2011 NCAA Bracket Predictions: Gambling Trends May Help You Make Picks

Some people love betting trends, and never bet on a NCAA Tournament game without a thorough review of them.

Others write them off as irrelevant, figuring that past results don’t have an effect on current teams. Whichever side of the trend train you ride on, one thing we can all agree on is that trends are interesting and can shed some historical light on factors that may affect the future.

Like they say, those who ignore the past are doomed to repeat it (or something like that). If you know Missouri has won five straight first-round games and covered the spread in four of them, does it change your mind about picking Cincinnati to beat them?

With the first two play-in games in the books Tuesday, the 2011 NCAA Tournament is officially underway. For trends, previews, matchup reports on every game, line updates by the minute and an inventory of the best free bracket games on the web, check out SB Nation’s partner Odds Shark.

Missouri Trending Positively

11-seed Missouri is currently a pick’em in what should be a great game against 6-seed Cincinnati. Missouri’s trends over the last few years suggest that they might be the pick in this one; the Tigers are 5-0 SU and 4-1 ATS in the first round.

They are also 7-3 ATS in their past 10 tournament games against higher-seeded opponents, and a win ATS is also a win outright in this game.

Not So Lucky 7’s

The number seven has always been synonymous with good luck, but the 7-seed has been anything but lucky in the NCAA Tournament over the last two years. 7-seeds are 2-6 straight up in this matchup, going just 1-3 SU in each of the last two NCAA Tournaments. Only Texas in 2008-09 and BYU in 2009-10 were able to avoid first-round exits as 7-seeds.

Tough Draw for Vanderbilt

5-seed Vanderbilt has been knocked out in the first round in their last two NCAA Tournament appearances, and despite a great regular season they may have trouble avoiding another early exit. The Richmond Spiders are a popular sleeper team in this tournament, and for good reason; they enter red-hot on an 11-1 SU and 10-2 ATS run over their last 12 games.

Pittsburgh: Look Out for the Sweet 16!
   
1-seed Pittsburgh has had an outstanding season, and their bracket looks to provide a manageable trip to the Final Four. But if their last nine trips to the dance are any indication, they may not get that far.

While the Panthers perform well in Round 1 (8-1 SU, 6-3 ATS), they have struggled in Round 2 (5-3 SU, 3-5 ATS) and have been flat-out terrible in the Sweet 16 (1-4 SU, 0-5 ATS).

Watch for odds updates on every game. And find the full NCAA Tournament 2011 bracket here.

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