There is something cool about being able to predict sports accurately. Even if you don’t plan on betting, bragging rights can be more than enough reason. But making consistently correct picks is tough.
If you have been trying to make accurate college basketball predictions, a few tips can help push you in the right direction. Think about these things the next time you go to make a college basketball prediction.
Points Per Possession
There are a ton of factors that go into using analytics for college basketball predictions. There are a lot of variances in college basketball and upsets happen all the time. Given that kind of landscape, how are you supposed to make accurate predictions on a regular basis?
One of the key factors has to do with points per possession. Maybe a team likes to push the pace and garner a lot of possessions. The other team likes to keep things restricted to a half-court game. Looking at points per game won’t help. Knowing what each team does when they have the ball can wind up being the key factor worth considering.
The toughest teams to defend are the ones that can get hot and hit from anywhere. Every team will go through stretches where they can’t hit the broad side of a barn, but the best teams tend to be fairly consistent in how often they are sinking their shots from both two and three.
Though there is no guarantee when it comes to making predictions, shooting percentage can give you a good idea of which teams are consistently shooting well. It is tough defending all areas of the floor and even a good defensive team can be exploited if a team that shoots well can hit shots from all over the floor.
It can be all too easy to look at points per game and make your pick based on that. But some teams play above the numbers and that kind of thing isn’t easy to maintain. There are other factors to consider, and turnovers are chief among them. After all, you can’t make shots if you don’t have the ball enough, right?
A team that turns the ball over a lot will be susceptible. Even high-scoring teams will struggle if they can’t develop consistency due to turnovers. Teams that struggle with turnovers going up against a good defensive team can create the kind of mismatch that makes it a little easier to make a prediction. That said, anything can happen on a game-to-game basis. Giving yourself the most information possible will put you in the best position to win.
From the Line
Here’s something that might not sound all that shocking: the teams near the top of the rankings are among the best free-throw shooters in the country. The best teams know the value of getting to the line. Being aggressive can create a lack of continuity on defense, leading to an increase in fouls. Getting to the line is half the battle, though. Making those shots is what can swing a game from one direction to another.
The average team in college basketball makes 70% of their shots. There is no more efficient way to earn two points than by making it to the free-throw line. Teams that hit more than 80% of their shots from the line give them an advantage over most other teams. In tough, competitive games, those free throws can wind up making a crucial difference in the final score of the game and your predictions as well.