College Basketball Betting: Some Important Tips to Help you Cover Spreads
By Loot, NCAA Basketball Handicapper, Lootmeister.com
When betting on college hoops, there are no hard-and-fast rules. At the same time, there are some guidelines we can use. During a college basketball season, different things pop up that can lend some extra quality to our insight and perhaps let us cover a few more wagers than we would have otherwise. Here are some things to look out for when betting college basketball:
Don’t Overrate Home-Court Advantage: Who is at home and who is on the road is certainly a concern. Some bettors, however, make it too much of an issue. Who is at home matters, but they still have to play basketball. A bad team doesn’t become good because they are at home. And a good team shouldn’t be expected to stink it up on the basis of not being on their home-court.
Let’s always remember that the home/road dynamic is already meted out by the point-spread. Whenever you see a point-spread, the home/road thing has already been worked out by the oddsmakers. Where a lot of bettors run into trouble is by attributing or deducting credit from a team based on the home/away dynamic when that has already been taken care of by the spread. Who is home and on the road matters, but it shouldn’t be the guiding light that many bettors make it out to be.
Bet on Defense: At this level, there can be a lot of inconsistency. Teams can be sinking buckets like crazy one night, only to go cold the next. Teams that rely on a lot of three-point shots can have nights where they are just off. When a team relies largely on offense, their level of play can vary wildly from game to game.
Defense, however, is an attribute that usually surfaces in every game. You don’t need luck for defense. A team that excels in this area is usually going to bring it to the table every single night. It might not be the most flashy or interesting of team qualities. But it wins games. And a team doesn’t need to be “on” for their defense to make an impact.
Don’t Judge Teams Off a Great/Terrible Performance: As we watch a ton of college hoops games, we need to be careful to not mislabel a team based on a performance that was either far above or below their normal form. Teams are never quite as good as they look at their best, while not as bad as they look at their worst.
If anything, when you see a team perform in a way that is far out-of-range, look for a spot. Sometimes, the lines will be adjusted based on that performance, but you know better. The team that performed lights-out and was 62% from the field is probably going to be a little cold in the next game. The team that relies on threes a lot that shot 12% from that range is likely to hit a lot more in their next game.
Gauge a Team’s Effort: When we wager on a team, we do so with the expectation that we will see that team at full-effort. Any number of things can surface during a basketball season that gives way to different levels of efforts. Opponent is one of those concerns. Duke, for example, is more likely to expend full effort in a game against North Carolina than a team like Stony Brook.
Keep an eye on the game directly preceding the one on which you are wagering. It can offer clues for what to expect in the game you are betting. If a massive effort was required for that team to win, the next game is likely to give way to a performance that is probably a bit less heartfelt.
Look out for the revenge factor. If a team lost to a rival by a margin that far exceeded the point-spread, look for the defeated team to try to make amends or at least make a good effort to do so. Teams and coaches retool, make adjustments, and have pride at play. Some teams own other teams. That’s definitely at play. There are times, though, when a humiliating loss can give way to a better effort the next time.
Again, these are not rules. It’s food for thought. We see thousands of games over the course of the college basketball season. Sometimes, it can be hard to distinguish one game from the other. Look for these situations, however, and you can maybe get a leg up on a number of bets over the course of a year.
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College Basketball Halftime Wagering Tips - Oddsmakers can't possibly watch all the games going on in any given day, however, most put up halftime lines for all games on the board. Advantage player! If you're watching a game and you see a certain flow or injury to a key player, there's a good chance that you'll have the advantage over the bookmaker when it comes time to placing a bet. Caution: Be careful of teams with good coaches going into the locker room at the half as you better believe a good coach will make adjustments if that team is down.