Here we are, the final whistle has blown on the opening weekend of the NCAA tournament and it’s only a four-day break until the action starts up again. Before looking to the Sweet 16 matchups, here’s a quick recap of the biggest betting storylines from the past weekend and what contenders are emerging strong to the next phase.
The Atlantic Coast Conference is to college basketball what the Southeastern Conference is to college football. That’s why it surprised no one the tournament committee placed more teams from the ACC (nine) than any other conference in the Big Dance.
Those nine teams went a collective 99-14 straight up and 52-38-1 against the spread in non-conference games this season. Those same teams went 7-8 SU and 2-13 ATS in the opening rounds of the tournament.
Many books and sports betting reporters detailed how Vegas and online books enjoyed a winning weekend from the betting public. One thing the books would like a do-over on are the totals for the opening rounds.
The Over went 23-9 in the Round of 64 thanks in large part to the results in the Midwest Region. The Over went 11-0-1 in Kansas’ region with an average of 155 points scored per game.
The four teams remaining in the Midwest are shooting a collective 42 percent from 3-point land and 51.8 percent from the field during the tournament. Oddsmakers set the Purdue-Kansas total at 156.5 the highest Over/Under number for the Boilermakers this season.
The Big 12 has also been a boon for Over bettors, with all 10 of the NCAA games involving Big 12 members going Over the total. Kansas, Baylor and West Virginia remain in the Big Dance with totals of 156.5, 137.5, and 148.5 respectively for their regional semifinal games.
Kansas has been the lone No. 1 seed to look absolutely dominant. In the first weekend of the tourney, Kansas had an average scoring margin of plus-29 points, shot 54.7 percent from the field and outrebounded opponents by a combined 30 boards.
With the Jayhawks crushing their opposition, Frank Mason and company find themselves as a slight +475 favorite to win the NCAAB tournament entering the Sweet 16. Kansas will face off against Purdue in the Sweet 16, which could expose a lack of frontcourt depth but will likely see the guards continue to draw fouls and rack up free points. Slowing down Kansas won’t be easy for any defense, as all five starters are averaging double-digit points so far during March Madness.
The opening week of the NCAA tournament is known for some sizable pointspreads when top seeds take on those in the No. 13, No. 14 and No. 15 category. Double-digits favorites stumbled out of the block on the opening Thursday but righted the ship Friday, but the big betting chalk is just 6-9 ATS heading into the Sweet 16. Now that we’re down to the tournament elite, bettors won’t likely see another double-digit spread the rest of March. Consider these betting trends going into Sweet 16, sign up now at Heritagesports.