Before the start of this season, college basketball implemented some rule changes including a 30-second shot clock, an extended restricted area, and fewer timeouts given to each team. The pace of the game has increased, leading to more points in each game.  But what affect has it had on college basketball betting?  Let’s go through the database to take a look at the numbers.

The first thing I looked at was how underdogs have performed this season and compared that to previous seasons.  To ensure that I’m comparing apples to apples, I am only looking at games through January for the past seasons and all games played in February and March were ignored for these records.  Here are how underdogs performed:

SeasonWin %Units +/-

Going into the analysis, I thought the rules would be beneficial to the favorite and we could see a down year for underdogs in 2015-16.  With more possessions for each team, that would seemingly give the better team more opportunities to distance themselves from the lesser team.  The data shows a slight drop for dogs but nothing significant enough to find a fade opportunity.

The next thing would be to look at the results on the moneyline.  Would the new rules be conducive to more upsets or less?  Here are the moneyline results, again only using games through January 31st for each season:

SeasonROIUnits +/-

The ROI (return on investment) is the important number to note in the chart above.  I didn’t include the record or win percentage because those are mostly distracting when looking at moneyline results.  While not profitable, there has been a large jump in ROI by taking all underdogs to straight up win the game this year.  By using the spread range filter, we can refine those results and find a nice sweet spot for moneyline dogs this season.

Screenshot 2016-02-01 at 10.51.42 AM

The next thing we can look at is totals.  Obviously the change of the shot clock meant that totals were going to climb.  But was there an overadjustment that can be taken advantage of? Here are the results for betting the Over:

SeasonWin %Units +/-

Betting the over has hit at 50.88% this season.  That is the highest rate of the sample selected, but still not enough to be profitable to bet on or bet against.  Typically, public and square money likes to take the over so perhaps they have had a slightly better season this year with the uptick of overs hitting.

If you would like to do any of this research yourself or build a college basketball (or any sport) system like the one shown above, we have a 6-day trial of Bet Labs to take a test drive of the software.