College basketball is one of the craziest sports to bet on in the world, and it is a great rush every single time because of the chaos that can happen on any given night. Usually, college basketball betting picks up steam as we head into March Madness, but there are a ton of games from November until April that should provide us with a lot of edge over a long season if we are thorough in our evaluations of each team every single night.
Be Aware and Involved
This is by far the most important rule for me in really every single sport, but particularly niche and college sports more than anything else for a plethora of reasons. The popularity of each sport in the sports betting realm and the injury reporting surrounding each sport can often determine your edge to a very significant rate depending on the situation.
College sports have less national reporting on an every-day basis, and there are zero NCAA restrictions or requirements when it comes to an injury report of any kind. Teams don’t need to post a depth chart, injury report, starting lineup, or anything else regarding information about their team heading into the game, and they can blatantly lie going into a game acting as though someone will or will not play while he actually does the opposite.
With the increased use of media in all aspects of life, these kind of things are generally looked down upon to a high extent, but they can happen, and they do at times. So being aware of these possibilities and being keyed in on situations where strange things could happen can give you a big advantage.
Taking advantage of uncertainties or late news is the easiest way to gain an edge in sports betting if you can be quick enough, and it is much easier to beat the books to news in college basketball than it is in the NBA or the NFL. Adam Schefter isn’t going on his Twitter page to announce that Cincinnati’s starting point guard will not play tonight, and that is where you can really gain an edge in betting on college sports and college basketball.
Teach yourself how to find information on these teams quickly and efficiently based on understanding which online forums can help you find reliable news fast. On a Saturday afternoon, you can find two or three reports every week of student or local beat reporters talking about injuries and such that are really not factored into the line if they are new situations.
Now, it is almost impossible to always find these things if you are just doing this whenever you have some free time, but that doesn’t mean that you cannot try to identify situations that already have some uncertainty around them or use your general knowledge to your advantage to a certain degree. Maybe gather Twitter lists or set up Google alerts for a few major teams that have extensive beats and stay tuned in to a few situations when you can or just look out for players that have an injury designation given by the school when they do release information.
While information is few and far between in college basketball, you can find it if you really lock in on it, and a single player in a college game can be worth five to eight points with ease. These hits aren’t easy to find, but there is nothing that will give you more line value than jumping onto some off-the-beat injury news before a bookie can adjust the line.
Understand Home-Court Advantage
Home court is a huge advantage in college basketball because of the energy trapped into a smaller arena all over the country with a bunch of crazed teenagers going nuts for two-plus hours. We always talk about experience, and I think that we fail to adjust our experience thoughts as the season rolls on.
I weigh the home-court advantage much more for inexperienced teams and earlier in the year for those teams, and I think that you have to adjust your thoughts on each team from an individual level. It is always a plus for me to bet on a road team in a hostile environment when I know that they have a good coach and a leader that ideally handles the ball.
The most important thing to me is how do teams respond to adversity when they get down on the road, who takes over, and the overall composure of the team in those situations. Typically, having a good coach and a strong leader helps teams stay composed, but sometimes the star freshman becomes the leader, or the great coached team looks lost when they get punched in the mouth.
Don’t get married to one strategy, but I do think that watching teams perform in these situations a couple of times often does tell you a lot about how they will respond the next time they are forced to deal with adversity. I always try to at least watch the most recent time that a team has faced this situation before blindly betting them in a hostile environment.
Consider the Game Script
College basketball is my favorite sport to bet moneyline underdogs in somewhat close games because of the value, especially at home. We’ll often see a decent Power 5 team play a top 15 team and be a three- to eight-point underdog at home, and I really like betting them to win outright in those scenarios with the added value that comes with the moneyline.
This isn’t always the case, and you always have to consider everything that is in play, like maybe considering which team you would like given free throws or last-second shots. If you are betting a five-point underdog on the spread instead of on the moneyline, it should be because you think that the value on the spread getting the extra five points is more valuable.
This is more often the case for a team without a true closer that could struggle to finish games where you do not trust them to close out a game, and you want the five points. There are plenty of reasons to bet each and every way, but consider all possible options to maximize your long-term value.