Betting Bombshell: College Basketball Handicapping

Advanced statistics and analytics is finally becoming all the rage in professional sports. Apparently the multi-billion dollar leagues are finally catching up to pro gamblers, who have been using such metrics for years. cbb

If there is a handicapping lesson in deflategate, piping crowd noise, or texting coaches during games, it is that professional franchises realize no edge is too small. This is so profound in betting. Here is some specific examples of advantages that Vegas sharps monetize.

First is the Margin of Cover (MOC) breakdown. Renamed “sweat barometer” in Chad Millman of ESPN’s column, MOC is similar to scoring margin, but it is measured by how much a team covers or fails to cover the point spread.

Many sports handicappers believe MOC is invaluable in isolating under and overvalued teams.

As of games through Sunday, February 22

Minimum number of lined games: 20

Here are the top teams to bet on according to their MOC

Team                          ATS Record                          Margin of Cover

UC Davis                     16-5                                        +6.0

Davidson                    18-4                                        +5.4

Utah                            17-7                                        +4.8

South Dakota St         17-5                                        +4.5

These would be the best teams to best against according to MOC

 Team                          ATS Record                          Margin of Cover

San Jose St.                 6-15-2                                                -5.7

Denver                         8-14                                                     -5.3

Weber St.                    7-16                                                     -4.7

Siena                            8-13-1                                                -4.5

Another advanced statistic we exploit from a handicapping standpoint is the KenPom “luck rating.” In short, a team that wins a high percentage of close games is lucky and team that loses a high percentage is unlucky.

Because we have stated countless times that the most overrated statistic in spread betting is won-loss straight up mark, my experience is the “lucky” teams are often the most overvalued and the “unluckiest” the most undervalued.

As far as board teams here is who KenPom has rated as the:

Luckiest teams

  1. Maryland
  2. Harvard
  3. Tulsa
  4. Wofford
  5. James Madison


  1. Florida
  2. UNC Greensboro
  3. Vanderbilt
  4. Charlotte
  5. Ball St.

Tom Brady is possibly the greatest QB of all-time, but he’s even a greater force when he can bend the rules. However, all is fair in love, war, and sports betting and above are two strong instances of how we deflate the bookmakers.


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