Overtime … a 5-minute period in which anything is possible. A crapshoot, right? Is this something we should stray away from? Not at all! Overtime in college hoops is where the big dogs eat. We, my friends, are the big dogs.
I do not write about live betting very much even though I live bet quite a bit in my personal life. I think I find it more difficult to write about than standard pre-game betting because I do not have a wealth of information and statistics at my disposal to back me up.
Unlike pre-game betting, there are not multiple databases teeming with statistical analysis and insight for live bets. Want to look up the average spread for non-ranked ACC teams playing true road games over the past 2 seasons? You can do that (it’s +5.2, actually).
Try looking up the average live moneyline odds for when two ranked teams enter overtime. As far as the common man is concerned, this data does not exist. Two ranked teams entering overtime is the exact topic I wanted to address today, so bear with me in the limited-data-to-back-up-this-article grind. With the formalities out of the way, let’s dig in!
When Two Ranked Teams Enter Overtime
Since the 2010 college basketball season began, the following scenario has occurred 30 times: two ranked teams playing a true home/road game need overtime to decide the contest.
The fact that the game is a true home/road game is important because I am researching the effect of home court on the outcome of overtime games. Those who know college hoops understand that this scenario seldom occurs early in the season. This scenario has not occurred yet this season, which may actually work in our benefit and get us even better lines.
In those 30 overtime games between ranked teams, 22 of them were won by the home team. That is 73.3%! How incredible is that!? Home court appears to be huge in star-studded clashes. Of course, this number of 73.3% does not help us unless we know what moneyline to look for when perusing live betting odds.
Whipping out my trusty formula and plugging in 73.3% tells us that these ranked home teams would have broken even with an average moneyline of -275. Now as I said before, I wish I had the numbers to prove my suspicion, but I believe the odds entering overtime for the home team in this situation would be FAR more favorable than -275. I would think that they are roughly even, maybe -150 or -200 at the most.
Being astute bettors, I’m sure we can all see the opportunity for profit here. When ranked teams collide and go to overtime, bet the home team to win so long as their odds are better than -275 (which they assuredly will be).
When One Ranked and One non-Ranked Team Enter Overtime
This stat illustrates the absurdity of college basketball while also showing why it is so important to study your statistics. When two ranked teams head to overtime, the home team has an overwhelming advantage, despite the two teams being relatively equal on paper. When a ranked team is at home against a non-ranked team, their winning percentage in overtime games drops to 65.9%, despite the fact they are the superior team.
This means ranked home teams in overtime against non-ranked opponents are only worth betting if their moneyline odds are more favorable than -193, which is far closer to what the odds would normally be considering the assumed gap in talent level.
I believe that a non-ranked team likely has value when they force a road game into overtime against a ranked opponent. The consensus is likely that the favored home team will regroup and crush their inferior opponent in the extra 5-minute frame. We can use that ill-formed consensus to generate profits.
Remembering that these non-ranked road teams win about 35.1% of the games that go into overtime against ranked opponents, we know that they will be profitable so long as their moneyline odds are more favorable than +185. Considering that we are talking about non-ranked teams playing on the road against ranked opponents, I’d imagine the odds surpass +185 on a regular basis.
Remember this information and take action next time you are watching a primetime matchup and the final buzzer sounds with the score still tied. See you at the top!