The excitement in the air is palpable as sixty-four contenders try to prove who is worthy of being the national champion in 2014 and I’m here with some last minute March Madness betting tips so you know how to attack the betting lines.
My Last Minute March Madness Betting Tips
Underdog Upsets Are Value Marc Madness Bets
As I high lighted last week, the underdogs win these games 62.7% of the time over the last 10 years in the Round of 64. And this is the year of upsets if you ask me. Looking at the bracket, it’s easy to use logic and push the top seeds through because most have earned that respect. However, statistically, you can get amazing value for your dollar by just hammering a couple smart underdog moneylines that have promising payouts which is why I’m emphasizing this one more time as a last minute March Madness betting tip. I love NC State at +130 over Saint Louis, SFA at +226 over VCU and Providence at +160 over UNC.
The Midwest Region is a Mine Field
No bracket is tougher to call than the Midwest Region which features Wichita State (undefeated), Louisville (defending champ), Michigan (last year’s runner-up) and two teams in Duke and Kentucky that feature two of the best NBA prospects in the country (Jabari Parer and Julius Randle). They also have a red hot team in NC State that just won its First Four matchup. That makes this a dangerous place to swing wildly with your wallet.
Does that mean it’s an impossible place to wager? Absolutely not. I’d freely push all of those teams through to the next round because if the Midwest offers any realizations we can use as a last minute March Madness betting tip, it’s that talent usually rises to the top. The second round is fairly straight forward in this regard. The following round later this weekend is going to be a nightmare.
Hot Hands Are Worth Betting On
By the time we reach the Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight, momentum for Cinderella’s and underdog teams playing past their potential usually runs out. It’s a statistical fact that favorites win in the Sweet Sixteen nearly 88% of the time which is why I call it “Pumpkin Time”. However, up until that point – meaning this weekend – the dogs have plenty of bite.
There are a lot of lower seeds that are worth tracking because the selection committee gave too much credit to some conferences, like the Big East. I love Pittsburgh, NC State, Baylor, Oregon, Providence and Kentucky to continue their rousing play both against the spread and straight up. I don’t love any of these teams long term, but in the heat of the moment the hot hands are still worth trusting.
Don’t Bet On the Second Seeds
All that being said, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that the favorites are the stronger long term plays in March Madness, even if my last minute betting tips heavily feature the dogs and under-celebrated teams. My Final Four includes Michigan State (perhaps the best team heading in to the tournament), Florida (which will have to probably contend with Pittsburgh in the next round), Creighton or Arizona in the West and whomever wins a hopeful matchup between Wichita State and Louisville in the Midwest.
Those are all first, fourth or third seeds. The second seeds have all been routine letdowns throughout the year. That includes Wisconsin, Villanova, Duke and Kansas. All of those squads are talented, but they’re not worth backing for a great distance because they are incredibly prone to upsets, which is also why I don’t totally trust the Arizona Wildcats.
No matter what your overall strategy is, you have to toe the line between trusting historical stats and the trends of the 2014 NCAA season. For now, as we run in to the Round of 64, the best last minute March Madness betting tip I can give you is to lean on the dogs for the most part this weekend.