In what will be a recurring feature, we’ll be highlighting particularly terrible tout write-ups. This won’t be an easy task, of course, as there will be a lot of candidates to wade through. But, this initial ‘winner’ is a runaway.
Marco D’Angelo is the General Manager of Picks at Pregame.com. In his page on Pregame, he describes his handicapping style:
I combine statistical handicapping with schedule dynamics to come up with my plays. Schedule dynamics are what I like to refer to the who, what and why. Know WHO your opponent just played and WHO they play next looking for letdown or look ahead situations.
With that as background, let’s take a look at his ‘Double Dime Play’ College Game of the Week from January 8th, 2014.
RATING: DOUBLE DIME PLAY
Tonight in college basketball were going to look to make it three in a row for the week as were (sic) going to take Washington in college hoops. I like this matchup as although Utah only has two losses on the season this team doesn’t play the same on the road as they do at home. For the season they are averaging 85 points per game but on the road they’re averaging just 67 points per game and their shooting percentages are down on the road as well. They’re shooting just 49% from the field and from three-point land they only hit 24% on the road. Also very alarming for Utah is the fact that their foul shots are are hitting at just 53% in the road games where at home they shoot 74% from the line. I like Washington at home here tonight against Utah as my numbers have them winning by 6 to 8 points.
TAKE WASHINGTON as MARCO’S COLLEGE GAME OF THE WEEK
According to Mr. D’Angelo, Utah just isn’t the same team on the road. The Utes points per game ¬†drop on the road. Their 3 point field goal percentage drops way off when they play on¬†the road. And, it’s “very alarming” that their free throw percentage drops from 74% to 53% when they play away from home.
With such a marked home/road performance differential, you’re probably asking yourself: “I wonder how many games has Utah played on the road prior to January 8th to create these “averages?”" The answer? One. Yep, that’s ONE SINGLE GAME.
Also, let’s take a quick look through Utah’s impressive home performances. Utah did beat Evergreen State at home. They also whooped St. Katherine by a gaudy 124-51 final score. Oh, you’ve never heard of Evergreen State or St. Katherine? Of course you haven’t. See, in total, 9 of Utah’s first 13 home games were against teams ranked #285 or worse in KenPom. ¬†So, yes, Utah appears to play well at home (not counting the fact that they’re playing remarkably terrible teams).
These write-ups from Pregame “pro” handicappers are meant to give the average bettor some insight as to how a “pro” analyzes a game. Now, there may be worse ways to analyze a college basketball game than focusing on acontextual stats like points per game and looking at home/road splits without realizing you’re dealing with a one game sample size or adjusting for strength of schedule but not sure what those worse ways would be. Uniform color, maybe?
Again, this sort of analysis is not rare in the tout world. But this “effort” was particularly laughable.
Be sure to check back to look for our next installment in terrible tout write-ups.
*Hat tip to the industry veteran who brought this to our attention.¬†
** Image via Pregame video on YouTube.