Tips for Betting March Madness in Conference & NCAA Tournament Games
There’s no better time of year than March for betting college basketball. Are going to be betting on conference tournaments or any of the postseason tournaments?
Do yourself a favor and read this article before it’s too late.
There are ton of factors that go into handicapping college basketball during this time of year.
How to Bet March Madness: NCAA Basketball Betting Tips & Strategies
#1 – Factor in Motivation When Handicapping Conference Tournaments
Motivation not something you need to worry about when handicapping the field of 68. Every team is going to be motivated to win on this stage. Motivation is definitely in play in conference tournaments. Be careful backing too many schools who have already done enough to secure a automatic bid. Sure, these teams want to win. The problem is they start looking ahead to the Big Dance.
Underdogs can be a profitable way to go in conference tournament games. Programs who are on the bubble or need to win it all to make the Big Dance are going to lay it all on the line. Motivation is also in play during the smaller postseason tournaments. Be cautious of schools who were on the bubble and got left out of the field. Rarely do these squads care at all about playing well in these tournaments.
#2 – Check How Teams Performed Down the Stretch
Look at how a team performed down the stretch and don’t just focus on the overall record. This is a common handicapping strategy used by a lot of experts. This is simple to follow. Focus more on teams that finished the regular season strong and avoid those that fell apart late in the year.
Rarely do we see a team who limped into the NCAA Tournament go on to make a deep run. Something about recent play really matters though. It’s rest. Teams off back-to-back games do not fare well against an opponent off a bye.
#3 – Teams Who Excel on Defense Have an Advantage
High-scoring offenses can carry a team during the regular season. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always translate to success in the postseason. Schools who rely too much on their offense are prone to upsets. There are going to be games where the shots don’t fall.
One bad shooting performance in the tournament and you likely don’t advance to the next round. That’s why I put a lot of emphasis on teams who always bring the energy on the defensive side of the ball.
Strong defensive teams come tournament time are great to back against the spread. Especially, when in the role of the underdog. The other thing to consider is nerves. Teams that are anxious will have more trouble making shots, but they can still play great defense. That is why first half unders have been profitable come tournament time.
#4 Don’t Forget to Look at Location
This is often something that gets overlooked when handicapping college hoops this time of year. The shorter a progam has to travel, the more likely their fan base is going to show up in support.
This applies to all post season play, including conference tournaments. How is there a home court advantage in the NCAA Tournament? While games are played on a neutral court, the top teams are often seeded close to home.
#5 – Be Cautious of Public Favorites
There are some teams that the general public will back regardless of the line. The bigger the program or higher the team is ranked, the more likely they are to be overvalued by the books.
The less the public knows about a team, the more likely they are to side with the team they are familiar with.
I’m not saying avoid every big favorite on the board. Just know that you are paying a premium on the line and playing into the hands of the oddsmakers. Often times when a line looks to good to be true, you want to avoid it or take the other side.
#6 – Avoid Letting Your Biases Get in the Way
Avoid betting on your favorite team. It’s a common rule of thumb, but harder to follow than you might think. You are going to have a bias towards your team winning. There’s no way around it.
Don’t let your favorite team cripple your bankroll. Trust me. You will have a lot more fun watching them without worrying about how much they win or lose by. This also applies to your bracket projections. Don’t just bet on teams to cover the spread because you picked them to advance to the next round.
#7 – Be Selective With Number of Picks
Some guys like to go right down the line and lay down action on every single game. As much fun as that sounds, it’s just not a solid betting strategy.
Not every game will show value and some games will show more value than others. That’s why we need to pass on some, wager a little on some, and wager more on others.
#8 – Build Your Bankroll With Proper Money Management
A tip that can’t be stated enough is money management. Don’t get too caught up in the excitement early on. You don’t want your entire bankroll at risk in the first week.
Think of it as a marathon not a sprint. Focus on winning a little each day I know it’s hard to avoid going on tilt after a loss, but you have to learn to stay calm. The worst thing you can do is double down when you lose.
Ultimate College Basketball Tournament Handicapping Strategy Guide
We’ve compiled an incredible list of resources for filling out brackets as well as betting on tournament games.