The month of February has always been a very important time of the year when it comes to NCAA basketball. The importance during the month of February surrounds seeding for the NCAA tournament. As a result, each team’s performance in the last 10 games or so of the season plays a crucial role in how each team will fare come Selection Sunday, when the rankings are revealed. What each team is able to accomplish during the month of February can potentially bolster or worsen their tournament resume.
How It Relates To Sports Betting
Additionally, another aspect of February as it relates to NCAA basketball is the perception that each team gives off to the public. Essentially, all a bettor has to do is look at the win and loss column to get a general feel for the strength of a team – it can be quite attention grabbing. However, the oddsmakers are well aware of how the public will be likely to perceive teams at this point in the season and will be sure to adjust the odds accordingly in order to factor in the public’s point of view.
The general public has a tendency to love betting on the great teams. For example, when a home team has been undefeated on their home court for the entire regular season or for a majority of the regular season, especially during the month of February, you can bet that the general public will be pouring their money into this team whenever the team is playing at home.
Conversely, when a team has been struggling to win on the road, with a zero in the away games win column in the month of February, you can also bet that the general public will be pouring their money on the opposing team whenever the weak road team is playing an away game.
However, if we take a step back and look at the bigger picture, in many cases, perception does not match up with reality. As a result, it’s extremely important to be able to see “beneath the surface” and take into account other factors that will actually be more indicative of how the future will likely unfold.
Over the last eight seasons, teams without a loss on the road heading into February are 159-192 against the spread, which translates into a winning percentage, or cover rate, of 45.3%. From this breakdown, it is quite obvious that oddsmakers are charging a premium on undefeated home teams.
Even more impressive, the bigger the favorite, the better the fade, which means to go against the favorite on the spread. When an undefeated home team is favored by 12.5 points or more, these teams are a putrid 58-91, which translates into a 38.9% win rate against the spread – you’ll definitely be losing quite a bit of money on these games if you were to back the favorites against the spread.
Moving on to road underdogs, when a road team has been winless so far in the month of February, and are underdogs of 1.5 points or less or are favorites, they have posted an 18-4 record against the spread over the past eight seasons, albeit a small sample size. These same teams are also 15-2 against the spread when their record is less than or equal to .500 overall on the season. In other words, the worse their record indicates they are, the more likely they’ll be to cover the spread!