College Basketball Handicapping
College basketball is one of toughest sports to handicap but also one of the most lucrative if you can learn to handicap the sport accurately. It’s also one of the markets that doesn’t get much betting handle from the public until conference tournaments and the NCAA Tournament. However, there is plenty of college basketball that is available for betting before that point. The season begins in early November, and there is a massive slate of games, just about every night of the week.
This article won’t teach how to handicap college basketball and become a profitable bettor in itself, but it will spell out the basics and give you a path to profitability when it comes to winning at college basketball. More so than any other sports, achieving profits when betting college basketball, takes a tremendous amount of work and insight into the game.
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What is Sports Handicapping?
In the most basic form, handicapping sports is assigning an advantage to two teams or participants in a sporting event. Sportsbooks, when they set odds, are handicapping the game. The goal as a sports bettor is to try and spot inefficiencies in the odds. The ultimate goal as a sports handicapper is to profit off these inefficiencies. Breaking down games and understanding the teams and players is a must when handicapping college basketball. There are so many teams and players when betting college hoops that it takes a considerable amount of time to get information or know-how on anything but the top teams. That ties into some basic mistakes bettors make when handicapping.
College Basketball Mistakes To Avoid To Improve Your Betting Results
Handicapping college basketball is another arsenal to add to your betting repertoire. It’s a sport that many forget about because they’re not interested or simply don’t want to put in the work. We suggest you take up college basketball betting, but to treat it a bit differently than the NFL or NBA. Too many bettors also make fundamental mistakes when betting sports in general. They’re not paying attention to line movement, probabilities, or any other aspects that are important to make profitable bets. It’s a must to avoid these pitfalls.
Not only is important to change your habits when it comes to betting NCAA basketball, but it’s also vital to avoid the significant downfalls that cause sports bettors to lose when they bet college hoops. These are three mistakes you must avoid when handicapping college basketball:
Mistake #1 – Betting Too Many Basketball Games
It’s okay to bet the top conferences, but when you start betting on the Mid-American Conferences with teams and players that you haven’t researched at all – then you’re just becoming an action junkie. There an abundance of games on the board, but it’s an absolute must that you be selective when choosing which games to bet.
Mistake #2 – Not Narrowing Your Focus
This also falls under betting too many games. Wagering on the top teams that are nationally covered makes sense, but if you’re going to bet Mid-America games, then you ought to focus a select few conferences. Learn about these teams, get a handle on their coaches and style of play and then bet these teams both when they play in conference and out of conference.
Mistake #3 – Forgetting About Line Shopping
This is the biggest mistakes that sports bettors make when it comes to wagering on all markets. We also recommend having money in 2-3 sportsbooks to be sure that you always get the best price when placing a bet. Typically, there will also be much more variation in the odds when it comes to betting college basketball, compared to other more large market sports. Always have money at multiple sportsbooks. Always line shop for the best price.
How to Handicap College Basketball
There are many steps to becoming a successful college basketball handicapper. It’s worth noting that there is not a one-size fits all approach to betting on basketball. Some bettors don’t use spreadsheets and algorithms and instead handicap by gut. While others are strict line shoppers. You can adopt any number of these steps as they surely will improve your skills as a college hoops handicapper. Here are our top tips for handicapping college ball that will lead you to profitability as a sports bettor.
- Bet Totals – Total bets have lower limits than other sides and moneylines, and that’s because they’re a favorite of sharps and hard for oddsmakers to be confident in their numbers. After all, it’s easier to predict how a game might play out when it comes to pace of play and scoring in many cases, rather than which team might win the game. If you’re not betting on some totals – you’re making a mistake.
- Focus Your Efforts – As mentioned above, there over 350 Division I teams that play college basketball. You can’t possibly learn enough about them all to place wagers. Narrow your focus on a few conferences and teams and bet those games more heavily than others.
- Bet Futures – Sports futures bets are not ideal in many cases for new bettors as they tie up funds for quite a while and have high vigorish. However, they are some of the least efficient markets. And, the NCAA Tournament, due to it’s single-game, one-and-done, format, offers a lot of variance when it comes to outcome.
- Rebounding Rates – Rebounding advantage isn’t worth quite as much in the NBA due to some sharp shooting teams, but it is king in college. This is usually adjusted into the lines, but sometimes the advantage may not be fully realized by the sportsbooks. Pay attention to rebound rate. It’s a key stat that gives teams massive advantages in many cases.
- Bet Propositions – Many betting sites don’t have player prop bets until the NCAA Tournament or conference tournaments, but if they do – it’s undoubtedly a betting opportunity. Though limits won’t be significant, these bets can be beatable by creating your own numbers if you’re knowledgeable enough about college basketball. These will always involve higher profile schools as at least one of the teams, so that makes the research a bit easier.
- Question the Value of Homecourt – “Homecourt advantage is huge in college basketball” is just about the most cliched statement ever when it comes to wagering on sports. Too many bettors make the mistake of using this as a reason to place a bet. It’s certainly possible that the sportsbooks are not factoring everything that sharp bettors are using, but this is one thing that they indeed have priced into each and every. More NCAA Basketball Betting Strategies.
- Factor In Recent Play – This should be obvious, but many bettors end up just looking at the schedule and not how the team has played lately. There may be a reason for their poor or above-average play, other than merely being hot or cold. This is where following the sport firmly comes in handy.
- Follow Beat Writers On Twitter – Twitter is the fastest way to get news these days, including sports news. College basketball beat writers on Twitter are the first to tweet out late-breaking news and injury information. Following the top ones will give you a chance to beat the sportsbooks to the punch in some cases on late-breaking news.
- Find Sportsbooks With Higher Limits – Getting a ton of money down on a college basketball game is much harder than doing it in the NFL or NBA. Utilizing multiple college betting sites helps but finding at least one sportsbook that takes higher limits is more ideal. You would be surprised how few sportsbooks take over $1,000 on NCAA sides, and limits are even less on moneylines and totals.
- Manage Your Bankroll Properly – The college basketball season has more betting opportunities than any other sport when it comes to Division I play. Managing your bankroll is essential if you want to withstand an entire season of college basketball. A decent strategy is to go light early, but as you get to know the teams more and your edge increases, bet more later in the year. Don’t forget to take advantage of welcome bonuses.
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