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8 college teams that may be worse than we think

January 5, 2021 07:33 PM

Last week I looked at college basketball teams I believe are better than the betting market and experts think, based simply on the comparison between their Effective Statistical Strength and their Power Ratings at popular sources. This week it’s the opposite side of the equation — teams that might be worse than perceived.

For the record, Winthrop is the only team that made me look very good last week, winning both of its games handily after I proclaimed them underrated. However, Army did pull an outright upset over Colgate one day after getting blasted by that same team following a four-week break.

We’re about six weeks into the college basketball season, and while some teams have yet to even play a game, others have played up to 13. Of the 357 Division I teams, 340 have played at least one lined game to date, with the average number of games among that group being about seven. Therefore, there is enough of a sample size to make judgments about some teams. While this season has been and will continue to be unique, one of the exercises I like to do after a few games for each team is to analyze my Effective Strength Ratings against common perception. This is a way you can find over- and underrated teams to take advantage of in the coming weeks.

I am going to show you the top eight teams whose EFFECTIVE STRENGTH statistics exceed their power ratings, or in essence perception, from popular sources such as Ken Pomeroy and Jeff Sagarin. I’ve taken my Effective Points per Possession ratings and assigned them an equivalent power rating on the scale I use. I then took these PPP Equivalent Ratings and compared them with the combined average of the equivalent power ratings of KenPom and Sagarin.

The assumption is that if the Effective Points per Possession Equivalent Rating is higher than the average KP/SAG power rating, that team is playing better currently than its perceived strength. Does this mean that the teams playing worse should automatically be “play against” teams in the coming weeks? Not necessarily, but it’s certainly a good foundation for finding overvalued teams.

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