Conference Tournament Betting Tip: Recent ATS Results Point to Value
Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: North Carolina Tar Heels guard Coby White
- A team's recent against the spread performance will influence how the public wagers on conference tournament games.
- Using Bet Labs, we find a profitable postseason system that exploits matchups featuring opponents with good and bad ATS records.
Historically, public bettors tend to wager on teams that have been covering the spread and fade those that haven’t. It’s basic human nature to believe that something will continue to happen because it has in the past.
In fact, according to Bet Labs, since 2005, teams that have covered at least three of their past five games have received a majority of spread tickets in 65.9% of regular season games when facing an opponent that has covered one or fewer of their past five.
Oddsmakers understand these tendencies, and shade their lines to force square bettors to take bad numbers as a result.
In postseason play, however, the team with strong recent ATS form receives a majority of bets in only 52.2% of games.
Why the change?
Often the team that has been covering will be favored when facing an opponent that isn’t, and recreational bettors would normally love to take a covering favorite. But in postseason play, like conference tournaments, the public is more likely to bet the underdog, assuming games will be more competitive because teams are desperate to extend their seasons.
Once again, oddsmakers know this is a tendency of casual bettors in postseason play and are less likely to inflate the line as they would in regular season matchups. This creates value betting teams that have been covering when they face an opponent that hasn’t in conference tournaments. (Note: I modified this system that was originally shared by Bet Labs user Tim B. in our Think Tank.)
Since 2005, teams with good recent ATS form have gone 298-235-11 (55.9%) ATS when facing an opponent with bad recent ATS form. A $100 bettor following this system would have returned a profit of $4,777. Not only is this system simple, but it has been a consistent winner with a .500 or better ATS record in 13 consecutive postseasons.
There are eight game matches for this system on Friday. Here are three of the teams to target. If you’d like to see the rest of the matches try Bet Labs for a month.
- SMU (+7.5) vs. Cincinnati (7 p.m. ET, ESPNU)
- North Carolina (+2.5) vs. Duke (9 p.m. ET, ESPN)
- Iowa (+8) vs. Michigan (9:25 p.m. ET, BTN)
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