Your weekly dose of sports betting tips and news, each Saturday at 10am Eastern.
College basketball predictions – These predictions are based on an ensemble of predictors from The Power Rank.
- Purdue will beat Indiana by 9.5 points at home. Indiana is squarely on the bubble and could use a huge win to help their tournament case.
- Duke will beat North Carolina by 9.5 points at home. The markets are showing Duke massive respect at -11.5 as of Saturday morning. Tickets to Coach K’s last home game are going for an average of $6,000, more than the Super Bowl.
- Murray State will beat Morehead State by 7.0 points. In this neutral site championship, Murray State looks to complete an undefeated Ohio Valley regular season and tournament.
For the 20 days leading up to Thursday, March 3, these predictions were 53.8% against the opening spread as tracked by KO STATS (442-379 with 13 pushes). The rms error was 0.2% better than the opening market.
All predictions are available to members of The Power Rank the day before the games.
Arizona – The Wildcats started the season unranked in the AP poll. While it might seem bizarre to mention a poll from four month ago when Arizona has looked so good, the preseason AP poll is strong predictor of tournament performance.
Despite not featuring in the preseason AP poll, college basketball guru Ken Pomeroy thinks Arizona is legitimately good. They are big, athletic, and share the ball under new coach Tommy Lloyd, a former Gonzaga assistant.
On an episode of The Football Analytics Show, Ken Pomeroy broke down the top 5 teams in his college basketball rankings.
NFL Combine – Teams, analysts and pundits are enjoying their annual pilgrimage to Indianapolis to watch the next generation of players run, lift and wax poetic about football. Two bets have seen drastic movement from their opening value:
Number 1 Overall Pick: At first, Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson was the favorite, but now Alabama offensive tackle Evan Neal has the lowest odds (-110 per FanDuel Sportsbook). Next Gen Stats has an overall score detailing a prospect’s college production and measurable athleticism, compared to historical players invited to the combine.
Neal is tied for first in large part because of how few pressures he allowed at Alabama, but also atop the list are Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum (not on the board) and NC State OT Ikem Ekwonu (+400).
First Quarterback Selected: While Liberty’s Malik Willis is the favorite at -170, the highest aforementioned overall score belongs to Ole Miss gunslinger Matt Corral (+1100). While the ankle injury from the Sugar Bowl is a concern, Corral intends to participate in his school’s pro day at the end of the month.
Tournament win probabilities – Based on a projected bracket from ESPN, this interactive visual shows how teams will perform in the tournament. The probability calculations are based on The Power Rank’s college basketball rankings that take margin of victory and adjust for schedule.
The interactive visual shows Gonzaga with a 29.4% chance to win the tourney, but don’t discount other teams like Auburn (10.7%), Kentucky (9.7%) and Arizona (9.2%).
Geography in College Basketball – In all likelihood, there is more value betting on conference tournaments than the NCAA Tournament because that market is naturally going to be less efficient. One factor to consider is the distance teams and fans must travel for these games.
Fortunately, the NCAA charts such things. Here are two examples:
- The Horizon League will decide its automatic berth in Indianapolis. Purdue Fort Wayne has the highest odds to win it at +350 per FanDuel Sportsbook, but has some of the shortest travel (as does Wright St. at +280).
- UNLV may be +750 to win the Mountain West, but the tournament is held in Las Vegas.
College Baseball – While labor negotiations for Major League Baseball have stalled, you can scratch your national pastime itch through college baseball. Texas is currently the favorite to win the College World Series at +700, followed by LSU, Oklahoma State and Vanderbilt.
In addition to these SEC teams, Warren Nolan’s Elo Rankings also like Ole Miss (+1700). The Rebels nearly made it to Omaha last season despite a rash of injuries and have the bulk of their bats returning.
Tennessee is another candidate (+3000). As of Friday afternoon, the Vols currently lead America in on base percentage and home runs per game.
Amazing Drone Footage – Since there can’t be enough coverage of Coach K’s last home game, Duke men’s basketball’s twitter account released this video of how many Blue Devil fans camp out for games.
Data driven betting information
These nuggets were sent to The Power Rank’s email newsletter. This is a free service that strives to be:
You also get The Power Rank’s March Madness cheat sheet that makes it drop dead easy to fill out your bracket.
To get this free service delivered straight into your inbox, enter your best email address and click on “Sign up now!”