KenPom Betting System Guide

KenPom Betting System Guide

The arrival of the college basketball season marks an eagerly awaited period for sports betting enthusiasts. With a whopping 357 NCAA Division I teams in the mix, there’s never a shortage of thrilling action on any given weekend. Amidst numerous attempts to formulate accurate betting strategies for college basketball, one method stood out, reshaping the landscape of college basketball betting forever – the KenPom rankings.

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Initially, the KenPom site garnered attention primarily from college basketball enthusiasts. However, its influence soon extended to the remainder of the realm of sports betting. Originating as a modest platform compiling statistics across various college sports, KenPom swiftly evolved into a go-to resource for sports bettors seeking valuable insights.

So, what exactly does the KenPom system entail? How can you harness KenPom predictions to enhance your betting endeavors? Are they genuinely effective? Delve into the world of the KenPom system as we explore its essence, its application in betting, and strategies to optimize its potential for elevating your betting success.

The KenPom System Explained

In the realm of sports, the debate over offense and defense rages on. Some argue that a formidable offense can act as a potent defense, a notion with its own rationale. After all, a team that dominates key actions like possession and shooting can effectively limit its opponent’s counterattacks. In essence, a strong offense can inadvertently bolster a team’s defensive statistics, even if its defensive prowess isn’t as prominent.

However, these intricacies often elude raw statistical analyses. Teams that present commendable defensive numbers, such as conceding fewer points, may appear solid defensively, even if the broader context suggests otherwise. Enter Ken Pomeroy, a meteorologist employed by the National Weather Service in Montana, who set out to devise a more refined and efficient system for scrutinizing college basketball.

In 1999, Pomeroy initiated the KenPom website, initially offering ratings across diverse college sports. Five years later, he refocused the platform exclusively on college basketball. Fast forward to 2012, and Pomeroy decided to transform KenPom into a full-time venture, departing from his role with the National Weather Service.

During a time when advanced metrics and statistics were relatively unfamiliar, Pomeroy’s innovative approach transformed the landscape. His system embraced sophisticated metrics, encompassing elements like offensive and defensive efficiency (points per 100 possessions), game pace, and strength of schedule, among others.

The growing renown of his system extended to college basketball fans, sports bettors, and even coaches – a notable example being current Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens. In 2010, during his tenure as Butler’s head coach, Stevens led the team to its inaugural National Championship Game. He attributed his strategic insights to KenPom, noting that he routinely assessed advanced statistics of Butler’s opponents prior to matchups.

Meanwhile, bookmakers initially remained oblivious to this well-guarded secret of bettors. When the betting lines deviated significantly due to KenPom predictions, astute bettors seized the opportunity, often resulting in favorable outcomes.

Predictably, sportsbooks eventually took heed of KenPom’s predictive prowess. Presently, most bookmakers adopt KenPom as a touchstone for shaping their own betting lines. Consequently, uncovering lines that diverge significantly from KenPom’s forecasts has become increasingly rare. Yet this doesn’t render the KenPom system obsolete for betting purposes, as we will expound upon shortly.

Curiously, Ken Pomeroy himself isn’t a fervent punter. In a 2017 ESPN interview, he revealed his nonchalance toward even filling out March Madness brackets. Nevertheless, his system continues to wield influence among bettors, with even bookmakers acknowledging its significance.

Kenpom Strategies Rankings

RankTeamKenpom Rating

Kenpom rankings are based on a variety of factors, including offensive and defensive efficiency, strength of schedule, and recent performance. The rankings are updated daily, and they are a popular tool for college basketball fans and bettors.

Here are some of the factors that Kenpom considers when calculating its rankings:

  • Offensive efficiency: This is a measure of how many points a team scores per 100 possessions.
  • Defensive efficiency: This is a measure of how many points a team allows per 100 possessions.
  • Strength of schedule: This is a measure of how difficult a team’s schedule has been.
  • Recent performance: This is a measure of how well a team has been playing recently.

Kenpom rankings are a valuable tool for college basketball fans and bettors. They can be used to identify teams that are likely to win games, and they can also be used to identify teams that are undervalued by the betting market.

Tips on Using KenPom Predictions for Betting

Examples of Using KenPom Rankings for Betting

  • During the 2022 Final Four, North Carolina emerged as the outlier, ranked outside the Top 10 in KenPom’s rankings. Kansas, which clinched the championship, held the third spot. Meanwhile, Gonzaga was projected with a 27% chance to secure the national title and an impressive 90% chance of advancing past the Sweet 16. These projections marked some of the most pronounced disparities in KenPom’s history. Despite this, Gonzaga faced an unexpected upset by Arkansas in the round of 16, highlighting the system’s accurate identification of top teams but a significant misfire in predicting the eventual champion.
  • When the opening betting lines significantly deviate from KenPom’s predictions, several factors may be at play. Potential reasons include bookmaker errors, key player injuries, or even inaccuracies within KenPom’s model. A notable example occurred in 2010, when a game between Seattle and Maryland opened with an odd line of 121.5 points due to a KenPom glitch. The match ultimately concluded with a total of 181 points, comfortably exceeding the over.
  • To illustrate the “Ryno23 method,” consider a scenario where the 200th-ranked team on KenPom faces off against the 250th-ranked team. In this hypothetical, the home team opens as an -8 favorite, causing the visiting team to open as a +8 underdog. If this game occurs during the final two weeks of the regular season with limited stakes, opting for the second team at +8 might be a strategic choice.

Pros vs Cons of Using the KenPom System in Betting

🔷 Pros:

🔹 The KenPom system holds widespread recognition among bettors, bookmakers, and coaches within college basketball. Renowned for its high accuracy, it consistently provides reliable predictions. While identifying significant disparities between sportsbook lines and KenPom forecasts has become more challenging, using KenPom as a guiding reference can still lead to consistent wins.

🔹 Additionally, the KenPom predictions can be strategically leveraged. The Ryno23 method, outlined earlier, serves as a prime example. While novice bettors might gravitate towards prominent matchups featuring well-established teams, numerous contests between lesser-known programs offer substantial potential payouts.

🔶 Cons:

🔸 As mentioned earlier, the KenPom system does not incorporate injury considerations. When a key player is sidelined before a pivotal game, the KenPom prediction remains unaltered. Consequently, blind reliance on KenPom forecasts is ill-advised.

🔸 Having been in the public domain for over a decade, the KenPom system is no longer a concealed gem in the realm of sports betting. Although it retains its reliability for punters, opportunities for substantial payouts have become less frequent.


The enduring impact of the KenPom system on college basketball betting is undeniable. Its continued reference by bookmakers, even after nearly two decades, speaks volumes about its significance.

However, this evolution does carry a drawback: the window for capitalizing on substantial wins has diminished. Yet, even with reduced payouts, KenPom predictions remain a dependable and secure point of reference for bettors.

It’s worth noting that fellow bettors have also devised innovative strategies to harness the system’s potential, making it prudent to explore these approaches for additional insights.

Kenpom Betting System - FAQS

The KenPom Betting System is an advanced approach to college basketball betting that utilizes the KenPom rankings. These rankings are based on a variety of factors such as offensive and defensive efficiency, strength of schedule, and recent performance.

The KenPom rankings take into account various advanced metrics to assess teams’ performance. These include offensive and defensive efficiency, strength of schedule, and recent trends. The rankings provide a comprehensive view of a team’s overall strength.

KenPom predictions are highly regarded in betting due to their accuracy and comprehensive nature. They offer insights into teams’ abilities beyond simple win-loss records and help bettors make informed decisions.

While KenPom predictions are reliable, it’s important to consider other factors as well, such as injuries, team dynamics, and recent developments. Using KenPom as a reference alongside other research can enhance your betting strategy.

While the KenPom system has gained popularity, there are still opportunities to find value, especially in lesser-known matchups and unique betting markets. Adapting strategies, like the Ryno23 method, can help uncover hidden gems.