College Basketball Handicapping Teams Using Past Season Records

Posted by Eric Williams on Wednesday,February 22, 2017 6:34, EDT in

If you’re gearing up for March Madness predictions and you’re looking for expert handicapping advice, then you’ve come to the right place.

If you want to know how to handicap teams based on their past records and how much it means when it comes to this year’s March Madness national championship tournament, then let’s get started with some analysis on one teams in particular – the defending national champion Villanova Wildcats and runner-up  North Carolina Tar Heels

College Basketball Handicapping Teams Using Past Season Records

 

 

Not Every Season is the Same

Villanova

In 2014-15 Villanova went 33-3 SU and a bankroll-boosting 25-10 ATS and they produced a nearly identical campaign a year later in going 35-5 SU, though the Wildcats’ 21-17-1 ATS mark was a step backwards from the previous season.

This year, the Wildcats are still flying high as far as their on-court success is concerned (26-2 SU). However, as the Wildcats have earned more attention from oddsmakers as an elite title contender, they’ve also faced longer odds this season, hence their modest 14-13 ATS mark at the time of this writing.

If you see a team has been steadily improving of the last few seasons, particularly in the eyes of oddsmakers, then you should know that ballclub is likely going to face much tougher odds now than they would have in the past.

Not Every Team is the Same

North Carolina

In 2014-15 North Carolina went 26-12 SU and 20-17-1 ATS and were led on the court by quartet of young players in Marcus Paige (14.1 ppg), Brice Johnson (12.9 ppg), Kennedy Meeks (11.4 ppg) and Justin Jackson (10.7 ppg). However, the Heels were very young that year with Paige and Johnson being juniors while Meeks was just a sophomore and Jackson, a baby-faced freshman.

That season, the Heels beat Harvard in the second round of the NCAA Tournament and Arkansas in the third round before losing in the Sweet Sixteen to eventual national championship runner-up Wisconsin.

Last season, a more mature North Carolina squad featuring the same players from the previous season went 33-7 SU and 20-19-1 ATS. Carolina beat Virginia in the ACC title game before going on to the NCAA Tournament and beating Florida Gulf Coast, Providence, Indiana, Notre Dame and Syracuse to reach the national championship. As we all know by now, the Heels lost to Villanova when sweet-shooting forward Kris Jenkins drained a three-pointer as time expired.

This season, Carolina is currently 23-5 SU and 14-12-1 ATS, but the cast of leading players has changed with Justin Jackson now a junior, being the leading scorer (18.6 ppg), fellow junior Joel Berry ranking second in scoring (14.6 ppg) and Meeks, now  senior, putting up 12.6 points per contest. Two years ago, the Tar Heels had tons of talent but were too young to win. Last season, with that talent now more mature and more consistent, the Heels almost won it all.

This season, Carolina is still in good shape as far as maturity is concerned, but next season could be a different story depending on if Jackson, Berry or both, return for their senior seasons and Meeks gone. The points is, each team is different each season, so handicapping a team based on a previous season or two is really predicated on just which key players return each year and the amount of experience each team has that particular season.

Coaching Matters

Remember, if you’re trying to handicap  team based on previous seasons, then you need to know whether the team you’re planning on betting on had a steady head coach that runs a tight ship or whether the program is often in a state of flux in terms of not really having any coaching consistency.

Schools that change coaches are clearly less likely to succeed than programs where coaches are entrenched and have their programs and playing styles firmly in place.