Bet against Michigan State and UNC at your peril. Bet against Xavier only if you have too much money and are determined to give some of it away.
It’s the Sweet 16 stage of the 2012 March Madness bracket and some teams are in a spot where they never seem to lose. Other teams are at the same spot, but never seem to win. Ever.
Take Michigan State, for example. The No. 1 seed has been here five times in the past decade and always covered the spread. They are small chalk against Louisville, a team they have only played twice since 1999 (they won and covered both times).
“Xavier has made the round of 16 as a 10 seed and continued its run as the absolute best bet in college basketball tournament action,” said Mike Pickett of OddsShark.com. “By winning ATS last week, they are now 17-2-1 ATS in 20 tournament games since 2001.” They opened as 6-point underdogs against Baylor.
North Carolina is also money in the bank at Sweet 16 time. They are 4-1 ATS in five Sweet 16 matches this decade and they give 10.5 points to No. 13 seed Ohio. Flip the coin the other way and you have Syracuse and Ohio State, two schools that never seem to win at this stage of the bracket.
Syracuse has been here four times since 2001 and have never covered. Ohio State is 0-3 ATS in their three Sweet 16 games recently. Stepping outside the Sweet 16 and looking for general trends, there are some very dangerous underdogs this week. And Kentucky, despite losing to Indiana in December, is 9-3 ATS in 12 seasons against the Hoosiers (and they still have the odds-on favorite to win tournament MVP in Anthony Davis).
Ohio gets 10.5 points, which might be more than enough to convince bettors they can hang around UNC. They are 12-3 ATS in their past 15 as a dog. The Cincinnati Bearcats are 8-3 ATS in their past 11 games as underdog, while Indiana has won three in a row as an underdog.
South Region Trends
Kentucky 16-1 SU past two Marches
Kentucky 9-3 ATS vs Indiana since 2000
Kentucky just 2-6 ATS past 8 as fave of 9 or more points
Indiana won 3 straight as underdog
Indiana just 4-13 ATS past 17 games as dog of 9 or more
Indiana not won in 19 straight as dog of 9 or more points
Baylor – no trends
Xavier 17-2-1 ATS past 20 tournament games
Xavier just 3-7-1 ATS past 11 games overall
Xavier played 6 straight OVERs as underdog
West Region Trends
Michigan State 5-0 ATS in Sweet 16 since 2001
Michigan State 2-0 vs Louisville since 1999 (won by 12 each time)
Louisville won and covered 6 straight games
UNDER is 9-1 past 10 Louisville games
Louisville 8-3 ATS past 11 games as underdog
Marquette 8-2 ATS past 10 games overall
Marquette 9-3-1 ATS past 13 games as favorite
OVER is 7-1 past 8 games as favorite
Florida 8-2 ATS past 10 tournament games
Florida lost 6 straight as an underdog
East Region Trends
Syracuse 8-1 SU, 2-7 ATS past 9 games
Syracuse 2-7 ATS past 9 games as favorite
Syracuse 0-4 ATS in Sweet 16 since 2001
Wisconsin – no trends
Cincinnati 8-3 ATS past 11 games as underdog
Cincinnati 8-1 ATS past 9 games overall
Ohio State 0-3 ATS in Sweet 16 since 2001
OVER is 8-1 past 9 games overall
10-4 ATS past 14 games as fave of 8 or more points
Midwest Region Trends
North Carolina 4-1 ATS past 5 in Sweet 16 action
North Carolina 9-3 ATS past 12 games overall
North Carolina 9-3 ATS past 12 games as favorite
North Carolina 6-1 ATS past 7 as double-digit favorite
Ohio 10-1 SU past 11 games overall
Ohio 12-3 ATS past 15 games as underdog
NC State 7-0-1 ATS past 8 games overall
NC State 8-2 ATS past 10 games as underdog
Kansas UNDER is 7-2 past 9 games in March