USA TODAY Sports

Scoring, foul calls way up in college basketball this season

If you've been betting on college hoops since the season officially started on Friday, you've noticed one thing above all others: the fouls.

After a push in the offseason from the NCAA to call fouls more tightly this year - with the goal of increasing scoring - officials have come out tweeting. And not the social media kind.

According to a report in the Associated Press, men's and women's hoops games are averaging 42 fouls per game so far. That's an increase of seven fouls per game from last year for men and 10 fouls per game from last year for women.

Scoring is also up by 12 points from an average of 134.28 per game last season to 146.29 per game this season according to Statsheet.com. The over/under is 37-29 heading into Wednesday's college hoops action for a win percentage of 56.1.

Sportsbooks aren't taking any chances and most have adjusted to the trends by releasing totals later than usual for college hoops - often just an hour or two before game time.

"The way they're calling the game, if you get to the basket with the ball there's a 90 percent chance there's going to be a foul called," Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said Tuesday. "I think they're overreacting a little bit. Now, almost virtually any contact is a foul. I think it'll take awhile for everybody to get used to the rules and the calls — the referees as well as the players."

With a huge TV audience Tuesday in what may have been the biggest college hoops day in the first week of the season ever, here's a look at how a few games broke down:

Syracuse-Fordham: 55 fouls, 72 free throws
Kansas-Duke: 53 fouls, 63 free throws
UC Irvine-Pacific: 66 fouls, 77 free throws
South Carolina-Baylor: 55 fouls, 79 free throws

In all four of those games, the team that had the better free throw percentage covered the spread. In short, if you aren't looking at free throw percentage when betting college basketball right now, you aren't handicapping college basketball properly.

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Posted by Syddigs
9 months ago

Books started releasing totals much closer to game time a few years ago. This isn't something new and based on the past week. The books started doing this as the punters numbers got sharper and sharper. If you look at the two main games yesterday i.e Mich St v Kentucky and Duke v Kansas there were a total of 99 fouls called in those two games alone.
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Posted by Stevierags
9 months ago

houseman,Your statement is on point. If they are calling the touch fouls until everyone gets used to it, I would rather have a deep bench than deadly free throw shooters.The games with minimal points at this time of the season are so tough to judge, I would not bet them as they offer no value. The Goliaths against the Davids show the depth and do not normally go down to the wire, which free throw shooting would come into play.
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Posted by houseman
9 months ago

With the foul trend you have to consider more players sitting on the bench longer and the strong possibility they will be fouling out.
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Posted by Stevierags
9 months ago

" Aren't looking at free throw percentages"........what a ridiculous comment. Most teams have played one or two games. That's very indicative of their free throw shooting prowess. Freshman and walk ons are playing in some of these blowout wins. It's the first week of the season, you can't judge a teams performance yet.........LMAO
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Top Response

Posted by Stevierags
9 months ago

"" Aren't looking at free throw percentages"........what a ridiculous comment. Most teams have played one or two games. That's very indicative of their free throw shooting prowess. Freshman and walk ons are playing in some of these blowout wins. It's ..."