first round.  The #2 seeds are almost as good so you can pencil them to advance as well.  Even the #3 seeds have been solid.  When it gets to the #4 seeds and below, more upsets can occur in March Madness betting.  The #4 seed still wins about 8 out of 10 so you probably want to pick them.  When it gets to #5 the percentages really drop.  The problem with blindly taking the #12 seed is that it has become popular to do so and the March Madness betting odds have lessened the value on the #12 seeds.

Let’s look at the percentages for each game in the first round.  We know that the #1 seed wins 100% of the time. The #2 seed wins outright 96% of the time.  The #3 seed has a winning percentage of 85%. The fourth seed wins 79% of the time.  The fifth seed wins 66% of the time.  The #6 seed actually has a higher winning percentage than the fifth seed as they win 69% of the time.  The #7 seed wins 61% of the time while the #8 seed actually loses more often against the #9 seed as they are only 46%.

History has been made in March Madness betting brackets the past couple of seasons.  Last year was the first time in history that all 12 of the top three seeds made the Sweet Sixteen.  Two years ago was the first time that all four #1 seeds made the Final Four.

You can pretty much count on at least one of the top seeds making the Final Four. Only twice in history have all four #1 seeds been eliminated before the Final Four.  It happened in 1980 and in 2006. That seems unlikely in 2010 with power teams like Kansas and Kentucky at the top of the polls.

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