NCAA Basketball System of the Week

by Al McMordie

Tuesday, Feb 28, 2023
The 2022-23 season is in its home stretch.  There's just six days left in the regular season, and several conferences have already commenced their Tournament schedule.  Throughout this week, schools will be honoring their Seniors in ceremonies before their final home game of the season.  In college basketball, the "Last Home Game" is often an emotional game, and it can be used as a handicapping tool to find an edge in a game.

I have several Last Home Game systems that I use.  And I wanted to highlight one of them, here.

When I consider how much importance to place on a team's final home game, one of my criteria is, "What's the team's home W/L record?"  After all, if a team is NOT a good home team, then does it really matter if it is playing its final home game of the season?  On the other hand, what if a team is undefeated at home?  Now, in that situation we may, indeed, be able to find some teams we DO want to bet on.

So, using home win percentage as a starting point, let's first take a look at how NCAA teams do in their final home game if they're unbeaten at home.  And let's also establish a minimum number of home games played.  After all, if a team (for whatever reason) only played 4 home games during the season, we probably don't want to use that team in our data.  For our purposes, we're only going to consider teams that are playing at least their 10th home game of the season, and are undefeated at home up to that point.

Since 1991, our teams playing their final home game that were unbeaten at home have gone 191-166-8 ATS.

As a starting point, there's nothing horrible with 53.5%.  But we can improve our record by simply filtering the opponents, and only going against those with .500 (or better) SU/ATS records.  One of the reasons I like to go against good teams is that we want our undefeated at home team to be properly motivated.  With that additional criterion in place, our 191-166-8 ATS angle improves to 98-69-4 ATS, 58.6%. 

Now, there's another criterion we can add to the mix which also will insure our home team will be motivated, and that's revenge.  When that factor is added, then our angle goes from 98-69-4 to 57-36-2 ATS!

SYSTEM OF THE WEEKPlay on any team in its final home game of the regular season, if it has an undefeated home record of 9-0 (or better), and is playing with revenge against an opponent with a .500 (or better) SU/ATS record.

This upcoming week, our angle has one play.  It goes Saturday, March 4, and is on Nevada minus the points over UNLV.  Nevada is 14-0 at home this season, while UNLV has a W/L percentage of .607, and an ATS W/L percentage of .518.  And Nevada plays with revenge from a 68-62 defeat in Las Vegas, on January 28.

There's also one additional motivational factor which makes this angle zoom from 57-36-2 to 9-1, 90% ATS.  And that's if our home team is off an upset loss.  And, as good fortune would have it, Nevada is also off an upset loss in its previous game, as it lost to Wyoming, 80-71, on Feb. 27.  There's no doubt the Wolfpack will be highly motivated in this Last Home Game.

Good luck, as always...
Al McMordie


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