The William & Mary Tribe are the luckiest team in college hoops heading into 2018. Tuesday’s NCAAB odds should deliver some betting value to the James Madison Dukes.
Oh, Delaware. You beat the Cornell Big Red 97-96 last Thursday, a rousing come-from-behind victory in overtime – but you failed to beat the 6.5-point spread at home. And you’ve already used up all your Luck Factor goodness, too. The Blue Hens (8-6 SU, 3-4-1 ATS) are now in positive territory on Ken Pomeroy’s charts at plus-0.051, No. 94 overall in Division I. It was worth a shot.
Now we turn our attention to 2018. Happy New Year to you and yours from everyone here at the home office; let’s start things off with a bang and find a team worth putting in your mid-week college basketball picks. Don’t forget about some of the other fade/follow candidates we’ve already identified in this space, of course, but we’ll do our best to dig up some new gems for you. This week, we’re sticking with the CAA, where the William & Mary Tribe (8-4 SU, 6-1 ATS) may have gotten a little too big for their britches. They’re the luckiest team in Division I as we go to press – and a potential “sell high” opportunity as a result.
William & Mary, Quite Contrary
How fortunate have the Tribe been thus far? They’re sitting at plus-0.200 in Luck Factor, which measures the deviation (in terms of winning percentage) between a team’s actual record and their “expected” record; Pomeroy uses something called the correlated Gaussian method to figure that out. It’s some kind of bell curve thing. Dean Oliver gets credit for bringing this stuff into basketball analytics.
William & Mary isn’t necessarily an awful team at No. 191 overall in efficiency, but while they have the third-best winning percentage in the Colonial at .667, the Tribe are sixth in their conference according to Pomeroy’s efficiency stats, and fifth (at minus-2.7 SRS) according to the Simple Rating System numbers at Sports Reference. The regression monsters are lurking just around the corner.
So are the James Madison Dukes (4-10 SU, 5-7 ATS). Luck has not been kind to the Dukes this year at minus-0.045, or No. 269 out of the 351 teams in Division I. This isn’t a particularly good team, but James Madison isn’t that much worse than the Tribe at No. 246 in efficiency and minus-5.8 SRS. These two teams will play Tuesday night at the JMU Convocation Center in Harrisonburg, Virginia, tipping off at 7:00 p.m. Eastern. Keep an eye on the NCAAB odds board and see if you can get a bargain price on the Jimmies.