Guest Article by Researchers at BettingCharts.com
We at BettingCharts.com are pleased to be writing another guest article for our sister company, SportsInsights.com (Please visit our first article, Monte Carlo Analysis and the Ups & Downs of Sports Investing). Our first article was a bit number-intensive, so this article will be a little “lighter” — but will be chock full of info. We’ll focus on College Basketball and take a look at various factors that can help you to improve your sports handicapping.
College Basketball is one of the workhorses for the professional sports bettor. Once the season starts in November, hundreds of teams play about two games a week — vying for a spot in the Final Four. This frenzy leading into March Madness means that there are college hoop games almost every day of the week — and especially Saturdays! Lots of opportunity… And lots of data overload… This makes college hoops a slightly different animal. We’ll review some of the sports betting tools that might help you wade through the oceans of data.
Betting Against the Public and Square Plays
Betting Against the Public has proven to work across all of the major sports. Its consistency is remarkable; we have seen that Betting Against the Public and SportsInsights’ Square Plays have consistently won in the 54%-57% range, on average. As we know, winning streaks and losing streaks happen. For example, last year was a difficult year for many professionals in the NFL, as it has been called “The Year of the Favorites.” This year, the NFL has bounced back strongly, with SportsInsights’ Square Plays achieving 69% (!) winning percentage.
In College Hoops, Betting Against the Public works as well. However, due to the massive data overload, basing plays solely on Betting Percentages may not lead to results as good as, say SportsInsights.com’s Square Plays. SportsInsights bases its Square Plays on its contacts within the industry (including sportsbooks and “sharp” bettors), actual money bet, and other sources — to get VALUE for their members. We believe that College Hoops is one area where SportsInsights’ contacts and knowledge helps to weed out the noise of “college hoops data overload” and noise.
Number of Bets
SportsInsights shows numerous indicators, with Betting Percentages being its most popular. We agree that Betting Percentages are very useful at helping to uncover value in the sports marketplace. We also feel, however, that other indicators – such as the Number of Bets and Line Movement – are important as well. At BettingCharts, we feel that this is particularly true in sports such as College Basketball. There are just SO many games, that this indicator can help to drive you to the games that the public is following most. We performed a test to look at how this factor can help improve results.
Using a simple system that typically takes College Hoops underdogs, we overlaid a filter that played only the top 1/3 of games in terms of number of bets. The winning percentage increased by more than 2%! This makes sense because games with public interest will lead to overpriced favorites. The moral of the story: if you are Betting Against the Public, focus on the games where there is a lot of Public interest.
Based on our research at BettingCharts, line moves are a mixed bag of information. Line moves can sometimes show value. This might be the case, for example, when a game is mis-priced and the market is driving the line to fair value. However, in today’s competitive sports marketplace, if a line moves too much, it often pays to fade the line move. SportsInsights.com’s feature on Steam Moves and First Moves has shown that betting against steam moves is typically the way to go.
Smart Money Techniques
An even stronger use of “line movement” is to use it in combination with Betting Percentages, a method SportsInsights.com’s members will recognize as Smart Money Techniques. We won’t go over Smart Money methods since SportsInsights has several good articles (including this one on College Hoops) on that topic. Suffice it to say that using line moves in combination with betting percentages are a very powerful method of finding out where the Smart Money is going.
College basketball offers sports investors many investment opportunities — and at the same time, many challenges. We have reviewed some tools that sports investors can use when wading through the oceans of college hoops games. This includes SportsInsights.com’s bread-and-butter tools such as Betting Percentages and Line Moves. In addition, we highlighted the Number of Bets — which is often overlooked as an indicator. Using multiple indicators available at SportsInsights.com — and other handicapping tools — can improve your results, especially in sports like college hoops. Good luck!
We do not guarantee that the trends and biases we’ve found will continue to exist. It is impossible to predict the future. Any serious academic research in the field of “market efficiencies” recognizes that inefficiencies may disappear over time. Once inefficiencies are discovered, it is only a matter of time before the market corrects itself.