Nearly the entire country will be focusing on picking a perfect bracket this week. It’s reported that 40 millions Americans participate in March Madness by entering some kind of tournament bracket contest.

However, some people like to put down some action on the games. The NCAA Tournament brings a lot of gamblers to the window and they bet a reported $10.4 billion. So, I thought I’d turn the spotlight to seeds and how they have played out against the spread over the last 11 NCAA tourneys.

NCAA Tournament ATS Results by Seed Ranking & Round

I’ve provided all of the records for each round, plus some extra insight on how each seed has done ATS overall. If you want just straight up winners, check out our seed history to see how often teams advance in each spot.

1st Round

SeedWinsLossesWin %
1252352.08%
2212545.65%
3262254.17%
4252253.19%
5212644.68%
6212644.68%
7262155.32%
8242153.33%
9212446.67%
10212644.68%
11262155.32%
12262155.32%
13222546.81%
14222645.83%
15252154.35%
16232547.92%

Not much to pick and choose from here, but you can see a couple patterns develop. One seeds are a toss up against the sixteens. Two seeds don’t tend to do very well against fifteens, but the threes and fours have blown out the fourteens and thirteens.

A lot of attention is drawn to the twelve seeds upsetting the fives. It turns out they don’t just bust brackets but also win at the pay window too. Six seeds don’t tend to perform well against elevens.

The “toss up” sort of games are the seven v. ten and eight v. nine games. It looks like you want to place your wagers on the better teams. Usually these lines are pretty low, and the better teams have a tendency to advance.

Round of 32

SeedWinsLossesWin %
1262056.52%
2192444.19%
3221756.41%
4182047.37%
5141450.00%
6131252.00%
7161355.17%
8111542.31%
991145.00%
1011761.11%
11111150.00%
1212860.00%
134640.00%
141712.50%
151325.00%

Interesting to note the #3 seed in the first 2 rounds are 48-39 ATS, #7 seeds are 42-34 ATS, and #12s are 38-29 ATS.

The one seeds actually do pretty well against the eights and nines. Maybe this is because they have a fairly easy first game and aren’t as tired. It doesn’t hurt that the number is significantly lower either.

Two seeds continue to struggle in round two. Maybe there is some sort of hangover about not being a one seed?

If a 13 or higher seeds makes it to the second round they are toxic to your bankroll. None of them are profitable and 14 seeds are a horrible 1-7 at the pay window. Avoid these Cinderellas at all costs as it appears they are satisfied with winning one game in the Dance.

Sweet 16

SeedWinLossWin %
1222151.16%
2151353.57%
3121544.44%
4121152.17%
58753.33%
67463.64%
74640.00%
82166.67%
91150.00%
103442.86%
114450.00%
122528.57%
131233.33%
1510100.00%

Not a lot to get excited about here. Their appears to be a slight lean towards the top seeds, but nothing you can bet blindly. After a poor showing in the first two rounds, the No. 2 seeds are a profitable bet in the Sweet 16.

Elite 8

SeedWinLossWin %
1132039.39%
2101343.48%
34930.77%
45362.50%
540100.00%
61233.33%
73175.00%
820100.00%
910100.00%
1020100.00%
1130100.00%

If you are considering backing a No. 1 seed on the spread in the Elite Eight, you might want to reconsider. The 1s have gone a miserable 13-20 (39%) against the number in this round. It looks like most of those have come against the No. 4 and No. 5 seeds, who are combined 9-3 with a perfect 4-0 record from the 4s.

Final 4

SeedWinLossWin %
111761.11%
24544.44%
32166.67%
42433.33%
51233.33%
71150.00%
810100.00%
910100.00%
10010.00%
11020.00%

Not a ton of data here outside of the No. 1 seeds. After a poor showing in the Elite 8, they deliver at the window in the Final 4.

Championship

SeedWinLossWin %
17653.85%
21325.00%
320100.00%
4010.00%
510100.00%
710100.00%
8020.00%

Overall

SeedWinsLossesWin %
11049751.74%
2708345.75%
3686451.52%
4626150.41%
5494950.00%
6424448.84%
7514254.84%
8403950.63%
9333647.83%
10373849.33%
11504453.19%
12433753.75%
13283445.16%
14243441.38%
15272452.94%
16434548.86%

Would I blindly use this information to try and beat the tournament spreads? Probably not. But, it does give you something to look at. Two seeds tend to be overvalued. People think the 7/10 matchup is a toss up, but in reality it looks like the better teams usually come through.

If you like this kind of statistical analysis you might also enjoy our ATS records for each point spread.