Our daily series on college basketball betting continues. See older posts here…Most MLB and NBA junkies know to head to baseball-reference.com and basketball-reference.com for any statistical query they may have. But not every college basketball fan knows about KenPom.com, and if you’re interested in making money betting on college hoops, you better get familiar with it.
Here’s what you need to know:
- The front page ranks the teams 1-345. These are not meant to quantify how a team has played, it’s meant to predict how they good they will be moving forward. It answers the questions: which team would win on a neutral court tomorrow?
- What you’ll want to pay attention to here is AdjO and AdjD, which ranks teams in terms of their offensive efficiency and defensive efficiency. Also pay attention to Pyth under Strength of Schedule, which measures the quality of that team’s opponents based on how they’re expected to perform.
- Now click on any team name. In the centre you’ll see their entire schedule and their opponents’ KenPom ranking in each game they played. He also uses his formula to predict all future outcomes.
- To the left you’ll see a bunch of team statistics. In addition to the aforementioned efficiencies, be sure to check A/FGM (% of baskets that come on assists) because that’s a sign of a good offence and not just a collection of good shooters subject to a slump without a moment’s notice. We also like to look at bench minutes (does the coach trust his depth?) and experience come tournament time. If you’re unfamiliar with the team, be sure to check “defensive fingerprint” to get a better feel.
- Down below, you’ll get a look at individual performers. Don’t get held up by how Pomeroy classifies them (i.e. “Major Contributors,” “Role Players,” etc.), that’s purely based on statistics.
Now that you’ve examined the teams, make sure to click on “Fan Match” up top. That’s where Pomeroy uses his algorithms to pick the days’ games, and games in the future. He sorts them by “thrill score,” which might be important if you’re deciding which game to watch.But if you’re looking to bet, check the prediction and his confidence in parenthesis. Then see how they compare with the lines of major sports books. They’re usually very similar, but if there are any large discrepancies it is certainly worth seeing what’s behind the inconsistency. Click on each team’s name to get to their page and examine their stats in depth.
Yesterday we picked games by wagering against heavy road favourites. We went 1-1-1, and probably should have done a better job factoring how good Gonzaga was before blindly following the system and picking Loyola Marymount to cover.
Today’s small slate of games doesn’t feature a single major school, and just a few fringe tournament hopefuls. Slim pickings. But we like Princeton to cover as 3-point favourites at Columbia. Their set offence doesn’t get rattled on the road, and Columbia is a familiar, inept foe. We’ll also take Siena as 11-point underdogs at Iona. The Saints already knocked off the Gaels, and these rivals always play tough – no matter the talent disparity.
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