2017 March Madness: Which Coaches Should Bettors Know?

2017 March Madness: Which Coaches Should Bettors Know?

One team from every Division I college basketball conference earns an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament, and four automatic bids have already been doled out including Jacksonville State (Ohio Valley), Florida Gulf Coast (Atlantic Sun), Wichita State (Missouri Valley) and Winthrop (Big South). While many basketball fans may be unfamiliar with all of the mid-majors battling for invitations to the tourney, these small conference tournaments often provide unique opportunities for bettors.

Some small conference tournaments tipped off last week with all of the major conferences getting underway over the next couple of days. The ACC Tournament begins on Tuesday with the other major conferences (Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, and SEC) starting on Wednesday. These games mark the unofficial start of March Madness — perhaps the most exciting time on the sports calendar.

I have already examined the best values in the futures market and will be detailing several profitable postseason betting strategies over the upcoming weeks. In the meantime, many bettors have been asking about which coaches have fared best during March Madness. Players are constantly cycling in and out, but coaches are the one constant for the nation’s top programs.

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski has made 12 Final Four appearances and has won five national championships, which trails only UCLA’s John Wooden for the most all-time. Despite his impressive win-loss record, Coach K has not historically delivered for bettors. Since 2005, Krzyzewski 24-34 against the spread (ATS) in postseason games, which includes conference tournaments, the NCAA Tournament and smaller postseason tournaments like the NIT, CBI, and CIT. That makes him the fifth worst active postseason coach in our database.

The table below looks at the best and worst postseason coaches for both the spread and total.

Best ATS Coaches

Rick PitinoLouisville36-20+14.3
Mark GottfriedNorth Carolina State20-7+12.2
Rod BarnesCal State Bakersfield14-2+11.3
Andy EnfieldUSC13-2+10.5
John BeileinMichigan29-18+10.1

Worst ATS Coaches

CoachSchoolRecordUnits Won
Dave RoseBYU15-29-14.9
Scott SuttonOral Roberts7-19-12.4
Rick BarnesTennessee17-28-11.6
Gary WatersCleveland State10-21-11.5
Mike KrzyzewskiDuke24-34-11.1

Best Over Coaches

PlayerSchoolRecordUnits Won
Thad MattaOhio State38-23+12.6
Jeff LeboEast Carolina 20-7+11.7
Mark FewGonzaga31-19+10.0
Roy WilliamsNorth Carolina41-29+9.7
Mark FoxGeorgia23-12+9.5

Best Under Coaches

CoachSchoolRecordUnits Won
Bill SelfKansas40-25+12.8
Marvin MenziesUNLV21-7+12.4
Steve FisherSan Diego State32-20+10.1
Barry HinsonSouthern Illinois14-3+10.0
Tommy DempseyBinghamton16-5+9.9

Several of the best ATS coaches in our database have moved onto brighter pastures with Billy Donovan (38-22) and Brad Stevens (23-10) taking NBA head coaching positions. Interestingly, all five of the worst ATS coaches in our database are still active.

Don’t forget to visit our free college basketball odds page for the latest odds, public betting trends, injuries and more. Interested in tracking steam moves, smart money alerts, and our highly profitable Best Bet picks? Sign up for a 4-day trial of Sportsbook Insider Pro.

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David Solar

David was the Content Manager at Sports Insights. He has since moved on to greener pastures.

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