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Big Ten in the NCAA Tourney

   by ASA - 03/18/2006

It’s March Madness! Here is some insight on the teams from the Big Ten Conference and how they’ve fared in the past come Tourney time. This article will give you some historical perspective on how Big Ten teams have done in the Big Dance both outright and against the pointspread. Now just because the historical numbers state one thing that obviously doesn’t mean that’s absolutely the way it will go in 2006. Numbers change year by year, this just gives you an overall view of how the conference has done from a wagering perspective over the last few years.

This year we have six teams from the Big Ten in the NCAA tournament. They are Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan State, Ohio State and Wisconsin. The lines for the opening rounds are out and Wisconsin is the only Big Ten team that Las Vegas tabbed as an underdog in the first round. The Badgers actually opened really early as a two point underdog and the line has since moved. We would not be surprised if this was an even game by tip time or even if Wisconsin was a slight favorite. Now let’s take a look at how the Big 10 Conference has done overall in the NCAA Tournament in recent years.
Since the 1990-91 season the Big Ten is 128 & 80 straight up or SU in the Big Dance, 109- 97-2 against the spread or ATS. In last year’s tourney alone, the Big Ten was 12 & 5 outright and 9 & 8 ATS. Since 1998 the overall success of the Big Ten teams in the NCAA Tournament is a money making 69-48-2 ATS or 59%. When we break this down even further to see if we can gain an advantage over the odds makers we find that favorites from the Big Ten are 71 & 58 ATS (55%), while underdogs are a dead even 36 & 36 ATS. When favored by 3 points or less (Indiana -2) the Big Ten is money burning 14 & 20 ATS since 90-91. As a favorite of 9 points or less (Illinois, Michigan State -5 and Iowa -7.5) the Big Ten’s record improves to 52 & 44 ATS.
If we go a step further in the analysis of the Big Ten teams in the tournament we do find some trends that have some value. Big Ten teams off a straight up and spread loss are 34 & 10 SU, 29 & 15 ATS in Round #1 of the Big Dance. Big Ten teams that are coming into the 2006 Tourney off both outright and ATS losses are Wisconsin, Ohio State, Michigan State and Illinois. Big Ten teams off just a straight up loss and playing in the NCAA Tournament in Round #1 are 24 & 16 ATS the last 40 times this situation has applied. However, last season all four Big Ten teams that came into the Dance off a straight up loss (MSU, Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota) failed to cover the spread at 0 & 4. If the system gets back to its winning ways this year it will apply to Michigan State, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Indiana and Illinois seeing Iowa is the only team coming in off a win after capturing the Big Ten Tournament title. Now we have to admit there are some very successful systems involving the NCAA tournament that we have spent years developing, thus we must keep them to ourselves. However, that gives a very quick overview of the Big Ten in the post season.
Systems are just one of many forms of handicapping that we use in our efforts to beat the odds makers. We don’t rely solely on systems, trends etc… in our handicapping process and won’t pick a team just because the computer tells us to. Much more research goes into our final process of deciding on which teams to wager on or against such as match ups, line value, power ratings, offensive efficiency ratings, defensive efficiency ratings, etc… You can purchase all of our Tournament winners right here on this site on a daily basis. Make some money on the Big Dance this year with a little help from ASA, Inc.

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