Complete 2019 NCAA Basketball Betting Guide for Week 1.

7 Things to Know Before Betting the 2019 March Madness Final Four

Written by on April 4, 2019

Here is a look at some of the top things we think you should know before you bet on the NCAA Final Four.

7 Things to Know Before Betting the 2019 March Madness Final Four

1. Head over Heart!

One of the very first things I tell all betting enthusiasts is to use what I like to call the ‘head over heart’ method. Betting buffs in all sports genres should never, ever bet on one of their favorite teams or against a hated rival. By doing so, you’ll manage to stay clear of using your ‘heart’ to make wagers, thereby effectively ensuring all of the focus goes on the game’s ATS outcome. While we all have favorite teams, alma maters, etc. I’ve seen thousands of bettors get in trouble because they’re ‘hoping’ their team can cover the spread more so than making an educated, unemotional wager. Keep it simple and go by the numbers, not the emotional connection to a specific team, player, or coach.

2. No. 1 Seeds Advance

If you didn’t know, a No. 16 seed has only once knocked off a No. 1 seed since the NCAA Tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985. This seconds the first rule. Keep the numbers involved when making these calls. A Cinderella story does not HAVE to exist in your bracket. Knowing the history of each team is very important, but also understanding how the tournament works and how the committee selects the teams will help you further understand why no. 1 seeds are so heavily favored over their “almost first round bye”. This information is also very helpful in understanding why a certain team is favored over another, or why they earned a higher seed than their opponent. This tournament went mostly chalk, and for good reason. The committee knows what they are doing. When we get this late in the game though, their seed is somewhat like many people claim age is, just a number, until your back hurts.

3. Back a Hot team

Ever since 2011, when the NCAA expanded its annual tournament to a 68-team field, at least one first-four at-large winner has reached either the Round of 32 or the Sweet 16. There’s a reason why the “magic” of the tournament grabs hold each year, and it is usually in this team, whatever team that may be in a given year. Teams like Florida Gulf Coast, Bradley University, and Loyola Chicago come to mind when discussing these types of teams. Understand that it usually happens and what type of team rises to the occasion is critical. These teams that come into the tournament hot are no different than the teams that come swinging into the final four when no one expected it. In this year’s final four, those teams are Texas Tech and Auburn, the underdogs.

4. Pick a No. 1 or a No. 2 seed to Fail

One of the top two seeds in each region is almost a lock to fail to reach the Sweet 16. The last time every No. 1 and No. 2 seed made it to the second weekend was way back in 2009. There is more parity at the 4-11 seeded teams now than ever and with a one and done format, teams who have a bad outing find themselves out of it. See Michigan State. They tend to be a usual suspect in this realm. Just as the tournament has been mostly chalk, it is highly unlikely that the higher seeded teams BOTH win. My money is on Auburn and Michigan State to play for the title. If I had to bet, I feel much more comfortable with Michigan State than I do Virginia, and again, the hot hand of Auburn, combined with their lack of pressure helps them tremendously.

5. Remember…Not All No. 1’s Are Created Equal

If you think all four No. 1 seeds are a lock to reach the Final Four, think again – and adjust your wagers accordingly. Since the annual March Madness event began seeding teams in 1979, all four No. 1 seeds have made it to the Final Four just once – in 2008. Conversely, at least one No. 1 seed has reached the Final Four except for two years(2006 and 2011) in every tournament since 1985. 7 Things to Know Before Betting the 2019 March Madness Final Four. Again, this is where understanding how the selection committee determines seeding is important. Knowing which types of teams have had success against those number one seeds is also very important when identifying a specific bracket that will pose a problem for a no. 1 team.

6. Look at past performance

Make sure you are paying attention to how coaches have performed historically against one another, how types of teams fare against them, etc. if a team struggles with a defensive minded team that runs a lot of zone defense, then they may be upset by a team with a similar style of play. This one points me to Virginia and Michigan State. MSU has historically had success with experienced players and Virginia has fallen on their faces more than they have dominated the landscape after terrific regular seasons.

7. Include age and Resiliency in the Equation

A team of very good upperclassmen will likely defeat a group of phenomenal freshmen in the tournament, especially if the freshmen have not been overly challenged in the regular season. Knowing how to respond to adversity and how to shut a team down in the final quarter is important. Enjoy the rest of the tournament! Good luck!