Thursday, 14 March 2019

Gone Dancing, Madness

One Draw from the ten English Premier League games this weekend, and it wasn't the Big 6 match, means that the percentage of Draws this season drops still further to 19.06% and is challenging 1929-30 for the third fewest in the past 100 years: 

If there should be no Draws in the five Premier league games next weekend (the big teams such as Crystal Palace are all engaged in F A Cup Quarter-Final action) then third place it will be. 

And if there are 10 or fewer Draws from the remaining 81 matches, the 1931-32 record is beaten. The all-time record 12.12% of 1890-91 is safe however, at least for another season.

Moving on to bigger balls, and it's March Madness time in College's version of basketball, and an event I have written about in the past both here and elsewhere. It's like the FA Cup from the third round, with four second round replays pending, played over three weeks on neutral courts, and it's hugely popular in the US.

The 'big dance' is preceded by Conference Tournaments, which for the major conferences, take place this week, but be wary that trends seen in regular season conference play do not often carry over.

Having lived for several years in SEC country, that's the conference I focus on, and while in regular season conference play, the money is on Unders in narrow spread games. The conference expanded in 2012, and over the last five seasons, this system has a 55.2% record in regular season games, but in the conference tournament, the edge on these games moves to the Overs with a 56.2% strike rate. 

With thirteen national champions this century between them, the ACC (7) and the Big East (6) are also worth following. 

The ACC expanded in 2014, and in the last five years, in conference tournament games Overs has a 65.6% winning record, while in 'league' games Unders has the edge at 52.7%.

In the Big East, since the conference was reconfigured in 2013, there have only been 16 qualifying matches in tournament play, far too small a number to be useful, but the regular season offers value on spread bets in close games. 

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