Margin of Cover and Luck Rankings Among Keys to College Basketball Betting

By Joe Duffy
Contributing Editor

Joe Duffy
Sports Network) - Advanced statistics and analytics is finally becoming all the rage in professional sports. Apparently the multi-billion dollar leagues are finally catching up to pro gamblers, who have been using such metrics for years.

If there is a handicapping lesson in deflategate, piping crowd noise, or texting coaches during games, it is that professional franchises realize no edge is too small. This is so profound in betting. Here is some specific examples of advantages that Vegas sharps monetize.

First is the Margin of Cover (MOC) breakdown. Renamed "sweat barometer" in Chad Millman of ESPN's column, MOC is similar to scoring margin, but it is measured by how much a team covers or fails to cover the point spread.
Many sports handicappers believe MOC is invaluable in isolating under and overvalued teams.

As of games through Sunday, February 22

Minimum number of lined games: 20

Here are the top teams to bet on according to their MOC:

Team ATS Record Margin of Cover
UC Davis 16-5 +6.0
Davidson 18-4 +5.4
Utah 17-7 +4.8
South Dakota St 17-5 +4.5

These would be the best teams to best against according to MOC:

Team ATS Record Margin of Cover
San Jose St 6-15-2 (-5.7)
Denver 8-14 (-5.3)
Weber State 7-16 (-4.7)
Siena 8-13-1 (-4.5)

Another advanced statistic we exploit from a handicapping standpoint is the KenPom "luck rating." In short, a team that wins a high percentage of close games is lucky and team that loses a high percentage is unlucky.

Because we have stated countless times that the most overrated statistic in spread betting is won-loss straight up mark, my experience is the "lucky" teams are often the most overvalued and the "unluckiest" the most undervalued.

As far as board teams here is who KenPom has rated as the:


  • 1. Maryland
  • 2. Harvard
  • 3. Tulsa
  • 4. Wofford
  • 5. James Madison


  • 1. Florida
  • 2. UNC Greensboro
  • 3. Vanderbilt
  • 4. Charlotte
  • 5. Ball State

    Tom Brady is possibly the greatest QB of all-time, but he's even a greater force when he can bend the rules. However, all is fair in love, war, and sports betting and above are two strong instances of how we deflate the bookmakers.

    The author, Joe Duffy has his picks part of GodsTips, anchor of A long-time veteran of the sports betting industry, Duffy trained under NFL legends-turned-handicappers Ray Scott and Hank Stram.

    Copyright 2015

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