College Basketball Betting: How Has Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski Performed Historically ATS?
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Believe it or not, Mike Krzyzewski was first named Duke’s head coach in March of 1980. The No. 1 song on the Billboard top 100 that month was “Call Me” by Blondie, and the No. 1 movie that year was Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.
Duke was not No. 1 back in 1980, recording a lackluster 6-8 ACC record on its way to a 17-13 season.
However, since Coach K’s inaugural season, he’s compiled a whopping 1,091-294 record, picking up five NCAA Tournament championships, 12 ACC regular season championships and 15 ACC Tournament championships along the way.
Well, after 41 monumental seasons at the helm, Coach K has announced he’s retiring following the 2021-22 season. Krzyzewski’s goodbye will be filled with emotions — anguish for Duke fans and jubilation for everybody else.
Regardless of how successful Coach K’s tenure has been, there’s a much bigger, much more important question at hand: How has he done for bettors?
Leveraging The Action Network’s Bet Labs systems, I was able to answer that exact question. Bet Labs has straight up, against the spread and over/under records for every game across every sport since 2005.
While Krzyzewski has been coaching for 40 years, betting technology doesn’t go back quite that far. However, we can track how he’s done in every situation since 2005, which gives us a solid sample size to work with.
Straight up since 2005, Krzyzewski has gone 373-94 on the ML. That’s a whopping 80%-win rate in games he’s coached since then. Pretty good!
However, Duke hasn’t been profitable during that time, with the Blue Devils being a 2% losing investment on the ML since 2005:
However, every sharp knows the spread is where we make the money. Coach K has done well, as his 238-217-12 ATS record is good for a 52%-win rate and a nominal 7.65-unit profit.
Best Season, Worst Season
If you’re a loyal, die-hard Duke basketball bettor, there are probably two seasons you remember well.
The first would be the 2016-17 season, where Duke was upset in the second round of the NCAA Tournament by South Carolina.
However, people should’ve seen that coming, as Coach K posted the worst ATS record of his career that season.
But Duke bettors are thankful, as he managed to regain those losses in the next season. The 2017-18 Blue Devils were a fantastic basketball team — led by Marvin Bagley III and Grayson Allen — that finished as KenPom’s No. 3 team.
They also went 19-10 ATS that season, which was the best season of Coach K’s career from an ATS perspective.
The team went on to lose in the semifinals of the ACC Tournament to North Carolina and then in the Elite Eight to Kansas, capping off their electric season with a forgettable finish.
Home Sweet Home
If a team walked into Cameron Indoor, it likely wasn’t walking out with a win. But most likely, it wasn’t walking out with a cover, either.
Overall, Krzyzewski went 180-23 SU at home throughout his career, an 88.6% home win percentage that can only be bested by a few coaches during that time (min. 50 home games coached):
|Coach||Home Record||Home Win Percentage|
However, take Coach K out of Durham and you get a totally different Duke team. On the road since 2005, Duke has surprisingly posted more ATS losses than wins:
Favorite Places to Play
In his tenure at Duke, Coach K has seen the whole country, coaching basketball games from coast to coast.
That begs the question: Where’s his favorite place to coach? Or, at least, the place where he’s done the best.
As you can probably guess, the one road location he’s coached at the most since 2005 is the Dean E. Smith Center, where now-retired rival Roy Williams got the best of him against the spread.
Duke went just 6-8-2 ATS for -2.19 units at North Carolina since 2005.
However, other arenas he has had success at include John Paul Jones Arena, where he tortured Virginia basketball fans to the tune of 6-3 SU and ATS.
Additionally, he never lost at the Battle 4 Atlantis, where Coach K won and covered on his way to a tournament victory in 2012 behind Quinn Cook.
|Stadium||ATS Record||Units Won|
|John Paul Jones Arena||6-3||2.63|
|Bankers Life Fieldhouse||2-0||1.83|
|Comcast Center (MD)||5-3||1.78|
Coach K’s Dog Days
Krzyzewski was an underdog just 43 times in his 421 games coached since 2005, and he was quite underwhelming in those appearances — at least ATS.
Krzyzewski won outright 18 times in his 43 games coached as an underdog, a 41%-win rate that would’ve netted you an 8.8% return on investment. But he managed to post just a 19-21-3 ATS record as an underdog, good for -2.95 units and a -6.9% ROI.
Surprisingly, the absolute worst spot to bet Coach K was as a home underdog. When Krzyzewski was catching points at Cameron Indoor, he went just 1-4 ATS, with all four losses coming to Williams and North Carolina.
The one win came against Virginia this past February. With Duke catching 2.5 points at home, it won outright, 66-65, against a Cavaliers team ranked No. 7 at the time. Matthew Hurt dropped 22 points on 8-for-13 shooting from the field in the win.
|North Carolina||3/5/16||+2.5||76-72 UNC|
|North Carolina||3/3/12||+2||88-70 UNC|
|North Carolina||2/11/09||+2||101-87 UNC|
|North Carolina||2/7/07||+4||79-73 UNC|
Since 2005, if you blindly laid the points with Coach K every time he was a favorite, you would have made a decent chunk of change.
Krzyzewski went 219-196-9 ATS in that spot, good for 10.06 units of profit.
Coach K’s worst loss as a favorite was in 2017. Laying 16.5 points and closing at -2300 on the ML, Duke suffered a two-point home loss to the North Carolina State Wolfpack.
Dennis Smith Jr. scored 32 points to lead a six-point, second-half comeback.
NC STATE PULLS THE UPSET!
Dennis Smith, Jr. scores 32 to lead Wolfpack to its first win at No. 17 Duke since 1995, 84-82. pic.twitter.com/mO5gFIzArd
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) January 24, 2017
Under Krzyzewski, Duke has been dominant in nonconference play. Coach K has won a whopping 132 of his 150 non-conference games coached, covering in 108 of them for almost 20 units of profit.
However, he hasn’t been such a force in the ACC. He’s gone 195-76 SU in conference play, but you’d be down a whopping 19 units betting Duke’s ML in that spot.
Against the spread, it’s been similarly bad.
“That’s called a winning streak. It has happened before.”
Fun fact: Since 2005, Krzyzewski has coached his way to a seven-game win streak 24 times.
Directly after that streak, Duke has gone 10-14 ATS for -4.59 units of profit. It’s the least profitable streak spot for Coach K in his career.
Also, since 2005, Coach K has led his Blue Devils to a four-game win streak 44 times.
The game after has been one of the most profitable spots to bet him, as he’s gone 25-18-1 for +5.87 units of profit in those games.
In the gambling world, we all like to bet great coaches coming off a loss. The likes of Nick Saban and Bill Belichick dominate after a bad week prior.
It hasn’t been the same for Coach K, however. Coming off a loss, Krzyzewski’s Blue Devils went just 33-30-1 ATS, although they won 43 of those outright.
In the end, most don’t care about your performance during the regular season. It’s all about how you perform when the lights are brightest and the crowds are the loudest.
In March, Coach K has 12 ACC Tournament titles, 12 NCAA Final Fours and five NCAA Tournament titles. But he hasn’t been so profitable during those legendary tournament runs.
In fact, he’s just 35-44 ATS in the postseason, for a good-sized loss.
Since 2005, Coach K has only made two Final Fours (2010 and 2015).
He won and covered both times. He then won both titles, covering against Wisconsin as one-point underdogs in 2015, but losing ATS as seven-point favorites against Butler in 2010 (directly after the infamous missed shot by Gordon Hayward).