Submitted by Richie Baccellieri on Wednesday, February 22, 2017 at 4:08 PM
The last time we were together I talked about how difficult it is to anticipate which teams are going to be great against the pointspread. Even if you find an early surprise, the market will typically adjust fairly quickly.
What about the other end of the spectrum? Does it make sense to fade bad teams all through a season? Unfortunately, many of the same issues apply.
*Not all teams who are projected to be bad turn out to be bad.
*Many of those ugly teams are already on people's "bet against" list anyway
*If you're ahead of the curve at first, the line should adjust and take away your edge
The main thing you have going for you is that bad teams aren't on TV very often. That at least gives you a chance to squeeze out any advantage a little longer. If a major conference team starts out hot, that becomes a major media story that might start a bandwagon effect. If a lousy team is still lousy, nobody talks about it. Networks like to hype the strengths of their corporate partners, not dwell on their weaknesses.
Let's take a quick look at the worst pointspread records so far this season from the major conferences...
ACC: Miami 9-16, NC State 10-16
Big 12: Kansas 8-16-1
Big East: Georgetown 9-16, DePaul 10-16
Big 10: Ohio State 9-17
Pac 12: Washington 8-17-1, Colorado 9-17-1
SEC: LSU 9-16-1
Well, a few things jump out there...
*First, you don't see too many of the "worst" teams up there. DePaul has become a traditional doormat...which is still depressing to people in Vegas with Chicago roots who remember the Ray Meyer glory days. Fading DePaul would have made you some money even with lines stacked against the Blue Demons all season. But...it's certainly not true that anticipating who the worst teams would be in every conference and fading them would have yielded a great betting record.
*You actually see some big name programs up there who are having trouble playing up to expectations. Fading Kansas would have you at a 67% win rate so far, even though the Jayhawks are still on the short list of potential National Champs. Georgetown used to rule the Big East, but now has a worse ATS record than Depaul. Instead of trying to find dregs to fade, it's better trying to find "storied" programs who have either fallen on hard times or who just can't play to inflated expectations. But, even then...it's not like all the superpowers are struggling ATS like Kansas is. Most are around .500 or a bit better.
*Isn't it interesting how many "football" schools show up on that list. This can be a nice hidden key to exploit. Too many squares let what they remember about football influence their basketball bets. They're thinking about overall media hype rather than the specific talent on the floor. Ohio State was a Final Four football team that's been overrated in hoops. Colorado and Washington both made headlines in Pac 12 football this season, but are the two most overrated basketball teams by market measures. LSU's basketball program has really hit the skids despite being a prominent TV school on the gridiron. Something to store in your memory banks for the future.
Ultimately, you're going to have trouble making this kind of strategy work on either end of the spectrum. Maybe you'll guess right for a few hot or cold teams. But, you'll guess wrong just as often. There's nothing wrong with riding a streak if you happen to be on one. Maybe fading Kansas keeps working for you...so you're going to keep doing that until they string together some covers. Can't argue with that. Just don't expect that you can anticipate streaks in advance month by month and conference by conference.
It's easier to beat the market by respecting the market! That forces you to focus on the very best possibilities rather than arrogantly betting too many angles and strategies. If it were as simple as finding hot horses to ride, and bad teams to fade, sportsbooks couldn't stay in business. As you surely know, they continue to thrive!
Thanks to my decades of experience behind the line, I know what it takes for my customers to beat the line. This is especially true in college basketball, my favorite sport to handicap. If you'd like some help making the right daily choices, you can purchase my daily BEST BETS right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions about longterm packages, call the office at 1-888-777-4155.
Thanks for reading. See you again this weekend for more basketball talk. I'll obviously be focused on college hoops on these pages through the tournaments. Though, I might pop in with some NBA notes soon because there's so much buzz about the resumption of play. Some big games coming up!
Don't forget that some of the mid-major tournaments begin next week! Vegas is very excited about hosting Gonzaga and the West Coast Conference in a few days...and then the Mountain West and Pac 12 after that. I'll do my best to let you know what's happening from right here in the heart of the action. See you next time.