Betting Non Conference College Basketball
A new season in college basketball got underway last week with a couple of great showdowns between some of the top teams in the nation. The early national rankings in the AP Top 25 have the ACC’s Duke Blue Devils at the top of the list coming off a huge season-opening 118-84 rout of Kentucky as slight two-point underdogs. The Big 12’s Kansas Jayhawks are next on the list followed by Gonzaga, Virginia and Tennessee.
Too many sports bettors make the mistake of leaving college basketball on the back-burner this time of the year to focus their handicapping efforts on the NFL, NBA and college football action on the board. Given that the first two months of the college basketball season is reserved for non conference play, you could be missing out on any number of golden opportunities to cash a few winners at your favorite online sportsbook.
The College Basketball Oddsmakers are at a disadvantage this time of the year when it comes to setting lines for each day’s games in college hoops. The combination of everything else that is going on in sports betting world along with the lack of familiarity between teams in most of these early season matchups leads to soft betting lines on a regular basis. Your job is to know how and where to look.
One thing that always favors bettors in college basketball across the entire season is the sheer amount of teams in Division I. Unlike college football, where the betting action is limited to the five major conferences and the five Mid Majors that make up D-IA, college basketball has 32 different conferences playing at the D-I level. This opens up a wide array of betting options on a regular basis.
A unique aspect of early play in college basketball is the number of games played at a neutral site with a full complement of holiday tournaments on the slate. Home court advantage in college basketball is a huge factor in the handicapping process. Neutral-site matchups tends to give a slight edge to the underdog right out of the gate. The top-ranked teams take these tournaments in stride, but for any program not ranked in the Top 25, these holiday tournaments are an excellent chance to gain some national exposure.
When it comes to some of the lopsided matchups in non conference play, you will come across some hefty point spreads. This could be another good opportunity to bet the underdog. This is their big chance to pull off a stunning upset, while the favored team may treat this game as heavy workout. Even if the game does get out of hand by halftime, the winning team may decide to play its reserves for the second half to get its bench some added experience.
With everything else that is going on right now for sports bettors, you have the luxury of taking a wait-and-see approach to your college basketball betting strategy. However, you should still be spending some of your time watching these non conference games. By focusing your energy on studying the early college basketball results, you will be in an excellent position to pull the trigger on a few bets if you come across a spread that you really like.
You can drill down even deeper in your early handicapping efforts by only focusing your energy on a handful of teams. Circle a few key games on each one of these team’s schedule over the next few weeks and then look for best betting opportunities when these contests roll around.
Successfully betting on sports is all about giving yourself the best chance to win any bet you place. College basketball may be a big part of the overall betting strategy in March, but it should still be part of the mix in November and December.
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