Underdogs Winning at Historic Rate in March Madness

It has been 100 percent March Madness as underdogs have pulled off upsets at an historic rate in the 2024 NCAA tournament. Through Round 1 and heading into Saturday’s Round of 32 games, Underdogs have put together some of the best numbers in NCAA tournament history. Public bettors have struggled for years in the opening round of the tournament, but the opposite is true this year.

Underdogs Winning at Historic Rate in March Madness
Oregon went to overtime with Creighton last night.

The public is actually 25-10 ATS through the First Four and the First Round of the 2024 NCAA tournament. A $100 bettor would be up right around $1,300 had the bettor wagered on all 35 games and backed the underdogs. The return on investment for those betting on underdogs has been outstanding as well. It’s likely to continue.

NCAA Tournament Underdogs Numbers

Underdogs are absolutely killing it in the 2024 NCAA tournament. Three of four No. 11 seeds won first-round games. Duquesne was the surprise winner of the Atlantic-10 tournament. The 11th seed in the East Region, the Dukes beat BYU as 9.5-point underdogs. Duquesne’s luck ran out in a loss to Illinois yesterday, but NC State advanced to the Sweet 16.

The Wolfpack were underdogs to win the ACC tournament, but won five straight games to do exactly that. NC State played another Cinderella in No. 14 Oakland in the Round of 32. The Wolfpack had to go to overtime, but got it done in a 79-73 win over the Grizzlies yesterday.

Eight lower seeds won their first round games in this year’s tournament. In the first round, 12 underdogs won outright, the most since 2001 and tied for the most since 1985. What’s interesting is that double-digit favorites in the first round went 11-3 ATS. That’s the most ATS wins by double-digit favorites in NCAA tournament history.

Look to Back Underdogs on Sunday

It’s a Sunday schedule dominated by the NCAA tournament once again. It’s the final day of the first weekend of the tourney. By day’s end, we will have a Sweet 16. How many underdogs will win on Sunday? If you’re looking for underdogs to back, check out Sports Hub’s expert basketball handicappers for the best picks today.

Underdogs Winning at Historic Rate in March Madness
Look for solid underdogs today.

If you’re not into basketball, don’t worry. There are a ton of other sports to wager on today. It’s Sunday and it’s March which also means a NASCAR race for auto racing fans. Soccer, tennis, and golf also are on the schedule. We are a week away from the kickoff of the UFL. That would the spring United Football League.

Here’s today’s schedule. What will you bet on?

  1. CBB: Eight games are on the NCAA tournament schedule today with the winners all punching their ticket to the Sweet 16. How many underdogs will get the outright win today? Marquette takes on Colorado to start things off at 12:10 p.m. ET. Yale faces San Diego State at 9:40 p.m. ET to end the day. Those are two of the biggest underdogs in today’s games.
  2. NBA: The NBA always takes a back seat while the NCAA tourney captivates fans and bettors. There are six games on the schedule with NBATV broadcasting a doubleheader. Oklahoma City is in Milwaukee to face the Bucks in the early game at 7:00 p.m. ET. Indiana travels west to Los Angeles to play the Lakers beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET.
Underdogs Winning at Historic Rate in March Madness
Today’s NBA schedule
  1. NHL: Typically Sundays are a slow day on the NHL schedule. Not this Sunday. There are 10 NHL games on tap. Carolina, 8-1-1 in its last 10 games, is at home against Toronto (6-3-1 in their last 10) in the game broadcasted by Hulu.
  2. MLB: Thirteen spring training games are on today’s schedule. We’re getting closer to Opening Day, which is set for Thursday, March 28. All 30 MLB teams will play on Opening Day.
  3. Golf: It’s the final round of the Valspar Championship. Stewart Cink, Kevin Streelman, and a handful of others are still battling for the lead.
  4. Tennis: Round 3 of the Miami Open gets underway on both the ATP and WTA tours. 
  5. NASCAR: It’s the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, today. Kyle Larson sits atop the NASCAR Cup standings.
  6. CONCACAF Nations League final: Mexico takes on Team USA in the championship game. Panama plays Jamaica in the third-place game.
  7. More soccer: There are five international friendlies today. Several lower-tier leagues play today. Check our soccer experts for today’s soccer picks.

Underdogs Continue to Win in Round 2

What’s trending in the NCAA tournament? Underdogs, that’s what. Underdogs James Madison and Grand Canyon will be looking for wins today will be looking for victories against Duke and Alabama, respectively.

Let’s see what else is trending today.

  • Underdogs not as hot Saturday: After a number of underdogs won in Round 1, favorites ruled the day. No. 11 seed NC State continued its miracle run with a win over Oakland, the biggest of all underdogs to win in the first round. The Wolfpack beat the Grizzlies in overtime.
  • FAU to Michigan: Florida Atlantic head coach Dusty May is set to become the new head coach at Michigan, replacing Juwan Howard.
  • Final Four teams: 88 percent of Final Four teams have been ranked in the Top 50 in both adjusted offensive efficiency and adjusted defensive efficiency. 
  • NCAA champs: As we head to the Sweet 16, keep in mind that every national champion since 1985 has made it to at least the semifinals of their conference’s tournament.

The Hawk Eats CBB Prey

MIke Hawk tore up some college basketball picks yesterday. As of the time of this writing, he was our top capper from yesterday with $733 in winnings. Sal Lombardi hit seven of nine NCAAB picks, staying away from the underdogs and playing the favorites. 

A number of other Sports Hub expert cappers also fared well with their college basketball picks yesterday. Check out yesterday’s leaderboard at the top right of this page. Come back tomorrow and see how many of our cappers end up winners with their college basketball picks. 

About the Author
Randall Dickelman
Click to Contact