Make your Basketball Picks Like an Expert

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With March Madness upon us, many of you will be looking to make your own picks on the Games. We’re going to show you a quick method of handicapping that will have you picking college basketball Games like an expert. At the end of the article, for those not interested in making their own picks, we’ll point you towards Our own staff of expert basketball handicappers, some free, others for hire.

Everyone has heard of power ratings. No expert would handicap college basketball without at least using power ratings as a starting point. However, power ratings the way they are presented at most sites, are fairly useless for handicapping the Tournaments. One of the most important factors in handicapping hoops this time of year, is how a team has performed lately. Power ratings are compiled over the course of a season. What a team did in November and December is reflected in those ratings. Teams change. Ratings change. A team may have played great early on but is struggling now and often times, the power ratings don’t reflect that down slide fast enough.

There is a term in handicapping circles called Average Opponents Power Ratings. From here forward, AOPR. AOPR is figured by taking the ratings of a teams opponents at the time they played and averaging them out for the year. From Our perspective, and many other expert basketball handicappers, this method is flawed because again, it’s taking into account a teams rating, at the time they played. It’s just not indicative of what a team is right now.

So, we are going to refine this AOPR method just a bit. What we’ll do, is take a look at a teams last 5 to 7 Games. We’ll compute the AOPR, but instead of using the ratings of the teams at the time they played, we are going to use the ratings as they stand right now, today. We are going to take the last 5 Games, and come up with a new power rating for the two teams we are handicapping based on how those teams are performing right now.

Here is an example. You can use any decent set of power ratings for this. There are literally tons of good power ratings sites on the net. We’ll use the most popular, Sagarins ratings for Our example. We’ll take a look at a Game being played tonight between Niagara and Siena. We’ll round off Sagarins numbers. Siena has a rating of 76 + 4 for being at home, so Siena is an 80. Niagara has a rating of 75. So Our point spread using Sagarin would be 5. The line on the Game is Siena by 5. So, no real edge here as it stands now. Let’s refine the number and see what happens.

We’ll look at Niagara’s last 5 Games. They played at rider on Feb 8th. Rider’s rating for that Game was 79 (75 + 4 for home cOurt). again, we are using the power ratings as what they are TODAY, not when they actually played. So with Rider being a 79, and Niagara being 75, Rider should have won by 4 points. In this Game, they did exactly that. So, Niagara played like a team rated 75 in that Game.

Next, Rider played at Loyola. Loyola has a rating of 71 + 4 for home cOurt, so they are a 75. So, with both teams rated 75, this Game is a pick. But Niagara won this Game by 5 points. So Niagara actually played like a team rated 80 in this Game. So we have done two Games so far. Niagara played like a team rated 75 in the first Game, and like a team rated 80 in the 2nd Game. We perform this calculation for each teams last 5 Games, average the numbers for each team and arrive at Our new ratings for each team.

When we do this for each team, we are determining what level a team played to in each Game. With Niagara rated 75, if they play a steam also rated 75 and win by 10, then Niagara played like a team rated 85. So, Niagara’s last 5 Game ratings are 75, 80, 74, 67 and 77. Averaged out it’s 74.6. This tells us that over the last 5 Games, Niagara is playing right to the level of their rating. Sagarin is right. Looking at Siena, their last 5 Games are 86, 82, 64, 69, 103. Averaged out, it’s 80.8. So if we round off here, we have Niagara’s ratings at 75 and Siena at 81. A 6 point edge for Siena using Our new refined numbers. Adding in home cOurt, Siena is a 10 point choice in this Game. They are playing to a higher level than their current Sagarin rating indicates. So Our selection for this Game if we were going to bet it, would be Siena -6.

This works particularly well with Tournament Games, where we don’t have to factor in home cOurt values. We can also refine this method a bit. We can take the last 7 Games and throw out the highest and lowest rating for each team. Or, we can take only the last 5 AWAY Games since most Tournament Games are in fact, away Games.

So there you have it. A quick, easy method that will help you pick basketball Games like an expert. But we also realize that many of you don’t have the time to do this, so we’ll point you towards some other college hoops experts right here on Bettorsworld.

Lastly, we’d point you towards one of the most well known basketball services in the country, Doc’s Sports. Doc’s has their own team of basketball experts and their crew is heating up at just the right time as we head into March Madness. Docs has been handing Our winners for over 30 years. Now that’s a track record folks! We highly recommend them. You can visit Doc’s and have a look around by following this link – DOCS

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