Betting On College Basketball Conferences
A focus on betting college basketball conferences makes a lot of sense as a wagering strategy.
By that, we mean, focusing on specific conferences, rather than betting everything under the sun when it comes to NCAA Basketball.
College basketball can be a fierce beast to tackle for a lot of reasons. There are lower betting limits than other sports, and the turnover each year when it comes to rosters, is far higher than the NBA.
You Need To bet On specific College Basketball Conferences
By betting on specific college basketball conferences, you narrow the number of games you need to handicap each day and allow yourself to truly dive into the rosters and coaches of a few select conferences.
It’s an excellent way to gain an advantage in what is a sea of college basketball wagering opportunities.
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There are a few conferences that have more viewership than others. This is simply because of their success in their conferences and top tournaments.
The best conferences don’t necessarily have to be your targets when betting on college basketball conferences, but they get better press coverage and are undoubtedly far more popular.
The Big 12 has been one of the better basketball conferences for quite a while. The conference only has ten full-time members, but it’s seemingly rare to see any of them miss the NCAA Tournament.
Kansas is the school that has been the most dominant throughout its history.
However, West Virginia, Baylor, Oklahoma, Texas, even smaller schools like Iowa State and TCU seem to make some noise as well. Often, the Big 12 has the highest representation in March Madness.
The Big Ten is the oldest conference in Division I college athletics. Despite the Big Ten name, the conference has a total of 14 schools. Like the Big 12, they are a mainstay in the NCAA Tournament, with lots of programs making it every year.
The conference has had plenty of deep runs in the Big Dance, but they have not gotten themselves a National Title victory since 2002 with Maryland under Gary Williams. Michigan State also won it two years earlier in 2000.
ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference)
The Atlantic Coast Conference is also one of the oldest conferences in the country. It was founded in 1953 and has expanded quite a bit since then. Currently, the conference has a total of 15 members.
In recent years, the ACC has been a little less dominant in the tournament as a whole. But, the rivalry between Duke and UNC is one that every college basketball fan and bettor knows. Most recently, North Carolina won a title in 2017 and Duke in 2015.
SEC (Southeastern Conference)
The Southeastern Conference is more known for their football prowess but don’t sleep on them in basketball.
Kentucky is a powerhouse nearly every year, and the SEC is well-represented in the NCAA Tournament in most seasons. Aside from Kentucky, Florida has been an elite team in the conference.
The Wildcats won their last title in 2012 but lost in the finals in 2014, as well. Florida is one of the few teams to win back-to-back titles under Billy Donovan in the 2006-2007 seasons.
The Big East has seen many of its programs defect to other conferences over the years, but they’re still a college basketball juggernaut. How many times have we seen teams like Butler, Xavier, Georgetown, and Creighton make big runs in March Madness.
Out of the ten teams in the conference, Villanova, under Jay Wright, has easily been the most successful in recent memory. The Wildcats won National Titles in both 2016 and 2018.
The Big East Conference Tournament is always one of the most hyped, as it takes place in New York’s Madison Square Garden each year.
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Regular Season Vs. Conference Tournament Betting
Betting during the conference tournaments and the regular season isn’t an entirely different handicapping process, but the most significant difference is you have a lot more data available.
There are also several other factors you can determine to get an accurate picture of how a team is playing coming into the tournament.
More Data, More Accurate Projections
These teams have played up to 31 games during the regular season, giving us a large sample size to analyze their season. Their coaching strategies and defense, along with their season-long statistics, such as rebounding ability and points per game, should be normalized at this point.
So, when you’re handicapping these teams coming into their conference tournaments, you have a much better projection of how they are going to play and their matchup potential against different opponents.
Regular Season Head-to-Head Records
Remember, these teams have played each other already, multiple times. You can use that data to handicap conference tournament games, but remember that regular-season results may not transfer directly into tournament results.
The teams may be different from several perspectives. They may have players returning from injury, adopted a new defense, or have a new focal point on offense due to some emerging talent.
Be sure to factor that in as these teams face off again in their conference tournaments.
For many schools, a conference tournament win is their only hope for making the NCAA Tournament. For them, it is truly all or nothing. This is especially true of smaller conferences that only receive one automatic bid to March Madness.
However, many teams already have their tickets stamped to the Big Dance long before the conference tournaments are finished. Examining their motivations is something to do when betting on college basketball conferences.
Wagering On Smaller Conferences
We talk a lot about the larger conferences in this article, but attacking smaller conferences may be a better option for gamblers.
Conferences like the Mountain West Conference (MWC), West Coast Conference (WAC), Atlantic 10 (A10), and many others will not only offer lots of betting opportunities during the regular season, but plenty of schools from these conferences make the NCAA Tournament or the NIT.
If you know the players and teams in these conferences, it will give you an advantage when they’re facing off against the more prominent schools in March. Spotting an upset or knowing how a smaller school might gameplan against a top-team can be a massive asset.
When betting college basketball conferences, don’t limit yourself to top-ranked schools or well-known conferences. Of course, it’s fine to bet these teams, but diving into smaller conferences can offer bettors a lot more value and betting opportunities throughout the year and into March Madness.