Elite Eight Betting
If everything in the NCAA Tournament went by the book, number-one seeds would do excellent in the Elite Eight. But whether it's the pressure of being one game away from the Final Four or the tough competition at this point, top seeds don't really excel at this point. Let's discuss this interesting topic further along with some other things that bettors should know about Elite Eight betting.
Not what you'd expect
According to a study done by BetVega involving number-one seeds over a 10-year period, these top-rated schools have gone just 17-14 in the Elite Eight, winning by an average of +1.3 points. They are far worse against the spread, racking up an awful 12-19 record during this span. Obviously you can never count out a one seed. But when it comes to spread betting, these schools are far from a sure thing.
Two seeds haven't dominated the Elite Eight either. The study showed that they went 10-8 in straight-up bets and 9-8-1 against the spread (ATS). Assuming a number-two seed is playing a top seed, keep in mind that they tallied an 8-5 record straight-up and ATS against number ones.
Three seeds went 6-6 straight-up and 7-5 ATS. Interestingly enough, they were an underdog in all 12 games during the 10-year study. So taking the number-three seed on the moneyline every time during this period was a long-term winning proposition. You may not get quite the same benefits from blindly taking four seeds at this point. Number-four teams went 2-1 straight-up and 1-2 ATS.
If you're looking for some good value with regard to Elite Eight seeding, the decade-long study showed that five seeds went 4-0 both in straight-up and ATS. So any time you find a number-four seed in this round, it's be a great idea to at least look into them. As for teams rated lower than five, you don't see a lot of these teams make the Elite Eight. So historical data on six seeds and below is fairly limited.
Elite Eight Betting Strategy
Historical trends are always helpful when you first start researching a wager. Of course, bettors should always go beyond studies and trends when ultimately making their bet. The only problem is that soft lines become extremely rare at this juncture of the NCAA Tournament. So punters really have their work cut out with Elite Eight betting.
This certainly isn't to say that you can't be successful by wagering on this line, though. But it takes some time to make a really informed bet. One good place to start is by looking at how teams rebound an defend. With the latter, you really want to check out defensive field goal percentage because forcing teams to take bad shots and miss is critical to winning (or at least beating the spread).
Also consider guard play when researching Elite Eight contests. Sure you need good forwards and a center to play well. But schools with great guards are excellent at controlling the tempo and setting up the half-court offense. In the same vein, you want to examine how much NBA talent each team has. By the time this round rolls around, most teams are going to boast some very strong players. But those with 2-3 NBA-caliber players stand a really good shot of winning and/or covering the spread.
There are plenty of other things you can study when it comes to Elite Eight betting. However, at least make sure to look into rebounding margin, defensive field goal percentage, guard play and NBA talent.