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The 2023 College Lacrosse Handicapping Retrospective

The dust has settled. The regular season has ended. There were incredible individual moments, team storylines, turnarounds, comebacks, chaos in the polls, the spring of 2023 delivered in a big way. And so, in a bit of a retrospective, we look back at some of those moments with a critical question in mind.

Who won me the most money?

Having tracked results for every team all season, we can take a look back at who some of the best bets were all year, and where you could have really done well if you simply rode a team every week. Where was the value? Who should you have avoided? Who hit overs all the time? Who was always under? Let’s have a look back and try to find some value.

Best Team on the Money Line: Johns Hopkins

The Blue Jays shouldn’t surprise you here. They finished with an 11-4 record, and had a win total set at 5.5 in the preseason. A truly excellent season for Hopkins, who is safely into the tournament. They’re ML value is boosted in a big way from their game against Georgetown, where we still didn’t really know how good Hop was and if Georgetown was a fraud; this game was back on February 11. Hopkins was +1000 on the moneyline in that game, and won. If you had placed a 1 unit bet on the Hopkins money line every week, you’d currently be sitting on a little over 25 units. The only other team you might consider here is Penn State, who had a similar season story to Hopkins. Penn State bounced back from a 3-11 season with a 9-3 campaign. They rattled off some big early money line wins, like Hop did, but Penn State did it against the Ivies. Three straight big plus money wins there. A one unit bet every week on the Nittany Lions would have you sitting at just over 19 units right now.

Worst team on the Money Line: St John’s

Not a win all year, finishing 0-14. If you bet a unit on the St John’s money line every week you’d be, well, you can do the math there. Although we’ll get back to the Johnnies in a second, because I did very much enjoy betting them all season. UMass Lowell is also on this list, as they couldn't beat NJIT in their last game to save themselves from a defeated season.

Best team Against the Spread: Utah, Bellarmine, Hopkins

The Utes absolutely crushed the books this year. They opened with a loss against the spread, and promptly ran off 11 straight covers. They finished the season 11-3 against the spread. A one unit play on Utah against the spread every week would have you at 18.34 units at year’s end. Another ASUN team, Bellarmine, also finished 11-4 against the spread, and did it fairly under the radar. They were never ranked, but had one of the most productive players in the nation, Kyle Playsted. A one unit Bellarmine play every week would have you at 16.78 units. Hopkins also ended the season with a record against the spread to match their straight up record, 11-4. A one unit Hopkins play every week would have you at 15.77 units at the close of the regular season. St John’s must be mentioned here. Despite being winless, they were an outstanding 10-4 against the spread. An underdog in every game, their closest line all year was +1.5 against Manhattan, a double digit dog four times, an 8+ goal dog eight times. Always a big dog, and they’d always cover. NJIT was the same story; they went 2-10 but 9-3 against the spread, regularly covering massive underdog lines. Lindenwood, same thing. They were an underdog 10 times as it took the books a while to respect them, and they covered in eight of those games, winning six of them outright.

Worst team Against the Spread: Loyola

Loyola covered just three times this year, the worst in the country. They had two early huge wins, beating Hopkins and Maryland and covering in both outings. The Hopkins win on February 18th was the last time they would cover until an April 22nd win over Colgate. There were also some heavy juice lines in there. You got some good plus money on those first two wins because nobody knew what Loyola was yet, but at the end of the day, you gave away money units by betting Loyola ATS every week.

Best team to bet the Over: Quinnipiac, Utah, VMI

Lots of good over bets in the nation. And just who you expected, right? UVA hit the over nine times and was a good pick, because I’m sure that’s who you’re thinking should be included here. But these three hit 10 overs this season in 14 games. That’s a lot of overs. A one unit bet on the Utah over every week would have you at just a shade under 15 units. The Utes hit the over three times in their first six games, before going over in seven straight, part of their massive heater through March and April. A one unit bet on Quinnipiac going over each week of the regular season would have you at 15.5 units. They also missed an additional over by the hook in their game against Canisius. The Bobcats were pretty medium both straight up and against the spread, but the over was a reliable bet for them. Finally, the Keydets. A one unit play on their over each game would have you at 14.67 units. They started as one of the safest over bets in the nation, hitting the over in eight of their first nine games. They slowed a bit down the stretch, although in the final game they missed going over by the hook.

Best team to bet the Under: Hofstra

Hofstra was a great under bet. They hit the under in 11 of their 13 games. What made them a great under bet though was that the books never really dropped the game totals on them like they did for Manhattan. Hofstra had an average total of 23, and never had a total of less than 20.5. They hit the under in 9 straight to close the season. A one unit bet on the Hofstra under every week would have you at just over 18 units. UMass should be part of this as well. They also went under in 11 of 13 games. A one unit bet on the UMass under in every game would have you at 18.69 units. And then there’s Manhattan. Don’t get me wrong here, I loved pulling for the Manhattan under. The Jaspers were so fun. The books just kept daring them to have lower scoring games, and Manhattan kept obliging. In their last game of the regular season, they had their lowest total of the year at 17.5, and they won 6-2. Eight goals in a game. Remarkable achievement. They went under in 11 of 14 games, despite having a total set at 19.5 or less in eight games this year. A one unit bet on the Manhattan under every week would have you at 17.31 units right now. Army also hit nine of 13 unders this season, making them a great under bet.

So, in summary, if you were one of the people who loved to bet the Hofstra under, Utah to cover and go over, and the Hopkins money line, congratulations on your spectacular season.

For full data for every team in DI, click here.


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