SBR contributor Ross Benjamin discusses a couple of pertinent things to look for winning NCAA basketball picks. He also shares 2 teams to keep a watchful eye on in imminent underdog roles.
One of my favorite and more challenging parts of handicapping college basketball pertains to locating underdogs with substantial betting worth. I have found some trustworthy statistics over the years to look for when seeking out such teams in this specific role, and have listed 2 of the most important ones below.
- Defensive Field Goal Percentage: Anytime college basketball betting odds displays an underdog that's held opponents to less than 40% shooting for the season, my antennas ascend. Underdogs with an ability for getting consistent stops on the defensive end, give themselves a very good chance to stay in games against perceived superior opponents.
- 3-Point Shooting Efficiency: There's no bigger equalizer for college basketball underdogs than an ability to make 3-point shots at a high percentage. I consider a 37% or better conversion rate as be a starting point in that regard. Ideally, teams that make 40% or more of their 3-point attempts are optimum underdog situations.
Potentially Dangerous Dogs
Kansas State Wildcats-The Wildcats are off to a fast 10-1 start, and their only setback was a 1-point loss at Maryland. They've yet to be installed as an underdog this season. However, there will be plenty of upcoming opportunities to use Kansas State as one of your college basketball underdog picks, and especially once Big 12 Conference action commences.
Kansas State possesses the necessary attributes when it comes to identifying underdog betting value. As of Sunday12/18, Kansas State has converted on 40.6% of it 3-point attempts. Furthermore, the Wildcats have played terrific defense, holding opponents to 55.5 points per game, and limiting them to just 37.0% shooting.
Syracuse Orange-Jim Boeheim's team is off to a very disappointing beginning to their 2016-2017 campaign. After opening the season with 4 straight wins against absolute creampuffs, they've gone 2-4 during their last 6 games. It's worth noting, 3 of those 4 defeats came as a favorite. They failed to cover in their only underdog role thus far, losing by 17 at Wisconsin. Nevertheless, this is a talented Syracuse team that I firmly believe will drastically improve as the season progresses. Their slow start will surely cast them into underdog status on several occasions in January against fellow ACC teams.
The foundation for underdog betting value on Syracuse has already been established. The Orange have converted on an outstanding 40.1% of their 3-point tries thus far, and that always serves as a great equalizer for an underdog. Additionally, despite their early struggles, Syracuse has exhibited strong defensive play. They've held their first 10 opponents to a cumulative 36.3% shooting from the field. Keep an eye on future college basketball betting odds to seek out Syracuse as an underdog, and particularly so if they're playing at home.