Overlooked Aspects of NCAA Basketball Betting

By Loot, NCAA Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

College Basketball Betting: Overlooked Aspects of NCAA Basketball Wagering

When we wager on college hoops, there is a veritable smorgasbord of information for us to negotiate. We analyze team strengths and weaknesses. We try to assess a team’s momentum based on their recent form. There are any number of things we do in an effort to give ourselves an edge. Some are good, some are less-helpful. Here are some other things we need to focus on if we want to make it in the topsy-turvy world of college hoops wagering.

The first thing we need to do is realize we are betting into the dark a lot of the time. With hundreds of teams, and thousands of players at the college level, what do we really know? When we think back to being 19 or 20, there were any number of pitfalls that popped up in our lives that would have thrown a real wrench into our effectiveness if we had been college basketball players.

As young men, we had relationship troubles, family issues, spiritual issues, depression, or maybe even some problems in how we handle varying substances, like drugs or alcohol. For us, it never affected the public (hopefully) because no one was betting on us for anything. So if we flubbed a quiz when we were hungover, no one noticed or really cared. If a point guard has these issues, it can affect many people’s wagers.

We might expect a certain level of professionalism from these players, but should we? They’re kids and part of growing up is making mistakes and going through personal crises. When you get to the NBA, you can be more certain that those couple hundred adults will have their act together. And sometimes, that doesn’t even work. But at college, with thousands upon thousands of players, the vast majority of whom will never play pro ball, a lot of weird stuff will be happening in their lives, which lies in our blind spots.

Let’s not forget to look at a team’s late-game form. In college hoops, a lot of point-spreads will be up in the air until the final buzzer sounds. The last few minutes of a game will look nothing like the preceding 38 minutes. Teams go into a different mode late in a close game. It all comes down to players being mentally alert and having the know-how, in addition to a premium now being placed on foul shooting.

Watch how different teams you bet handle these late-game situations in close contests. Not all teams are the same. Some teams rise to the occasion, making all the right moves under the stewardship of a capable coach, while sinking their foul shots. Other teams, however, struggle, as their free-throw shooting is iffy. Some younger players make boneheaded plays, like fouling a guy taking a three late in a game while up by three points.

Keep an eye out for teams that suffer from the snowball affect. They’re good when things are going well. When things are clicking, they’re at their best. When they have a team down, they keep them down. That’s a good sign, but be careful that you are not betting on a front-running team, a squad that needs things to be going well in order to play well.

Other teams can’t get off the schneid when things start to go wrong. While able to keep teams down when they’re winning, it goes from bad to worse when things aren’t going so well. This can be true even with teams that might have a good record. They don’t often get caught in a bad position, but when they do, they are unable to reverse the negative inertia.


While we pour over results and stats, we need to take note of how teams are developing. Obviously, the top teams have it together. But what about the teams that maybe don’t have a very good record or aren’t getting any attention? Finding variances in form among those kinds of teams is where the real money is.

If a team like Old Dominion starts off 8-13, they are pretty much off everyone’s radar and there is nothing that is going to bring them into the arena of public awareness. If we are able to notice, however, that they are congealing under their new coach’s system, key players are finally stepping up, and freshman are starting to come around–we can cover some wagers later in the season. In order to do that, we need to remember that our playing field as college hoops bettors is not simply the top-25. There’s a lot of money that lies in the more dark corners of the college basketball world.

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College Basketball Betting

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