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March Madness Handicapping: When Lower Seeds are Favored

Each year, as people are making their March Madness picks, they look at their bracket and compare it to the betting lines. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, they see something that is wholly surprising. What is that thing? They see a lower seed that is favored over a higher seed. How is that ten-seed giving up three points to the seven seed? This just does not seem right, but it happens all the time.

 

When you see this kind of situation, you can guarantee that a few different things are going to happen. First, people are going to immediately look at the situation and think that the underdog is the right bet. After all, betting the underdog means that you get the better team and the points. What is not to love about that? This is a foolish approach, though. The sportsbooks know that people will likely jump on these underdogs, so they price them accordingly.

More often than not, you can make good value when you bet on the favorite – the worse seed – in those situations. You will want to check and see what the public is doing before you make this decision, though. If the public happens to be backing the better seeded underdog in these situations, then you can almost guarantee that the favorite will be the play. The public historically struggles in this spot, so don’t be a part of the herd.