The amount of sports we can wager on seems to grow by the day and with that comes the opportunities to create new profit streams in your sports betting portfolio. For me college basketball is one of the best sports to bet one for a variety of reasons, and I always look forward to the season getting started. It’s why I thought now was as good a time as any to put together some of my college basketball betting tips in a bit of a college basketball betting guide.
For many March Madness is the first time they tune in to college hoops, but for others the season is a prime opportunity to grow the bankroll. Like any sport there are challenges, unique aspects, and other edges we need to identify to give us the best shot at profiting. For anyone looking to get into college basketball betting here’s some quick tips to make sure you understand before diving into the betting board.
College Basketball Betting Guide and Tips
Tip 1: Understand the Rules
This should be obvious, but that’s why I put it as the first tip before wagering on college hoops. A lot of people transition in from the NBA and on an off night decide to take their shot in the college basketball board. The problem is they aren’t aware of the difference between the two games which leads them into false analysis and ultimately -EV situations.
The major rules to be aware of is college basketball is played in two 20 minute halves instead of four quarters and each player is only awarded 5 fouls before disqualification. The 40 minutes of game-time is key, as I’ve seen numerous people attack what they perceive is a very low total, only to find out the game is shorter than they expected.
One other important thing to note is that college basketball has 1 and 1’s after the 7th foul which means a player only gets the 2nd free throw upon a make. This create situations where teams can come away with zero points if they miss the first free throw during the single bonus. After the 10th team foul it reverts to the double bonus where you get two free throws no matter what. These might seems like silly things to cover, but they are prerequisites to beginning to bet on college hoops.
Tip 2: Transfers and Freshman
The second tip I want to explore is how quickly rosters change and how a previous season isn’t a great indication of the upcoming one. Sure, in the NBA we get trades, free agency, and the NBA Draft that can transform a team quickly. However, in college its even crazier. In the past the Transfer Portal wasn’t a big weapon as you weren’t able to change teams without having to sit out a season. That rule is gone, which means it’s a constant shuffling of personnel and this is where edges can be had. Typically seeing limited minutes, production, or starters returning was usually a good indication that the team would have some early season struggles. Lately that is becoming less and less true with the extreme turnover most rosters are seeing year over year.
I’ll highlight Kentucky as an easy example of this more with freshman than the portal but still showing the power of both. If you look at Kentucky’s roster each year you find almost no production with a handful of NBA draftees departing. For a casual this can lead to a false conclusion that it will be a “down” year, but upon digging into the recruiting rankings or portal we see that’s not the case. Now sure teams with a ton of turnover can take time to gel, but its not a blanket approach that returning minutes = teams to bet on.
Tip 3: Become an Expert
Of the three college basketball betting tips that I’ve mentioned, to me this is the most important as it somewhat includes the first two points.
Looking right now at Division 1 hoops we have 362 teams to bet on, which is way too many to monitor and not miss info. And yet, if you have a model or some way to get all the data and believe in that process more power to you, but for the rest of us we have to make a choice. To me it is infinitely more powerful to learn a few conferences or a handful of teams inside and out rather than try and bet the entire board of teams spanning the entire country.
This isn’t like the NBA with reliable injury news or reporting at standard times. Many games you will see a top player not playing with minimal reporting and unless you are very tuned in you might miss that. Another way to help in this area is utilizing market based tools like OddsShopper.com offers so you can quickly see stale lines, and potentially +EV bets based off the market itself. A sport like College Basketball has so many games being able to pick off and target the inefficient ones is really the name of the game.
If you choose to focus on a few conference instead of the whole country you will start to pick up tendencies, reliable news sources, and other actionable information to make bets in the future. Being able to lock in on certain teams you will start to see the board differently than trying to quickly breakdown ~100 games a day everyday which is what college basketball offers. Be an expert on a few teams over having casual knowledge of them all and you will see an improvement in your results.