March Madness is just around the corner. To get ready for the future, we need to look at our past college basketball picks and see if we’re doing this right or not.
The Division I college basketball season has a certain rhythm to it. First, it’s the non-conference games, which get underway while sports fans are still paying attention to college football. Then, after the Super Bowl is over and done with, even more people flip over to see what’s happening on the hardcourt – just in time for the big push towards March Madness. Each step up the ladder brings more and more bettors into the marketplace, making our college basketball picks that much easier.
With that in mind, let’s take a moment to review how “The Process” is doing. #Betting101 is about applying basic betting fundamentals to find the best values on the NCAAB odds board. But for The Process to work, we need to review, and adapt where necessary. First up, those crazy Aggies:
December 4: Buy or Sell on Texas A&M?
We were prepared to buy the Texas A&M Aggies based on their early 7-0 SU, 4-2 ATS record, and their No. 1 spot on the Relative Power Index. They lost 67-64 to Arizona (+1).
December 11: Does Villanova Still Have Value?
The Villanova Wildcats were 10-0 SU and 7-3 ATS, but we figured there were better teams to fade based on Ken Pomeroy’s Luck Factor: specifically, the Miami-Ohio Redhawks (6-4 SU, 6-3 ATS). They lost 83-66 to DePaul (–13 at home).
December 18: Are the Iowa State Cyclones All That?
With the Big 12 struggling ATS in non-conference play, we identified the Cyclones (8-2 SU and 3-5-1 ATS) as a potential fade candidate based on Luck Factor. They struggled to beat Maryland-East Shore 55-49 at home, but there was no line on the game.
December 25: Should You Take the Blue Pill or the Red Pill?
We liked the Delaware Blue Hens over the Cornell Big Red, based on Luck Factor. Delaware (–6.5 at home) won 97-96 in overtime.
January 1: Raiding the Colonial for NCAAB Betting Value
Sticking with the CAA (and Luck Factor), we took the James Madison Dukes over William & Mary. Alas, the Tribe won 84-76 as 2-point road dogs.
January 8: Bullish on the Mercer Bears Come Wednesday
Mercer was last in Luck Factor heading into its game against the very fortunate Western Carolina Catamounts. Regression didn’t help us; the Catamounts won 58-56 as 6.5-point road dogs.
January 15: Selling High on the Xavier Musketeers
There was a sizeable gap between Xavier’s No. 10 spot in the polls and its No. 16 spot on the Pomeroy rankings – with some Luck Factor thrown in. The Musketeers beat St. John’s 88-82 at home, but failed to beat the 11.5-point spread.
January 21: Buying Low on the Mile-High Denver Pioneers
The Pioneers have the biggest home-court advantage in college hoops, and they were 8-12 SU and 5-12 ATS heading into their game against Western Illinois. Denver won 70-58 as a 7-point fave.
January 28: Fading Arizona for Fun and Profit
Arizona has been swimming in red ink with or without Rawle Alkins. But they hammered Washington State 100-72 as 12-point road faves.
A mixed bag overall as far as the results are concerned. However, we’ve improved The Process by tossing out the Relative Power Index, and only using Luck Factor as a back-up criterion. The focus going forward, especially with all those casual bettors coming into the marketplace, should be on fading those overrated teams like Xavier and Arizona – The Wildcats lost their next game to the Washington Huskies (+7 at home), by the way. Let’s see if the Butler Bulldogs (17-7 SU, 13-10 ATS) can do a number on Xavier this Tuesday when they tip off at 6:30 p.m. Eastern on FS1. Trust The Process, and may the sphere be with you.