Fabrizio examined the final betting lines of every Division I college basketball game played in March or April since 2004 and monitored the bets taken by six popular online bookmakers. He determined when one team is favored by at least 16 points and receives more than 60% of the bets, the underdog covers the spread 56.5% of the time. The results are strikingly similar to those of another study Fabrizio performed in December, which examined the benefits of the contrarian investing technique to betting on NFL games.
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These contrarian sports investing methods often result in "ugly plays" (large underdogs!) -- but the data shows that there is value in applying contrarian methods not only to stocks -- but also to sports betting. The typical sports bettor feels "bad" (and stupid) when the the ugly play gets blown out (which happens regularly) -- but more often than not, the point spread is able to help the "ugly pick" squeak by with a win ATS (against the spread).