College Basketball Betting Strategies

Written by: Joseph Falchetti, Editor-in-Chief, Pro Sports Bettor and Casino Expert
Last updated:
6 minute read
College Basketball Betting Strategies

If you are looking for the best college basketball betting strategies to be used throughout the regular season, you are in the right place.

College basketball markets have been a favorite of sharp bettors for quite some time, and it’s no secret that applying tested betting strategies to your college hoops wagering can guarantee an increase in profitability.

Read on and learn some expert tips that will make betting on college hoops more profitable and fun from the start.

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The Best Betting Strategies For College Basketball

A betting strategy is a structured approach to betting with the objective of increasing profitability.

The following are key strategies you can apply when placing bets on college basketball.

Betting Tip #1Consider Wagering Limits

College basketball limits are some of the lowest among major sports. Still, wagering limits will typically increase for March Madness betting.

During the regular college hoops season, players will only be able to bet a fraction of what they can in other sports markets.

Some markets may be reduced more than others, especially when it comes to lesser-known conferences.

This is an aspect that is worth considering when placing your bets.

Betting Tip #2Focus On Early Season Wagering

The second aspect you should consider when betting on college hoops is that the oddsmakers simply don’t have the time to cover every NCAA basketball team.

Sports bettors can study these teams, and those from high major schools, and familiarize themselves with them better than most sportsbook managers.

Remember, NCAA college basketball begins in mid-November. This is a busy time for betting sites that are in the middle of the NFL season and fresh off the start of the NBA.

NCAA Basketball Early Season Wagering

College basketball interest doesn’t usually ramp up until the schedule for the top teams gets a bit tougher in the new year.

Similar to the NBA, the oddsmakers’ odds are less sharp at the beginning of the year than they are later in the season.

Coaches may try new things earlier in the year. Players need to get adjusted to systems. There is a lot more variation when it comes to playing time.

This is truer for college basketball, compared to the pros, as every team has a new class of freshmen. Playing time isn’t nearly as sure as with the pros.

Most NBA teams have their rotations mostly set, even at the beginner of the season, but playing time in the college game, specifically early on, is quite volatile.

Knowledge is key to betting on College Basketball, even more so than when betting on other sports.

Betting Tip #3Take Into Account Public Betting

Fading the public (or betting against the gambling public) isn’t usually an available betting strategy for the vast majority of college basketball games.

The reason for this is that the public simply doesn’t have an interest in most of the games leading up to conference tournaments and the NCAA March Madness tournament.

However, there are situations where public betting is a factor to consider when placing a basketball bet. One of the most common is when a highly ranked team takes on a weaker team and/or a mid-major team.

Essentially, we’re looking for heavy public betting (more than 70%) action on one side, and preferably, a double-digit spread.

Betting Tip #4Analyze Historical Numbers

Historical numbers college basketball strategy

Historical betting numbers indicate that the NCAA public betting does overvalue favorites.

If the game is televised nationally, for example, this will influence the amount of public action in the game, therefore affecting the line.

There can be quite a bit of value when it comes to significant underdogs who are not respecting the public.

The bet is enhanced even more in cases when the teams were once one-time rivals or if the underdog has something to prove, such as competing with a highly ranked team after a terrible in-conference loss.

The team doesn’t necessarily have to rank in the A.P.’s Top 25, but that’s often the case with teams that get substantial public backing.

Remember, the top 25 teams change quite a bit throughout the year, the gap between an unranked team and a ranked team is much closer than the betting masses think.

Betting Tip #5Keep An Eye On Moneylines

NCAA basketball moneylines typically have the lowest betting limits out of any college basketball market.

They are a tight market for sportsbooks to price, particularly because they often don’t have a ton of information on one or both of the teams.

NCAAB Betting Strategy: Keep an Eye on Basketball Moneylines

The line movement in college basketball, especially in the case of unranked teams on games that aren’t on national television, is almost always a case of wise guys or sharp, professional-level bettors.

Moneylines may be tougher to track than other markets. In many cases, moneyline odds for college basketball games, and specifically those with two mid-majors playing may not be available when looking at a live odds board.

It is tougher to find where the odds opened. However, line movement, particularly when it’s a large move on moneylines, can be hugely significant.

Moneyline betting odds are tied to point spread odds but are not always calculated correctly by sportsbooks.

It’s also important to keep in mind that if the sportsbooks are inflating their odds due to public betting action, it’s not only the point spread that will be inefficient but the moneyline as well.

Point spread wagers are 1.1 to win 1 unit (-110 American odds) in most cases, but moneyline wagers, especially when it comes to underdogs, offer more significant returns.

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Betting Tip #6Use

College Basketball Betting Strategy: Use

If you’re betting college basketball and haven’t been to, you’re making a huge mistake.

If you were just a fan of the sport (and not a sports bettor), you’re merely missing out on an exciting resource, but if you’re betting and not checking out the site, you’re missing out an awesome extra tool for wagering.

Their rankings are a bit different than the A.P.’s. They rank the teams going forward – not how a team has played previously.

The rankings are based on which team would win on a neutral court the next day, which is far more valuable than the A.P.’s rankings.

KenPom’s rankings aren’t something the average sports gambler visits before placing a bet. It’s vital to differentiate yourself from the statistics that the betting public is using to evaluate betting markets.

One of the best-advanced statistics they offer is adjusted efficiency. This ranks teams based on their offense and defensive efficiency, which is also weighted based on the opponent.

It’s probably the best statistic online for evaluating a team’s ability on both sides of the ball.

Betting Tip #7Follow Beat Writers

College Basketball Betting Strategy: Follow Writers on Twitter

This college basketball betting strategy goes back to learning more about the games, the coaches, and players.

There is value in following local beat writers on Twitter for college hoops handicapping as part of a basketball betting system.

One thing we’ve been touching on throughout this entire article is getting to know mid-majors. This works in larger conferences as well but isn’t nearly as valuable.

Beat writers will be excellent in both cases. Twitter is one of the best places to find news closer to tip-off, especially when it comes to injuries.

Bettors can undoubtedly find information the sportsbooks don’t just yet have and, in some cases, will be able to act on it before the odds are adjusted. In fact, it is rare that the sportsbooks can beat dedicated college basketball handicappers to late-breaking information.

College Basketball Betting Systems

There are many college basketball betting systems. We at SBS use one of the most simple and long-standing ones – that is, betting on unranked teams against ranked teams when the situation calls for it.

The whole idea is pretty straightforward and cuts to the core of successful handicapping: Sportsbooks know more than you and it is not a bad idea to fade the public or bet against the masses.

We recommend you following the sportsbooks on what teams you should place your NCAA college basketball wagers for higher probabilities of winning.

About the Author

Joseph Falchetti

Joseph Falchetti

Editor-in-Chief, Pro Sports Bettor and Casino Expert

Joe is the author of the majority of sports betting pages on SBS and he serves as a gambling consultant to our content team. He's been mentioned on as a gaming analyst, and his articles have been linked by larger publications, such as the New York Times.

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