Find Value with College Basketball Teams on Losing Streaks

Find Value with College Basketball Teams on Losing Streaks article feature image

Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports

After winning a school record 19 games in a row, Purdue has dropped two straight. The Boilermakers blew a 14-point second-half lead on Wednesday to fall, 64-63, to Ohio State. Then Matt Painter’s team, having led by as many as 10 points, lost to No. 4 Michigan State on a last-second three-pointer from Miles Bridges.

The Boilers will have five days between games to get over the tough losses before traveling to Madison to take on the Wisconsin Badgers on Thursday. Can Purdue get back to its winning ways? More importantly, should gamblers bet or fade the Boilermakers?

A simple strategy for betting ranked teams on losing streaks (two or more straight losses) is to fade the public. Casual bettors are prone to overreact to recent results, which means they will likely fade struggling teams, even ones ranked in the top 25. Contrarian bettors can exploit this tendency by taking the unpopular side.

Betting ranked teams on losing streaks getting less than 50% of bets has gone 54-43-3 (55.7%) ATS since 2005. The return on investment improves the less public support a team gets.

This trend, fading the public when a team is on a losing streak, holds if we expand our sample. Of the 407 ranked teams in our database that had lost at least two games in row, 373 (91.6%) were from power conferences. If we look at all teams from the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC on a two or three game skid, betting against the pubic remains a profitable strategy.

In games with lopsided action, power conference teams on a losing streak getting less than 30% of spread bets have gone 290-232-14 (55.6%) ATS since 2005. The results are not only similar to what we saw with just ranked teams, but the sample size is five times as large, which gives us more faith in the results.

Check the free odds page at SportsInsights to track which side the public is playing tonight. If recreational gamblers back Wisconsin, fade their action and take Purdue on a losing streak.

Other Teams to Track

Purdue isn’t the only team from a power conference on a losing streak. Here are two other team’s on today’s slate looking to get back in the win column.

Washington vs. Utah: The Dubs lost back-to-back games on the road in Oregon to the Ducks and Beavers. Tonight’s game opened as pick’em and in early action Washington is getting 83% of spread bets. When a team on a losing streak have received more than 80% of spread bets: 32-43-1 (42.7%) ATS since 2005.

USC vs. Oregon: The Men of Troy lost to UCLA and Arizona State by five points combined before getting rolled 81-67 in Tucson by No. 13 Arizona last Saturday. USC is a 5-point favorite at home vs. Oregon tonight. Bets are evenly split, no value currently with the Trojans.

Photo via Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports