Today in the world is Championship Sunday. Many of you, including myself, are watching the NFL conference championships today. However, I am not writing to discuss these two match-ups today and night. No, rather I would like to shift your mind over to some NCAAB action. We are now in the heart of the 2018 NCAAB season. We are beginning to find out who is legit and who are perspiring into pretenders. Once college basketball teams get into the grit of their respective conferences’ season; you begin to learn a lot about a team’s identity and strengths/weaknesses.
With that being said, March Madness is less than 2 months away! I will be headed to Vegas this March to visit my father and spend a fair amount of time at the sports books. *(Suggestions on which sports book to visit would be much appreciated.)* Anyways, I am a huge college basketball connoisseur and label March as my favorite sporting month of the calendar year. I do not necessarily have a “favorite” team, it is just my favorite sport to watch, I suppose. I had a buddy a few years back who balled at Tulsa U. so I rooted for them for a bit. He is with the Suns organization now (Shaquille Harrison, shout out).
If you are like me, you have been held victim to those crappy years of busted brackets; with some good years along the way, I might add. We will get into March Madness and our brackets once the time inches closer. I only speak of it due to my annual excitement. Although March Madness is still in the distance, we can still become better “betters” to prepare for this coming March. Here a few tips to keep in mind when making your NCAAB plays. Note: these tips may be utilized come postseason time; but they are more accurate during regular season competition.
NCAAB Gambling Tips:
1. Use caution when taking teams that may be looking ahead in their seasons. For example, let’s use the scenario of teams in the Big East. Villanova has owned the Big East for the past few years now. With this being said, you may notice that teams who have Villanova scheduled the match-up after their current one may be “looking ahead.” Think of it this way. Every team in the country has 200% of fuel for every 2 games they play. If DePaul is playing St. John’s on Tuesday and Villanova that next Saturday; they may use 85% of their fuel for the St. John’s game and save 115% for the “big” Villanova game. I love taking teams getting points when I have a hunch that the favorite may be looking ahead
2. If you want to think of this next tip as the opposite of looking ahead, that would seem suitable. Think of the 200% effort for 2 games rule in this tip as well. Using the same scenario, but reverse: say DePaul played Villanova on Tuesday in a nail-biting loss (74-70), that same Saturday they match-up against St. John’s. How much of that 200% do you think that an average DePaul team used against one of the best teams in the country in Villanova? The answer is a lot! Hence, DePaul may only have 70% of their 200% left against St. John’s. That is not a winning equation in my book. With this being said; please, please, and please do not fall in love with a team who plays well against a really good team.
3. Next, this tip is more of a personal opinion for me and my gambling technique(s). When taking a look at the posted game lines. Try and steer away from those lines that hover around the 5.0 – 7.0 area. Why, you ask? Have you ever noticed that a lot of NCAAB games tend to end with one team continuously intentionally fouling to grab more possessions? I like to stay weary of these games because I do not want my plays to cover, and more importantly, not cover! due to garbage fouling time. You see it happen all too often.
The college basketball season has officially tipped off. Today’s Top 25 match-ups feature 17 of the 25 preseason ranked teams listed in the College Basketball is Less than a Month Away post. You may notice that some of these teams are going up against scrub DI programs leaving the point spread absent, unfortunately. However, some are present! These may presume to be the “tighter” match-ups. For instance, North Florida is visiting the “IZZO ZONE” at Michigan State (2nd). I really like the play on North Florida right here simply because the Spartans recently went against a DII opponent and squeaked by with a lousy eight point win. Certainly not a win in Tom Izzo’s book. Make a play on North Florida tonight at 7:00pm CST as 31 and a half point dogs.
Some of the Top 25 teams are not “action eligible” simply because the odds makers have little to no information on the opposing scrubs. The best way to make some money tonight though is to find a loop hole and exploit it. How do we do this? First, sorry to inform you, but you will be needing to do some research. It is possible to gather intel on mid-major programs. Key factors to look for: Do they have any big time transfers? Are they senior heavy? Did they have a good season last year? If you can find some of these boosters, and mix that with an overrated preseason program, then you have a winning equation!
To cash out on your NCAAB plays, you must first understand that the odds makers cannot cover the vast realm that is college hoops. Let’s put it this way; compared to the NBA, odds makers have only 30 teams to worry about and really hone in on. For NCAAB, they have over 200 DI schools to study up on. 99.9999999% of the time, there will be a game that was over/under looked (however you want to look at it). And that is where you will be able to steal a win and cash out big! You can be the your own odds maker with as much research you may choose to conduct on one particular match-up. Point being, there are simply not enough hours in the day for odds makers to focus in on all of the match-ups for that particular day, it is simply impossible.
Once the seasons’ wheels begin to turn and we get into conference play, understand the importance of home court advantage and revenge match-ups. The majority of conferences schedule each teams to play twice each year (one at home and one on the road). The best plays to make occur after a team losing a heart breaker on the road, then later presented with a second stab at that same opponent on their home court. Just keep in mind that these are unpredictable teenagers that run on emotions. Home court advantage is monumental (especially in rivalry games). Also, do not ever think that one team is so good that they will always cover the spread. Do not be afraid to bet against these preseason Top 25 teams. Who knows what they are actually made of.
I would also like to leave you with this side note. Last season, I bet a few NCAAB games at the beginning of the season; much like today. Some won, some lost. Anyways, I was very impresed with my Boise State pick and their team as a whole. So what did I do? Much like a heater in Craps, I let em’ ride! That’s right, I made plays on the Broncos of Boise State about 6 or 7 more times until they finally did not cover the spread. They were on some run man… They were MY team for a while. Point being, find YOUR team this NCAAB season!
A first look at USAToday’s preseason Top 25, who made the list and who did not? Any new faces to the mix? Any historic dynasties get left out?
1. ARIZONA 2. MICHIGAN STATE 3. DUKE 4. WICHITA STATE 5. KANSAS 6. KENTUCKY 7. FLORIDA 8. SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 9. LOUISVILLE 10. VILLANOVA 11. NORTH CAROLINA 12. XAVIER 13. WEST VIRGINIA 14. NOTRE DAME 15. NORTHWESTERN 16. MIAMI 17. MINNESOTA 18. UCLA 19. SAINT MARY’S 20. SETON HALL 21. CINCINNATI 22. ALABAMA 23. BUTLER 24. MISSOURI 25. VIGINIA
After a quick glance, you may have to double take at the sight of Missouri being noticed as one of the 25 best teams in the country. Also, the Trojans of US climbed all the way up to the number eight spot! This is a team that has been dominated by their rivals of UCLA in basketball for years (probably forever). Now, they may get a chance for a little redemption during the 2017-18 season… Wait a minute, where is Gonzaga, Oregon, or Baylor?! Probably a mixture of bad recruitments and/or loss of solid seniors leaves them out of this year’s preseason hopefuls. Nevertheless, I am very excited (like always) for this upcoming college basketball season and the road to San Antonio!
Everyone loves to watch the big match-up’s throughout the week. We call these primetime games. Primetime games include Sunday/Monday Night Football, College Game Day, and obviously playoff competitions. Why do I mention this? Sports-books alike and Vegas will put a lot more focus on configuring the lines for these particular games. Okay, we get it. Get to the point! Okay, one tip that I like to take advantage of every so often is to find match-ups that sports-books and Vegas do not necessarily give two shits about (politely put). The odds makers will typically throw out a number and observe where the money begins to gravitate towards to come up with a more even line come closer to game time. So whether you are searching for small schools in college basketball and football, there will always be “holes” in certain match-ups for these FCS schools. It is in your best interest to find these “holes” early in the week so you can get a good line before the line begins to shift. Unfortunately, it is difficult to find lines like this in professional sports because of the simple fact that their are fewer teams. Fewer teams equates to more time being able to post a solid line. So next time you are searching for lines this NCAAF and NCAAB seasons, take a look at a Virginia Military Academy vs. Furman (for example) line and see if you can find an advantage for your next play!
Do you remember me discussing in a previous post titled Week 3, Already?! to look for significant shifts in the lines? Here are a few of the match-ups whose lines have shifted a bit that are worth mentioning. Keep in mind, go in the direction that the money is flowing towards; even if it means giving up a few points on the point-spread. Jaguars @ Steelers: starling line = Steelers -9. Line as of today = Steelers -7.5 (Pick Jaguars). Seahawks @ Rams: starting line = EVEN. Line as of today = Rams -1.5 (Pick Rams).
As always, good luck this week! I like the UNDER in the Bills and Bengals match-up for whatever its worth.