Written by 9:53 am Betting concepts, Specific sports strategy • 2,862 Comments

Size Matters – guide to success in March Madness brackets

Women have been lying to men for generations – size matters!

And it DEFINITELY matters when filling out your March Madness bracket.

The larger the size of the pool, the more dogs or “wild picks” you need to make to have a good chance of success. In the later rounds, adjust your picks based on the size of the pool.

But, let’s start with the early rounds – take the favourites using the point spread – odds are they will win. Also, the less “upsets” you need to win a pool the better. In 2022, round 1, make sure you take all the 1s, 2s, and 3s, also UCONN, Arkansas (I know Colgate is trendy, but Razorbacks still winning over 60% of the time), Bama, Memphis, North Carolina (putrid I know, overvalued, but still winning almost 60% line wise), UCLA, Saint Marys, Houston, Illinois, Michigan, SdSt, Iowa, and LSU. Do whatever you want in the few close games.

In round 2, usually focus on the much bigger round 1 faves (the point spread gap). You need to take Auburn because even if you like USC, Auburn making it 85% and USC 55%, you need to give yourself a chance. Your sweet 16 should have Zags, Tex Tech, Duke, Baylor, Purdue, Kentucky, Arizona, Tennessee, Villanova, Kentucky, Iowa, and Auburn. Do whatever you want in the other matchups.

NOW, here is where size matters. Does your pool have 20 people? 100? 1000?

If there’s only 20 people, make a somewhat safe, non favourite pick. An unpopular 1 seed like Kansas or Baylor should do it. Why? Majority will pick Zags and you will likely be 1 of 2 max with your pick, they win it, you win it.

But, if there’s 100 people? 5+ will take Kansas and then there’s a crapshoot who gets “lucky” in the odd matchup – go further down the board and find a 3-4 seed who is “live”. I LOVE Texas Tech – only 22-1 to win it in a bracket with Duke & Gonzaga – that’s respect for Tech. And nobody is picking them to knock off Duke & Zags. You could be the ONLY person with Tech in a 100 person pool… size matters… now, you got a 4-7% chance of winning a 100 person pool (whenever Tech wins and sometimes if they lose the final), pretty good since random is 1/100, you’ve just 5x your return for one sharp pick. Other Tech like options on the board this year include Houston, Tennessee, Iowa, and UCLA – solid teams that aren’t 1 or 2 seeds.

What if there’s 1000 people? Add a 2nd spice – Ie, Tech to win it AND one of Houston, Tennessee, Iowa, or UCLA to get to final 4/lose finals. Again, combined odds of that are closer to 1/150, not bad to win a 1000 person pool, or making you 7x more likely than random picks.

FACTOR IN SIZE – the more people in the pool, the more dogs you need to take. Good luck and enjoy the madness!


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Last modified: March 17, 2023