The NCAA Tournament is the best time of the year for gamblers. Whether you are just filling out a bracket for an office pool or putting down four digits at a sportsbook, your heart rate will surely rise to unhealthy levels a few different times over the next few weeks.
Some teams may be at an advantage purely based on who their coach is. Below, you’ll find the best and worst coaches against the spread in the big dance since 2005. You’ll also see the best over/under coaches during that same time span. I have only included coaches in this year’s tournament, so some names have been omitted.
Best ATS Coaches
|Gregg Marshall||Wichita State||11-6||+4.5|
In our best coaches table, you’ll see two coaches leading #2 seeds in Sean Miller and John Calipari. Calipari has the most games under his belt and his profits are based off long-term, consistent success rather than a small sample size.
The best ATS coach this tournament will be John Beilein of Michigan, a #7 seed. Coming off of a great conference tournament run, Beilein would like to keep his team rolling. At the moment, Michigan is getting 75% of spread bets vs. Oklahoma State and has already gone from -1 to -2.5 at Pinnacle.
One of the trendiest and newsworthy teams has been Wichita State. Despite some experts ranking them as a top ten team in the nation, they were only given a #10 seed. With their difficult path, it could be tough for Gregg Marshall to continue his ATS success.
Worst ATS Coaches
|Mike Brey||Notre Dame||5-11||-6.2|
|Leonard Hamilton||Florida State||2-5||-3.1|
The worst ATS coach in this tournament is by far Mike Brey of Notre Dame.
Although it’s not a huge sample size, Brey’s Fighting Irish have consistently failed to live up to bookmakers’ expectations in the NCAA Tournament.
Mark Few of the #1 seeded Gonzaga Bulldogs is next on the list. Few is only a few games below .500 so I wouldn’t fade them just based off of Few’s history. The thing is, there just isn’t that many really bad ATS coaches in this season’s tournament. The final three have little experience, but are all off to poor starts.
Best Over Coaches
|Mike Davis||Texas Southern||4-1||+2.9|
The four best over coaches all coach either a #1 or #2 seeded team. Right now, the total has gone up a point since opening at Pinnacle for both the North Carolina and Arizona games. The other two have remained at their opening numbers.
Best Under Coaches
|Mike Brey||Notre Dame||12-4||+7.3|
|Leonard Hamilton||Florida State||6-1||+4.5|
Something interesting to note when looking at the best under coaches is that three of them (Brey, McDermott, and Hamilton) are on the worst ATS list. The best over coach was also on the worst ATS list, so it may just be a coincidence. The large majority of the games for these three coaches have come in either the Round of 64 or Round of 32. It may just be a case of a much better team beating them up early and running out clock for a large majority of the game. This season, these three teams are seeded between #3 and #6 so it should be interesting to see if they continue to go under at a high rate.
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