We always hear about teams getting hot at the right time in college basketball. Teams that go on improbable runs through March just because they fit all the puzzle pieces together at just the right moment. This idea goes the same for bettors, as well.
Which teams have found their greatest success, or failures, for bettors heading into March Madness? These are the teams that bettors may want to consider tailing or fading through the beginning of the Madness.
Hottest ATS Team: Nevada Wolf Pack
Nevada is going to be a trendy pick to bust a few brackets and with good reason. The Wolf Pack are a physically imposing team with some of the best three-point shooting in the country. They closed out their regular season and conference play going 9-0 SU and ATS.
Each of those nine games saw Nevada close as a favorite of 4.5 to 9.5 points. The Wolf Pack proceeded to decimate their opponents by posting an average scoring margin of plus-15 points with all but two of those wins coming by double digits.
Obviously, playing Iowa State is a different animal than playing teams like New Mexico and Wyoming. That being said, Nevada is getting spotted 6.5 points at the time of open and of their six losses on the season, the Wolf Pack have remained within 6.5 points three times.
Coldest ATS Bet: South Carolina Gamecocks
South Carolina fans watched the wheels fall off to end the regular season. The Gamecocks opened SEC play going 9-1 SU and then faltered to go 3-5 to close out the regular season and got bumped in their first game during the SEC tourney. South Carolina has failed to cover in its past three games and has gone 1-9 ATS in the last 10.
In the Gamecocks’ past 10 games, nine of which saw the team close as a favorite, they have posted an average scoring margin of minus-1.2 points per game. That number would also be much smaller if it were not for an 82-55 beatdown South Carolina put on Tennessee.
Considering all of this, it’s hard to bite on South Carolina opening as a small fave in a Round of 64 meeting with Marquette. Plus, the Golden Eagles have had a tendency to pull off upset victories this season with wins over Creighton and Villanova.
Hottest OVER Bet: Iowa State Cyclones
Iowa State’s offense has just been chugging along, as the Cyclones have scored at least 80 points in nine of their past 12 games. Dating back to January 28, Iowa State has posted an OVER record of 12-2 and enters the tourney riding a nine-game OVER streak.
The Cyclones offense runs on the deep ball, as they are 11th in the nation in 3-point shooting percentage and ninth in 3-pointers made per game. Though the entire starting lineup can hit shots from downtown, it’s Matt Thomas, a little-known senior, who has proven to be the deadly sharpshooter. The senior averages 5.8 trey attempts per game and is shooting 44 percent from beyond the arc.
The Cyclones meet another equally capable shooting team in the Round of 64 when they take on Nevada. The Wolf Pack are 31st in the nation in treys per game and 33rd in 3-point shooting percentage. Iowa State and Nevada opened with one of the highest totals in the early games of the tournament and if they shoot the way they can, it is well deserved.
Hottest UNDER Bet: Jacksonville State Gamecocks
Another group of Gamecocks makes this article but this time it’s the Gamecocks of Jacksonville State. In all honesty, most people have no clue that Jacksonville State is not in Jacksonville, Florida (it’s actually in Alabama), so we can forgive you for not noticing that the Gamecocks have been one of the best UNDER bets in the country.
Since the start of the 2017 calendar, Jacksonville State has gone UNDER in 15 of its 17 games. That includes entering the tourney with five straight UNDERs. The Gamecocks play a deliberate pace, as they ranked second-to-last in the Ohio Valley in points scored and last by a wide margin in shots attempted, but hit a respectable 45.7 percent of their shots.
Jacksonville State plays its first March Madness game in program history against another defensive-focused team in Louisville. However, despite being a defense-oriented team, the Cardinals have several players who are capable of putting the ball through the hoop. This game could very well be a race to 60.