USA Today Sports

Shrinking NCAA tournament scores a wonder for the under

Scoring is way down in NCAA basketball this season, with teams averaging just over 67 points per game – only the second time since 1952 the national scoring average was below 68 points.

Come March, however, low-scoring games are average fare. In fact, they’ve been more common over the past three NCAA tournaments than any time in the last 10 years.

Tournament teams averaged 74.68 points per game in 2009 – the highest scoring average in the last 10 national tournaments. But since then, scores have dipped considerably. Tournament teams averaged 72.03 points in 2010, 70.39 points in 2011, and just 69.27 points per game in the 2012 Big Dance.

Those declining numbers have made betting under the total the profitable pick in that three-year span. Between 2010 and 2012, NCAA tournament games have gone 85-109-4 over/under, paying out on the under at a 56 percent rate.

“I think in every sport we have a tendency to be mindful of lower scores and lower totals in the playoffs,” Peter Korner, founder of the Nevada-based odds service The Sports Club, told Covers. “The energy levels are up and the defense improves.”

Since 2003, tournament games have gone a combined 304-331-10 over/under – 52 percent of those games finishing below the betting total. The average score in those games was 145.2 points, which is nearly seven points more than last year’s average final score.

“We definitely shade (the totals) down,” Korner says of NCAA tournament numbers. “If we’re going to shade it anywhere, we shade it down. Teams are playing away games – everyone is playing away games. The backboards are different, the backdrops are different.”

Heading into Friday’s conference tournament action, lined college basketball games have gone 1,415-1,414 over/under on the season. That’s a slight 50.02 winning percentage for over players.

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Posted by RSampsell
1 year ago

Of course 60% is the magic number for most.... I mean if we can hit 60% would never look back right?........... BUT IT DOESN'T MATTER IF YOU HIT 70 or 80% ... if you don't have money management you cant win ... and that holds 100% true. Every time have keep tack over 3 and 4 month periods after the hot and cold streaks I always seem to hit between 55%-58%. But I am not a big better usually in the $20-50 so I only win little. After adding up my record on 5dimes I was surprise to learn since Nov 9 I am 212-172 on straight all bets and up about $500. yea back I was a 2 and 3 dime player years back.... those games are gone now that I am supporting 4 grand-kids but I love picking winners regardless the amount, its all about picking winners!
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Posted by dafirestar
1 year ago

Keep in mind, gambling as a profession is a discipline that very few people possess. That's not to say that you can't make a living gambling if your the house, that's not gambling, that's what you call a license to steal, or printing money whatever is preferable. A true gambler, that actually makes a living gambling and has done it for more than 3 years is extremely rare. Guys that can win at 56% clip is very common even a 65% clip is not that out of the ordinary. The true professional gambler has more discipline as a human being than 99.9% of the population, also the IQ to make it as a professional gambler and not supplementing his/her income with anything else is so extraordinary and the reason it is so extraordinary has nothing to do with an ability to pick winners. First of all, that same person could do a whole helluva a lot of other things and make much, much more money than as a gambler it truly would be a waste of talent. Picking winners is the easy part, casino's and bookies don't make there money off of the 5% advantage they have on wagers, they make there money on human nature and undisciplined people who have no ability to walk away a winner. Many people cannot walk away a winner they have something inside them that doesn't let them win, many others couldn't pick there nose. Between those to sets of characteristics you just beat 80% of the betters. The other 19% self destruct another way leaving a 1%. You still wonder how casino's are built. Casino gambling is just a faster way for the house to get the money, sports gambling is simply a longer process but the same principles exist, 1 out of 100 are serious enough to make money. and out of the 1% lets say there is another 100 of those 95 of them make more money doing something else. The 5 that could professionally gamble are just guys who don't want to live what they would consider a boring existence.
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Posted by dafirestar
1 year ago

I hit at a rate higher than 56%, especially in NCAA Football. I easily hit that number even in basketball and I'm not quitting my day job. Do the math, keep in mind you can only wager what your willing to wager. In addition, I like to have the money I'm wagering in an account whether I'm offered credit or I'm not offered credit. In addition to that I don't wager on many games and that is why I can win at a high percentage. I'm not saying I don't make good money betting, I'm simply saying I'd rather have a day job in addition to gambling it makes me sleep better at night. So for our exercise, keeping it somewhat close to reality I find 5 games per week I like to play at an average play of 300. I'm going to win at 56% lose at 44% and pay 10% juice on the losses. 5X300=1500 + 150 I've wagered 1650 1500X56%= 840 in wins 660+66=726 in losses. For the week I made 114. To make a living at that winning percentage I would literally have to make a minimum of 30 times that figure and at that clip remember your only eking out a living after expenses and even gamblers pay taxes. So to make it work multiply each figure by 30 times and ask yourself do these figures work for me. My answer is no, I'll keep my day job and supplement with my 5 games a week and win at 64% on average and I'm still not beating down the door to the bank. X56%=840 840 in wins
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Posted by ILPRATO
1 year ago

Totally disagree if you can hit 56% you would never have to work another day in your life!!!
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Posted by RussianHiller
1 year ago

And then today, everything went over. 56% does not a serious trend make.
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Posted by arsenal588
1 year ago

The NCAA Tourney didn't start today Russian
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Top Response

Posted by RussianHiller
1 year ago

"And then today, everything went over. 56% does not a serious trend make."