Welcome to Loot's college basketball betting page! Here you'll find a collection of articles that will help you beat the sportsbooks. Most newbies enter this arena thinking that they're going to crush the bookies. We hate to break it to ya, but this isn't going to happen. There's an important little (big) variable called "odds" that skew these dreams that leave most bettors with busted bankrolls and scrambling for the ATM machine or credit card if you're an online sports bettor. Astute gamblers get educated by reading every single article they can find in an effort to gain every possible edge in their quest to beat the odds. We here at Lootmeister have written hundreds of articles that will help increase your odds of winning. College basketball wagering and it's odds can be beat! You just have to make sure that you're not bringing a rubber band gun or some darts to a real gunfight! Despite what your preconceived notions are, that's exactly what it is! Enjoy!
College Basketball Betting: The Bare Basics
By Loot, NCAA Basketball Handicapper, Lootmeister.com
Before betting on a college basketball game, there is a short list of things you should know. With money involved, it’s only right that we have a handle on what we are doing. As you grow as a bettor, you will add different wrinkles and elements to your profile--more sophisticated handicapping practices and strategies. But here are a few tidbits that will get you ready to start hitting the betting windows.
Anyone who bets on a game should know how teams are listed--how the visiting team is always shown first, with the home team listed second. I’ve actually been in a sportsbook watching a college hoops game and had a fellow bettor ask me “which team is at home?” Unless it’s some invitational tournament where games are played at neutral sites or March Madness, the bottom team is always the home team. So when you see...
Michigan State +4.5
...you will know that means “Michigan is at Michigan State.”
Now we need to remember the differences between pro and college basketball. In the NBA, there is a certain parity. Sure, there is a pretty big gap between the best and worst teams in the league. But if you thought that gulf was big, college basketball trumps that by a mile. You will see games that are virtually comedic in their lack of competition. There will be games that are as lopsided as the Miami Heat playing some middling pro team from Turkey. In other words, college basketball has a lot of games where there is a Grand Canyon-sized gap between the teams--something you don’t find in a lot of sports. Therefore, we need to recalibrate our understanding of what a favorite and underdog is in college basketball.
It is also important for us to have an understanding of how winning is done in college basketball wagering. There are exponentially more teams in college basketball, meaning we have an awful lot to follow as betting men. Nobody has enough time to gain the necessary awareness needed in order to place a bet on all the available teams on the betting board. College basketball forces us to refine our focus and stick to what we know.
In addition, we need to understand the driving force of college basketball wagering--the juice or the vig. The bookie knows over the long-run, you will hit about 50% of your straight bets. And that’s assuming you aren’t going broke by making other extravagant plays or steaming off your money when losing--a big leap-of-faith. Let’s say for the sake of argument that you make all straight bets and that you are a sound gambler.
If you are able to eclipse the 50% mark in winning your straight bets, you will have to do so at a clip that exceeds the hole you are already in due to the juice. When you need to bet $110 for every $100 you win, 50% doesn’t cut it. (52.38% is the breakeven point) You need to win enough to overcome the juice and naturally, not everybody can do that. You may have noticed that the last time you were in a sportsbook, with the facility looking like something from the Roman Empire, while the bettors are looking they are hanging by a thread.
So that leaves the betting man behind the 8-ball right from the giddy-up. We have juice to contend with, not to mention the whole institution of gambling, which always favors the “house.” The prospective college basketball bettor needs to be aware of what he is facing. This is not an opponent to be taken lightly. It’s the same opponent that has been kicking people’s butts for years. To rise above it takes a special breed of cat.
Getting back to juice for a minute, you already see how it puts you in a hole when you make straight wagers. Now if you’re going to venture away from the conventional picking of sides or totals, you are likely exposing yourself to even steeper levels of juice. The book wants you to make teasers, parlays, and prop bets. Because when you do, they are receiving an even larger commission than normal.
The normal juice on straight bets is too much for most bettors to overcome. When adding a bunch of extravagant wagers to your betting profile, you run the risk of burying yourself in juice. The real winners in this biz concede there will be juice, but they try to minimize it by their bet choices and dealing with books that offer reduced vig. Do the same thing. Pass on -110 odds and bet your games at -105 at the web's best bookie: 5Dimes. You'll be SO glad that you did!
Why Most People Lose at College Basketball Betting - Did you know that only 3% of peole that bet on sports win over the long term? The next time you're in a Vegas sportsbook, take a look around. All of those big tv's, free drinks, nice posh chairs and all the employees taking your money and handing out betting tickets are all funded by losing bettors. If you plan on being one of the 3% that holds an edge/advantage over Las Vegas and the Bookies, you need to learn everything you can about gambling and use those edges against the books so you're not one of the 97% paying for all those free brewskies!
What is Juice in College Basketball Betting? - Also known as "vig" or "vigorish", the juice is what keeps the bookies in business. This "house advantage" forces a sports bettor to have to win 52.38% of his wagers to break even. Most can't attain that high of a winning percentage, hence why you'll hear the old saying "The House Always Wins".
Betting Early Season College Basketball Games - Most don't wager much on college hoops when the season starts for many reasons, the first being that there just isn't much info out there on the teams, so we don't really have any idea how they'll play. The other is that most guys are wrapped up in college/pro football wagering as the foots season is in full swing. Unfortunately for those folks, they're missing out on some GREAT opportunities as very young teams and squads with new coaches make great fades due to lack of experience and chemistry.
Halftime Betting Tips - This is a very underitilized form of college basketball betting. Think about it... What's better than watching a half and identifying strengths and weaknesses and THEN making your bet? Yes, hoops can be a "tale of two halves" but often times a guy who pays close attention to which teams are boxing out, which players are dominating others, etc can find an advantage good enough to beat the 52.38% necesssary to break even in sports betting.