College Basketball Betting Odds: Which Teams Are Negative Regression Candidates?

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Written By Eli Hershkovich | Last Updated
College Basketball Odds

Since we’re only a month into the college basketball campaign, it’s difficult to project which upstart teams will sustain their success over the long haul. Nevertheless, there are some notable metrics that can assist in the short term, especially if their market ratings increase to an unreasonable degree. Let’s break down the five biggest negative regression contestants among college basketball odds.

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College basketball odds: national title futures

1. Indiana Hoosiers:

Although Mike Woodson’s team lost four starters from last season, including first-team All-American Trayce Jackson-Davis, the Hoosiers have exceeded the betting market’s expectations at 7-1 straight up. Granted, their last two games came without starting point guard Xavier Johnson (ankle), impacting the closing spread against Maryland and Michigan. For reference, Johnson is still rehabbing and may continue to miss non-conference action.

Indiana has survived with elite post-up efficiency, thanks to Oregon transfer Ka’el Ware and budding sophomore Malik Reneau. In fact, it’s accumulated the nation’s fifth-highest scoring percentage inside the arc. But led by the 6-foot-10 Johni Broome, the Tigers rank in the 91st percentile of points per shot (PPS) allowed at the rim (via Synergy). Look for their disruptive length and ball pressure to finally obstruct the Hoosiers’ offensive script.

My raw numbers make Auburn a tick over two-possession favorites on a neutral. Saturday’s game tips off from the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, giving Bruce Pearl’s unit a slight home-court cushion. Even if the Hoosiers cover the spread, I wouldn’t upgrade them much — with the exception of a second straight outright upset.

2. Kansas State Wildcats:

The Wildcats’ fresh-faced roster made an unprecedented Elite Eight run in 2022-23, compiling five overtime wins along the way. Jerome Tang’s bunch remains undefeated in the extra session this season, with four more victories in that regard. Its positive fortune shouldn’t be ignored, either.

Kansas State also benefited from Villanova’s short-handed backcourt on Tuesday, as its top playmaker Justin Moore exited with a knee sprain in the first half. The Wildcats’ luck could run out against LSU, which possesses the defensive havoc to frustrate them on paper. Key contributors, like Creighton transfer Arthur Kaluma, have failed to minimize their turnovers. Collectively, their offense has scuffled in half-court sets, manufacturing just 0.86 PPP.

Yet, Matt McMahon’s transfer-heavy lineup has failed to gel in its own right, most recently enduring a 23-point loss at Syracuse. Therefore, these teams are separated by over seven points in my college basketball power rankings.

3. Clemson Tigers:

Brad Brownell, an established member of the head coaching hot-seat club, has guided the Tigers to an undefeated start. That said, nearly half of their wins have come by two or fewer possessions. Their offensive output isn’t sustainable, as they’ve amassed the highest 3-point clip (41.0%) against the average Division I opponent, per Haslametrics. That includes 1.24 PPS on unguarded, catch-and-shoot looks.

Admittedly, Syracuse transfer Joe Girard III adds another proficient marksman to their five-out lineup. But water seems to find its level in these instances. This negative variance may arise against TCU. The Horned Frogs rank in the third percentile of opponents’ spot-up points per possession. Essentially, they haven’t received any positive fortune defensively.

My raw numbers give Jamie Dixon’s crew about a one-point edge on a neutral court. These programs face off in Toronto on Saturday.

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