Important Betting Stats For Finding Big Underdog Value Picks

Ross Benjamin

Wednesday, February 17, 2016 8:01 PM GMT

Our college basketball analyst shares three of his key ingredients in locating underdog betting value. Let's focus on important stats as defense and rebounding for those NCAA basketball picks.

Locating College Basketball Underdog Value
For the past few months I’ve done a daily article on my college basketball underdog picks of the day. I thought I’d take the time to share three key factors I look for in an underdog during my daily pursuit of finding betting value. Let me be clear, I don’t solely look at just these factors alone in determining those NCAA basketball picks, but it does provide a solid foundation in doing so.

 

Defensive Dogs
The old cliché in sports is “defense wins championships”. The 2016 Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos exemplify that exact theory. However, let’s maintain our focus on NCAA basketball odds in this regard. My personal cliché is winning “college basketball defensive dogs are money hogs”. Two prerequisites come into play pertaining to this logic. It has to be a team with a winning record, and they’re holding its opponents to less than 40% shooting from the floor on the season. This handicapping theory becomes particularly strong after game 14 of the regular season, usually denoting a team’s midpoint of their schedule. These exact parameters don’t always come up on a daily basis, but when they do, it gets my immediate attention. Historically it becomes more profitable when a team which fits that description is a home underdog. At the time of this writing (2/17) there are 35 teams with a less than 40% defensive field goal mark.

Rank

Team

Defensive FG PCT

1

San Diego St.

36.8

2

Valparaiso

37.1

3

Michigan St

37.3

4

Connecticut

37.3

5

Georgia

37.8

6

Arkansas-LR

37.8

7

Vanderbilt

38.0

8

Louisville

38.1

9

UC Irvine

38.1

10

Purdue

38.3

11

Villanova

38.4

12

Arkansas St.

38.5

13

Cincinnati

38.8

14

Wichita St.

38.8

15

Nevada

38.9

16

Monmouth-NJ

39.0

17

California

39.1

18

Stony Brook

39.2

19

Ohio State

39.3

20

James Madison

39.4

21

Kentucky

39.4

22

Coastal Carolina

39.4

23

St. Joseph's

39.5

24

Hawaii

39.5

25

Gonzaga

39.5

26

Mercer

39.6

27

Northern Illinois

39.6

28

South Carolina

39.6

29

Memphis

39.6

30

Florida

39.6

31

Georgetown

39.6

32

New Mexico St.

39.7

33

Alabama

39.8

34

Texas-Arlington

39.9

35

Maryland

39.9

 

Three Point Shooting
If you’ve followed my daily college basketball underdog picks articles, then you’ll be very familiar with my next statement. As I’ve stated on numerous occasions, the great equalizer for college basketball underdogs is their ability to make three point shots. The barometer I like to use regarding this particular concept is underdogs that convert 39% or better of their three point shots, and once again after game 14 of the season. Currently (2/17) there are 21 teams that fit that description.

Rank

Team

3-Point PCT

1

Oklahoma

44.3%

2

St. Mary's

42.8%

3

SMU

42.3%

4

Michigan St.

42.3%

5

Kansas

42.0%

6

Indiana

41.7%

7

IPFW

41.4%

8

North Florida

41.3%

9

Wofford

41.0%

10

Arkansas

40.7%

11

Virginia

40.5%

12

Jacksonville

39.8%

13

Michigan

39.8%

14

Akron

39.7%

15

Oakland

39.6%

16

E.Kentucky

39.5%

17

E.Washington

39.4%

18

Iowa

39.4%

19

Duke

39.2%

20

Colorado

39.2%

21

Vanderbilt

39.0%

 

Rebound Per Game Differential
Lastly, but still of significant importance is an underdog’s prowess on the boards. Limiting opponent’s to a one and done possession off a missed shot is crucial. In addition, being able to create second chance opportunities via offensive rebounds is an added bonus, and can overcompensate at times for a poor shooting day. The benchmark I like to use pertaining to this statistical category is a +8.0 or better rebound per game differential. In fact, this may be the most underrated of my three statistical categories for making college basketball picks on underdogs. As of Wednesday 2/17, there are 19 teams that qualify under this particular heading.

Rank

Team

REB MAR

1

Michigan St.

11.8

2

Yale

11.3

3

Purdue

11.2

4

Arizona

10.9

5

New Mexico St.

10.8

6

Valparaiso

10.3

7

SMU

9.8

8

Mercer

9.7

9

Colorado

9.4

10

West Virginia

9.3

11

Stony Brook

8.8

12

UT-Arlington

8.7

13

Louisville

8.6

14

Baylor

8.5

15

Xavier

8.4

16

Idaho

8.3

17

Gonzaga

8.2

18

UL-Lafayette

8.1

19

Pittsburgh

8.0