There are some basic consistencies when it comes to betting on college basketball games. First, the betting public tends to stick with Top 25 teams. Second, they focus most of their attention on the biggest basketball conferences. Third, nationally televised games bring in the most action for online sportsbooks.
Going with the betting public is always a hot topic when it comes to handicapping college basketball. Any game you bet on still needs to be broken down on face value. This is especially true in any marquee matchups between nationally-ranked teams. Where the game is played, an accurate injury report and recent betting trends are all important factors in the handicapping process.
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You should try and come up with a straight-up winner and then factor in the actual spread for the game. The top online sportsbooks will normally release money line odds for the biggest games of the day as a betting alternative.
Another important factor in handicapping college basketball is public perception. The ACC’s Duke Blue Devils and the Big 12’s Kansas Jayhawks are always going to be perceived as two of the best teams in the nation. Each is also going to have a few bad losses on the resume along the way. Yet, when you are one of the winningest programs in college basketball, the public is going to lean that way far more times than not.
There are about 10 or so programs that could be added to this list. Most bettors do not even know which conference Gonzaga plays in but the perception often labels the Bulldogs as a solid betting team. Kentucky is rarely recognized for its football team in the SEC. Yet, the Wildcats are the face of this power conference when it comes to basketball.
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The easiest way to track public perception is through the use of betting consensus reports. Some online sportsbooks will go as far as posting where the heaviest action is going. The overall public consensus monitors betting action over a number of the big commercial online books right up until tip-off.
You should always come up with your picks independently through your own college basketball handicapping efforts unless you know absolutely nothing about the sport. In that case, it might be worth your while to invest in a professional handicapping selection package.
Using the betting public consensus before breaking down a game will influence your picks to a high degree. The best process for coming up with a few solid plays is to pick some winners on your own. You can then use the betting consensus as a way to confirm your instincts.
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One thing to keep in mind is a certain bias in any betting consensus towards the favorite. Sometimes public perception senses a soft spread that leans toward the team getting points. However, most times the public leans toward the favorite regardless of the posted betting line.
If you are going to rely a bit more heavily on public perception and the betting consensus, you should look for matchups with a clear edge.
Anything over 70 percent could be considered a very strong lean that way. Always remember that there is no such thing as ‘locks’ in sports bettors. However, if the majority of the public is betting one way, you will probably want to bet that way as well.