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Joined: Oct 14, 2009
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March 30th, 2017 at 5:47:40 PM permalink
I'm surprised nobody has started a thread on this topic yet. College basketball is far from my strong suit but I used to bet the props on the whole bracket. This year I skipped it. However, I was curious how 2017 stacked up to other years. Here are some observations.

Of the 32 teams advancing past the first round, the average seed was 5.31. Over all previous seasons it was 5.81. So, lots of favorites coming in.

Of the 16 teams advancing past the second round, the average seed was 5.56. Over all previous seasons it was 4.5. So, some underdogs hitting in the second round (handicapping by seed only). The biggest was Xavier with an 11 seed.

Of the Elite Eight, the average seed was 3.75. The overall average is 3.14, so again more underdogs than usual. Xavier with an 11 seed advanced, boosting the average.

Of the Final Four, where we are at with this writing, the average seed is 3.00. The Final Four average, since 1985, is 2.78, so little higher than normal. In particular there are two #1s, a #3, and a #7.

In case you're wondering, which you probably aren't, the lowest seed (meaning highest number), to reach the Final Four is 11, which has happened three times.

Here are some common props they do every year and how they did:

Will a 14, 15 or 16 seed win at least one game? - No. Lowest seed to advance was 12.
Will a 13 seed win at least one game? - No.
Will a 12 seed win at least one game? - Yes
Will a #1 seed win the championship - ? (two are in the Final Four so good chance)
Will a #2 seed win the championship - No. (None are left)
Will a #3-16 seed win the championship - ? (two are left, a #7 and #3)

The question for the poll is who do you think will win the championship?

Link: 2017 bracket
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
Joined: Sep 26, 2010
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March 30th, 2017 at 6:01:33 PM permalink
When filling out those ubiquitous brackets, the best strategy is to go with the favorite in every game -- betting odds, not seeds (that #12 seed that won was the favorite over the #5 seed). If an 11 or higher seed is within 1.5 points, I'll take them, just to look like I'm forming my own opinion. For later round games, look to the "Team to win more games" props. If it's very close (like 52% or lower) I'll take the lower seed, otherwise I just go with the favorites. Paid $10 into a pool and now have a 90%+ chance of winning (need either UNC or Gonzaga to win one more game).


The great thing about March Madness props is that for a lot of them you can often figure out fair lines just from the game lines. But unlike the Super Bowl, there are lots of sides, totals, and moneylines to bet on, so the props get very little money. So even as the implied odds change, the prices often do not.

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