During the Super Bowl we introduced a new feature – the VSiN Helpdesk. We got a lot of great Bengals vs. Rams questions, but also some college basketball questions.
We ask all VSiN listeners and subscribers to do so Submit your March Madness betting questions here. We’ll have one of our experts answer them during conference tournaments and March Madness.
Also on March 14th we have our VSiN Bracket Guide and on March 15th our VSiN Tournament Guide which has lots of helpful insights, team previews, tips for completing your bracket and more.
Q: Who or what is Ken Pom? – Joey S
Adam Burke: Ken Pom is the nickname for Ken Pomeroy, who is pretty much the godfather of college basketball stats. KenPom.com is widely regarded as the Holy Grail of college basketball information. Sportsbooks use KenPom extensively, as do bettors, as a subscription is cheap and the information is easy to digest.
As for some other sources that I personally use, I recommend BartTorvik.com as well as Haslametrics.com. Hoop Math and Shot Quality are other good sources for college basketball analysis.
Q: Is there a profitable approach to betting on basketball teasers or should the action remain limited to both spread and money lines? Thanks. – Steve
burke: Basketball teasers should be used sparingly, if at all. There are a few situations in the NBA where it might make sense. Teams typically stop fouling when they’re about eight or nine points behind. So raising an underdog from +5 to +9 or 10 can have some degree of justice. Similarly, pulling down a favorite in this area can produce some winners who would otherwise have been losers or sweats.
Teasers in college basketball are not a worthwhile endeavor. Games are too varied and some teams will foul to the bitter end, making late-game scenarios a bit more volatile.
Conditions have to be pretty much perfect for teasing basketball to get the value it needs from the points you get, and that will rarely happen. You are better off only making straight bets on sides, totals, money lines, props, etc.
Q: How should ATS records affect your capping in college basketball? For example, St. Bonaventure is a -13 favorite against Fordham today (question of 2/8). All my numbers show value when betting on Fordham as I tend to have them as a +9 dog – a nice advantage. But St Bon is 8-0-2 ATS against Fordham in their last 10 games. However, St. Bon is doing poorly overall at home, and Fordham is doing well on the road this season. I’m dropping this bet because of these ATS trends, but is this the right decision? -Ed B
burke: Bettors have different things that work for them and that they are comfortable with. Personally, I’m not a trend bettor, but I know other people who have had great success with it. Any information can be beneficial when breaking down a game. I like to get a big picture of everything and then decide what is most important, what is noise and what is irrelevant to me.
There are a few things I want to consider about these trends. First, what do results from 3-5 years ago mean in the present? The players are different in this period of time. Also, Fordham has a new head coach this season. We don’t have a sample size for him against St. Bonaventure.
Also, a record of 8-0-2 gives no context. Who was preferred? What was the spread? In which direction did the line move? Was it a simple cover? A cover at the free-throw line too late?
It’s perfectly reasonable to look at home-road splits from the ATS standpoint in college basketball. It can show if a team is overrated at home or underperforming away. For me, trends are a guide to finding out why something is the case. When a team goes into the over 8-2 at home, is it because they’re shooting really well? Is it the opposition?
My favorite thing to do is look at the stats and try to see how the teams fit together this season, but if you find that trends are working for you then this is an example of the many paths to success as a bettor.
Q: If you bet $100 ATS per game, which tournament team was the most profitable this season? -Robert v.
burke: Of the teams competing in the NCAA tournament, Saint Mary’s easily has the best coverage % with a record 18-9-2 ATS (66.7%). Texas Tech is next at 20-11 (64.5%). Middle Tennessee has the best coverage percentage of any team at 21-7 (75%).