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March Madness Point Spreads – Predicting NCAA Tournament Point Spreads

Posted by Washington Tucker on 2/10/2014 5:06:12 AM

March Madness betting gurus are going to be consumed for the next few weeks by several March Madness questions, one of them being the following: Which games in the 2012 NCAA Tournament are likely to bring about substantial point spreads? It’s clear that many games in America’s favorite bracketed tournament will be close, featuring unpredictable action and the missed front ends of one-and-ones or other scenarios that will shift control from one team to another in a heartbeat. It’s easy to think that games between the No. 8 and No. 9 seeds will be really close in the round of 64, but it’s harder to project the games that will be blowouts or comfortable 12-point decisions. Sometimes, the lower seed is the team that wins a game by a substantial margin, as was the case in 2008 when 13th-seeded Siena blasted fourth-seeded Vanderbilt in the round of 64 in Tampa, Florida.  

When you do your homework and assess your first (and second, and third) sports bet on this year’s NCAA Tournament, it’s all about the matchups involved. First off, you know that the matchups between a No. 1 seed and a No. 16 seed will be lopsided. Most of the games between a 2 seed and a 15 seed will also be routs. However, the comparatively weak nature of a lot of No. 3 and No. 4 seeds means that the 3-14 and 4-13 games could be very competitive, much more so than you might initially think. The 5-12 games are usually very even, and once you get to the 6-11 and 7-10 games, you’re basically looking at pick-em games. How to sift your way through all of these matchups, you say?

Part of the equation is tempo. Fast-tempo teams such as North Carolina, Syracuse and Kentucky should be able to create distance between themselves and their early-round opponents. Slowdown teams such as Wisconsin, who gain far fewer possessions in a given 40-minute game, will likely not win by huge margins because they don’t give themselves as many opportunities to score. Wisconsin is a team that will be happy with a 55-47 win. It might not be comfortable, but it’s not a nail-biter, either. The Badgers work on defense and don’t mind putting in a little extra effort in order to win. The fact is, though, that they’re not going to blow out their opponents with a dazzling display of offense.

The college basketball betting experts who analyze the NCAA Tournament will tell you to focus not just on matchups, but on certain traits: Do teams have a rock-solid point guard who can create opportunities for his teammates? Are teams filled with seniors who blend really well on the court? This was the example provided by both Butler and Virginia Commonwealth in their runs to the Final Four last season. Do teams have a superstar who can carry everyone else on their back? This is the case with Michigan State and Draymond Green. The more factors that work in favor of a team, the greater the point spread could be for its NCAA Tournament games.

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