March Madness Betting Notes, Top ATS, O/U, PPG

Vaughn Dalzell
·12 min read


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Every little stat, advantage, or trend can you help out in March and that is what this article is here to do. March Madness features 68 teams, with a few that you may or may not have watched this season. Ranking the top 15 schools at each of these key stats heading into the first-round should help.

With advantages such as USC's size versus either first-round matchup, Winthrop's fast-paced offense versus Villanova's slow and methodical defense, or even Ohio's high scoring offense versus Virginia's suffocating defense, you can find an edge or two to help your bracket and betting.

For a more in-depth breakdown of the bracket and our staff's picks, you can watch NBC Sports Edge's show, "Brackets and Bets" on YouTube.

In this article, the top 15 teams at crucial statistics are laid out to help you determine a few mismatches.

Here is how these teams stack up regarding height, returning minutes, tempo, two-point shooting, three-point shooting, free-throws, points per game and betting numbers on ATS and Over/Unders.

TOP 15 TALLEST TEAMS

No. 1: Florida State (79.6)

No. 2 USC (79.4)

No. 3 North Carolina (78.8)

No. 4 Purdue (78.4)

No. 5 Kansas (78.2)

No. 6 Oregon State (78.2)

No. 7 Georgetown (78.1)

No. 8 Utah State (78.1)

No. 9 Gonzaga (78.1)

No. 10 Maryland (78.1)

No. 11 Syracuse (78.1)

No. 12 Michigan State (78.0)

No. 13 Arkansas (78.0)

No. 14 Villanova (78.0)

No. 15 BYU/Wisconsin (78.0)

Notes: Kansas is expecting 6-foot-10 David McCormack to return for the tournament. Syracuse has a distinct size advantage over San Diego State who comes in at the 12th-shortest team. USC will have an obvious size advantage over Wichita State or Drake, who both are two of the smallest teams.

TOP 15 SHORTEST TEAMS

No. 1: Abilene Christian (75.1)

No. 2: Liberty (75.8)

No. 3: Drake (76.1)

No. 4: Hartford (76.1)

No. 5: Appalachian St. (76.1)

No. 6: Loyola Chicago (76.2)

No. 7: Iona (76.3)

No. 8: Georgia Tech (76.4)

No. 9: Virginia Tech (76.4)

No. 10: Wichita St. (76.4)

No. 11: Colgate (76.5)

No. 12: San Diego St. (76.5)

No. 13: Norfolk St. (76.6)

No. 14: Baylor (76.6)

No. 15: Winthrop (76.7)

Notes: Abilene Christian will face Texas in the first round, a team that plays three athletic big men at 6-foot-9 or taller. Winthrop will be undersized compared to Villanova and so will Colgate versus Arkansas in the first round.

TOP 15 WITH HIGHEST RETURNING MINUTE CONTINUITY

No. 1: Drexel (78.9%)

No. 2: Texas (78.6%)

No. 3: Rutgers (77.8%)

No. 4: Villanova (77.4%)

No. 5: Missouri (77.0%)

No. 6: Georgia Tech (74.9%)

No. 7: Loyola-Chicago (74.6%)

No. 8: Wisconsin (73.9%)

No. 9: Winthrop (70.6%)

No. 10: Creighton (70.5%)

No. 11: Abilene Christian (70.5%)

No. 12: UCLA (68.6%)

No. 13: Hartford (67.6%)

No. 14: St. Bonaventure (67.4%)

No. 15: Baylor (67.0%)

Notes: Minute continuity is the among of returning minutes from last season's team. All of these teams will have some sort of veteran leadership through depth. Villanova also took a hit with Collin Gillespie and could be taken off this list, but they start two juniors and one senior without Gillespie and Justin Moore off the bench.

TOP 15 FEWEST RETURNING MINUTE CONTINUITY

No. 1: Arkansas (12.4%)

No. 2: USC (20.6%)

No. 3: Oklahoma State (30.1%)

No. 4: BYU (31.2%)

No. 5: VCU (31.2%)

No. 6: Iona (32.9%)

No. 7: Oral Roberts (33.3%)

No. 8: Oregon (34.2%)

No. 9: Morehead State (34.4%)

No. 10: Georgetown (37.4%)

No. 11: Texas Tech (38.7%)

No. 12: Texas Southern (39.6%)

No. 13: Appalachian State (39.6%)

No. 14: Wichita State (40.2%)

No. 15: Grand Canyon (41.4%)

Notes: The top three teams on this list are liabilities with the lack of experience, but make up for it with the obvious surplus of talent. Arkansas has Moses Moody, USC has Evan Mobley and Oklahoma State has Cade Cunningham - all freshmen.

TOP 15 MOST UPTEMPO OFFENSES

No. 1: Gonzaga (74.8)

No. 2: Alabama (73.9)

No. 3: Winthrop (73.6)

No. 4: Arkansas (73.1)

No. 5: Colgate (72.4)

No. 6: Eastern Washington (72.3)

No. 7: Texas Southern (72.0)

No. 8: Oklahoma State (72.0)

No. 9: North Carolina (71.8)

No. 10: Oral Roberts (71.8)

No. 11: LSU (70.8)

No. 12: Illinois (70.7)

No. 13: Florida State (70.6)

No. 14: Iowa (70.0)

No. 15: Abilene Christian (70.0)

Notes: North Carolina and Winthrop are two teams that play much faster than their first round opponents. Texas Southern is an interesting matchup with Mount St. Mary's who is the second-slowest paced team in the nation.

TOP 15 SLOWEST OFFENSES

No. 1: Virginia (60.1)

No. 2: Mount St. Mary's (62.2)

No. 3: North Texas (63.1)

No. 4: Liberty (63.1)

No. 5: Loyola-Chicago (64.2)

No. 6: Drexel (64.2)

No. 7: Clemson (64.2)

No. 8: UCLA (64.7)

No. 9: Houston (64.9)

No. 10: Wisconsin (64.9)

No. 11: Villanova (65.1)

No. 12: St. Bonaventure (65.2)

No. 13: Maryland (65.3)

No. 14: Texas Tech (65.4)

No. 15: Oregon State (65.4)

Notes: St. Bonaventure will have its hands full attempting to slow down LSU's 11th-ranked tempo. Virginia will face an Ohio team that just missed the top 15 cut (69.3 tempo).

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TOP 15 BEST TWO-POINT SHOOTING TEAMS

No. 1: Gonzaga (63.9%)

No. 2: Loyola-Chicago (58.0%)

No. 3: Liberty (56.8%)

No. 4: Ohio (56.4%)

No. 5: Creighton (56.3%)

No. 6: Grand Canyon (55.4%)

No. 7: Illinois (56.3%)

No. 8: Colgate (56.3%)

No. 9: Virginia (56.3%)

No. 10: Georgia Tech (54.7%)

No. 11: BYU (54.5%)

No. 12: Drake (54.4%)

No. 13: Eastern Washington (54.2%)

No. 14: Baylor (54.1%)

No. 15: Drexel (53.5%)

Notes: Virginia and Ohio meet in the first round and both appear on this list. The same goes for Georgia Tech and Loyola-Chicago. However, Georgia Tech will be without 6-foot-9 big man Moses Wright, which will be a tough matchup inside versus Loyola-Chicago's Cameron Krutwig.

TOP 15 BEST THREE-POINT SHOOTING TEAMS

No. 1: Baylor (41.8%)

No. 2: Colgate (40.2%)

No. 3: Florida State (39.0%)

No. 4: Oral Roberts (38.8%)

No. 5: Liberty (38.8%)

No. 6: Michigan (38.7%)

No. 7: Iowa (38.6%)

No. 8: Virginia (38.1%)

No. 9: Oregon (37.9%)

No. 10: Abilene Christian (37.7%)

No. 11: Illinois (37.6%)

No. 12: San Diego State (37.5%)

No. 13: North Texas (37.3%)

No. 14: Norfolk State (37.3%)

No. 15: BYU (37.3%)

Notes: Baylor and Colgate are two of four teams in the country to hit 40% or higher from deep. Most of the teams are on this list, including Liberty, Oral Roberts and San Diego State use three-point shooting to make up for the lack of height.

TOP 15 BEST FREE-THROW SHOOTING TEAMS

No. 1: Oral Roberts (82.6%)

No. 2: Colorado (82.2%)

No. 3: Virginia (81.7%)

No. 4: Eastern Washington (79.9%)

No. 5: Syracuse (78.4%)

No. 6: Liberty (77.8%)

No. 7: Michigan (77.8%)

No. 8: Drexel (77.7%)

No. 9: Wisconsin (76.7%)

No. 10: Villanova (76.5%)

No. 11: Clemson (76.5%)

No. 12: UC Santa Barbara (76.3%)

No. 13: Ohio State (76.3%)

No. 14: VCU 76.1%)

No. 15: Oregon State (76.0%)

Notes: You can trust these squads late in games to make free-throws or make up for missed opportunities later in the game. Matched up with a squad that fouls often, these teams could be good squads to back the Over or cover a spread as an underdog.

TOP 15 WORST FREE-THROW SHOOTING TEAMS

No. 1: Rutgers (63.2%)

No. 2: Creighton (64.2%)

No. 3: USC (64.7%)

No. 4: Illinois-Chicago (65.9%)

No. 5: North Carolina (66.8%)

No. 6: Cleveland State (66.9%)

No. 7: Mount St. Mary's (67.8%)

No. 8: Morehead State (68.3%)

No. 9: UNC Greensboro (68.3%)

No. 10: Winthrop (68.6%)

No. 11: Abilene Christian (68.8%)

No. 12: Illinois (69.1%)

No. 13: Grand Canyon (69.2%)

No. 14: Baylor (69.7%)

No. 15: Virginia Tech (69.7%)

Notes: A majority of these teams would have a few more victories if they had made freebies. I would add a few teams like USC and Creighton as upset potential to your list with their poor free-throw shooting.

TOP 15 IN POINTS PER GAME

No. 1: Gonzaga (92.1)

No. 2: Colgate (86.3)

No. 3: Baylor (84.4)

No. 4: Iowa (83.8)

No. 5: Arkansas (82.4)

No. 6: LSU (82.1)

No. 7: Illinois (81.4)

No. 8: Ohio (80.4)

No. 9: Alabama (79.6)

No. 10: Winthrop (79.5)

No. 11: Oral Roberts (79.4)

No. 12: Florida State (78.9)

No. 13: Eastern Washington (78.0)

No. 14: BYU (77.6)

No. 15: Ohio State (77.3)

Notes: Eight squads have scored 80 or more points per game entering this tournament. Ohio, LSU and potentially BYU, have significant scoring advantages versus opponents. Arkansas versus Colgate could be a high-scoring affair.

TOP 15 LOWEST SCORING POINTS PER GAME

No. 1: Mount St. Mary's (63.7)

No. 2: Clemson (65.3)

No. 3: Hartford (65.9)

No. 4: Maryland (67.7)

No. 5: Morehead State (68.1)

No. 6: Appalachian State (68.2)

No. 7: North Texas (68.2)

No. 8: Virginia (68.6)

No. 9: Michigan State (69.0)

No. 10: Oregon State (69.1)

No. 11: Wisconsin (69.6)

No. 12: Rutgers (70.0)

No. 13: St. Bonaventure (70.5)

No. 14: Loyola-Chicago (70.5)

No. 15: Purdue (71.1)

Notes: Clemson and Rutgers face each other and come in as the top-12 lowest scoring teams in the tournament. 11 teams enter the tournament scoring fewer than 70 points and only five are mid-majors.

TOP 15 BEST ATS TEAMS

No. 1: Drake (20-6-1)

No. 2: UConn (16-5-1)

No. 3: Grand Canyon (15-5)

No. 4: Abilene Christian (17-6)

No. 5: St. Bonaventure (14-5-1)

No. 6: Michigan (17-7)

No. 7: Drexel (12-5-2)

No. 8: Houston (18-8)

No. 9: Iona (11-5-1)

No. 10: Eastern Washington (15-7)

No. 11: Cleveland State (17-8-1)

No. 12: Oregon State (19-9-1)

No. 13: Morehead State (19-9)

No. 14: Colgate (10-7)

No. 15: Ohio (14-7)

Notes: Drake was a money-maker for a majority of the season and they face Wichita State, who have been the complete opposite in the first round. UConn is 16-5-1 ATS and Maryland is 12-16 ATS this season.

TOP 15 WORST ATS TEAMS

No. 1: Michigan State (9-18)

No. 2: Texas Tech (10-17)

No. 3: Maryland (12-16)

No. 4: Florida (10-13)

No. 5: Wisconsin (12-15-2)

No. 6: UCLA (12-14)

No. 7: Creighton (13-15)

No. 8: Virginia (11-12-1)

No. 9: Missouri (12-13)

No. 10: Syracuse (12-13)

No. 11: Oklahoma (12-13)

No. 12: Texas (12-13-1)

No. 13: West Virginia (13-14)

No. 14: Wichita State (9-9-1)

No. 15: LSU (13-13-1)

Notes: Michigan State and UCLA both come in the bottom of ATS squads and meet in the play-in game. Wichita State and UCLA are the worst ATS team in the play-in field. Drake has the most favorable ATS matchup versus Wichita State.

TOP 15 BEST OVER TEAMS

No. 1: Oklahoma State (19-8-1)

No. 2: Florida State (14-6-2)

No. 3: Oral Roberts (16-7)

No. 4: West Virginia (18-9)

No. 5: Oregon (17-9)

No. 6: Drake (17-10)

No. 7: Baylor (15-9)

No. 8: Oregon State (18-11)

No. 9: LSU (16-10-1)

No. 10: Texas (16-10)

No. 11: Georgia Tech (14-9-2)

No. 12: Texas Southern (13-9-1)

No. 13: Missouri (13-9-3)

No. 14: Ohio State (17-12-1)

No. 15: Virginia (14-10)

Notes: Virginia intrigues me on this list despite playing at a slow pace, they meet Ohio who averages over 80 points per game. The Big 12 has four teams on this list.

TOP 15 BEST UNDER TEAMS

No. 1: St. Bonaventure (6-14)

No. 2: Grand Canyon (6-14)

No. 3: Morehead State (10-18)

No. 4: Michigan State (10-17)

No. 5: Michigan (9-15)

No. 6: Colorado (11-18-1)

No. 7: Mount St. Mary's (8-13)

No. 8: VCU (10-16)

No. 9: North Texas (10-15)

No. 10: Tennessee (11-15)

No. 11: Utah State (11-15)

No. 12: Georgetown (11-14)

No. 13: Oklahoma (11-14)

No. 14: Texas Tech (12-15)

No. 15: Maryland (12-15-1)

Notes: Morehead State will have a tough time slowing down West Virginia and the same can be said for St. Bonaventure and LSU.

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