CBB Betting Tip: How NCAA Tournament Motivation Creates Betting Value

CBB Betting Tip: How NCAA Tournament Motivation Creates Betting Value article feature image
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Photo credit: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Ahmed Hill

  • At this point in the college basketball season, some teams are fighting for a postseason berth while others have little motivation.
  • Does that discrepancy -- like tanking the NBA -- create betting value? I look into Bet Labs to find out.

The Action Network is a company for the curious.

Two of my favorite tools — the FantasyLabs Trends tool and Bet Labs — are perfect for the inquisitive-minded. Any question you may have — whether teams on a back-to-back right before the NBA All-Star break are overvalued, for example — can be queried in seconds and possibly leveraged into a betting or DFS edge.

One such question I had recently is whether the best teams in college basketball — those playing for the postseason and/or seeding — are undervalued by the betting market when they play the worst teams — those with essentially with nothing left to play for.

Well, let’s dive into Bet Labs and find out…

Does Postseason Motivation Create Betting Value?


Here are the filters I used:

  • Game is played in the regular season
  • Game is played in February or March
  • The team’s win percentage is between 0-30%
  • The opposing team’s win percentage is between 70-100%
  • The team is the visitor

Well, that’s interesting.

In fact, it’s exactly the opposite of what I posed above: The worst teams — those with no hope left on the year — are actually undervalued by the betting market against the best teams. Whether it’s the public or oddsmakers, there’s an overreaction to the “postseason motivation” angle, creating value on the road underdogs (the bad teams) late in the year.

Those teams have produced a 6.8% Return on Investment (ROI) since 2004. Just this season, those teams have gone 9-4 so far, good for a 33.1% ROI in the very small sample. The most recent match was Georgia Tech on the road in Virginia Tech yesterday; the Yellow Jackets covered the 12-point spread.

Upcoming System Matches

There is a match tonight, along with two for this Saturday’s slate already. Of course, make sure to build this system yourself in Bet Labs so you can receive alerts on any future matches:

  • 2/14 (tonight): VMI +23 at Wofford
  • 2/16 (Saturday): Charlotte at Old Dominion
  • 2/16 (Saturday): VMI at Furman