The vast majority of people who analyze the college basketball betting board, or squares as we call them, will always gravitate towards the top 25 team lines. Big names in college basketball like Duke, UNC, Kentucky, etc. who rarely play on national television. Below are the reasons why you too should start betting less on the Big Top and more on the Mid-Majors. Betting action
As we sidestepped above, the majority of the betting public doesn’t care about major middle-sized teams until March Madness. It is a mistake. When looking at the daily odds, take note of the amount of action that is put on both teams. Whenever the betting action gets heavier on a college basketball game, the more concerned you should be about betting your money. You will often find that with a top 25 games between two top programs, the line can shift based on audience loyalty and smart money. Often times the value will be put off a line due to the adjustment of the books to the betting action. When betting in the middle of the major teams, the lines move much slower because sports betting is not as concerned about their exposure. This is your chance to find meaningful value and you can become a lot more profitable than betting to name branded teams. This is where the real handicapped in college basketball make their money.
Public knowledge and media coverage
The average college basketball fan might know a lot about Kentucky, Duke, or UNC, or a specific conference like ACC. This is no surprise given that ESPN will be broadcasting games featuring ACC or Big East teams on a weekly basis. It’s no wonder Dick Vitale has a love affair with Duke and UNC, just like the majority of the United States. The public consumes large amounts of information regarding large conferences and very little information about intermediate majors. But did you know that Rhode Island starting PG EC Matthews, who led the team with 16.9 PPG in 2014-15 and was a key Rhode Island player with a 16-10 ATS record the last season, will miss 2015 due to a knee injury? Public knowledge is general knowledge, so you’ll need to dig deep and have a thorough knowledge of all college basketball teams. With over 300 teams, it’s hard to know everything about each team, so pick a mid-sized conference like the WAC or the Colonial Athletic Conference and get to know the squad and the players. Follow them on social media and receive alerts and updates relating to these teams. Your goal is to learn more about lesser-known teams than the general public. This is where the real handicapped in college basketball make their money.
Talent and experience
Each year a new team appears in the national spotlight during the NCAA tournament. George Mason in 2006, VCU in 2011, North Florida in 2013 and the list goes on and on of teams grabbing national attention by upending big conference teams during the tournament. Often times you will find that these teams have beginners who are juniors and seniors who have been playing together for several years. As power conference teams with the best rookies begin, real freshmen and sophomores will have very little experience playing when the game is tight, winning, or coming home. Many of the best programs have adopted a “one and done” recruiting mentality. When the NBA demanded that players complete a year of college before entering the draft, teams like Kentucky were recruiting magnets for top talent. It took Coach K and Duke several years to embrace this mentality and it paid off last season when they won the national championship. What happened at the end of the season? Duke lost his top 3 rookies who were drafted in the 1st round of the 2015 NBA Draft. This type of review doesn’t happen to average teams, which is hugely beneficial when it comes to playing the big boys. There is more of a team cohesion and a team mentality first that pays big dividends when betting. A good tip to remember is to research team rosters and player history. Teams with experienced starting point guards are great teams to support. Experienced players with gaming-tested nerves are often a smart bet.
The above is only a fraction of what handicappers and seasoned college basketball bettors will look for before placing a bet. You have to remember that more often than not it is not the value of the major programs and not the media darlings. Sharp bettors focus on soft lines and can be spotted with lesser-known teams. So the next time you research college basketball, remember what we discussed and look for the value in average basketball teams. I would love for you to join me and commit to making some money this season. Luck!