Early March Madness Betting Mistakes

Avoid these early March Madness betting mistakes.

Key Points 

– Avoid early March Madness betting mistakes like betting with your heart.

– Seeding and game location can influence March Madness outcomes.

Early March Madness Betting Mistakes

The best time of year for betting on college basketball, and arguably all sports, is during the NCAA Tournament. It can also be a highly pricey time of year if you’re not attentive. 

If you fall for some of the early March Madness betting mistakes, you might easily end up placing too many losing bets. College basketball lines are tighter come tournament time compared to the regular season. Plus, public action has a significant impact on those lines. 

There are a number of March Madness betting mistakes that too many bettors make. Here is a look at the biggest ones and how you might prevent them. 

March Madness Betting Mistakes – Emotion

The NCAA tournament is one of the most thrilling sporting events of each year. It is easy to get caught up in all of the hoopla, the passion of the tournament. There will be upsets, close games, and every game will be on TV.  

It is very easy to bet on games entirely based on emotion. Smart bettors know that this is a recipe for disaster.  Maintaining context is crucial in this case while discussing March Madness. 

For the average college basketball bettor, betting on March Madness is actually easier than a typical regular season Saturday. At the most, a max of 32 teams are playing on one day (Day 1 and 2 of the tournament). That makes it easier for bettors to handicap games and avoid March Madness betting mistakes.

Each game also receives far more attention than they would if it was the regular season. Bettors find it simpler than ever to find reliable information. When you think about it, handicapping tournament games isn’t actually all that difficult. Stay away from betting on emotion.


Buying on Name Recognition

Too often, bettors go for the names that they have heard or seen frequently on TV. At tournament time, there are always games with top-seeded teams playing opponents from lesser-known conferences. 

The betting public almost always leans toward name recognition. Just like betting on emotion, this can lead to too many losses. In the first two rounds of March Madness, there are always upsets. This is one of those sports betting traps to avoid.

An upset would be considered a team that is seeded at least two spots below its opponent and pulling off the win. For example, a No. 9 seed beating a No. 8 seed would not be considered an upset. A No. 10 seed beating a No. 7 seed would be considered an upset. 

There are usually a dozen upsets in any given tournament. That’s why it pays to do the homework and find betting value rather than bet on name recognition. There are too many instances where a lower-seeded team has enough talent and more motivation than a higher-seeded opponent.

Speaking of Seeds

When filling out their bracket, a person who does not follow college basketball a lot during the season is generally going to select the higher seeded teams to defeat the lower seeds. Again, this is another recipe for losing bets.

Consider the recent winning percentages of No. 12 seeds in their first-round games. A No. 12 seed has beaten a No. 5  seed 53 times since the NCAA tournament was expanded to 64 teams in 1985.  That’s nearly 36 percent of all No. 5-No. 12 games.

For instance, a middle of the pack team from a big conference is frequently more likely to receive a respectable high seeding than the undisputed champion of a smaller mid-major. Although seeds are one method used by sports bettors to evaluate the relative strength of teams, they are far from being a reliable source of information. 

One of the March Madness betting mistakes is not searching for these undervalued underdogs. The NCAA tournament will almost always seed a middle-of-the-pack major conference team higher than a mid-major conference champion. 

Early March Madness Betting Mistakes

Location, Location, Location

Despite the fact that all NCAA Tournament games are, in theory, played at neutral venues, some of those locations are undoubtedly much more neutral than others. While some teams must fly across the country, some will play just a few hours from their school. Some may even play on their home court. 

If the game is close enough for fans to travel in large numbers, the venue can have a significant impact on the result. The teams with a national presence must also be taken into consideration. Teams like Duke or North Carolina, for instance, enjoy a sizable support base in the stands wherever they play due to their widespread appeal. A basketball game’s outcome can be directly and unavoidably impacted by a highly biased crowd’s impact on the officials. 

March Madness Betting Mistakes – Ignoring the Competition

During March Madness, it frequently doesn’t matter which team is better or more talented. Every team will be as prepared and focused as they can be. Thus, the most crucial factor is not what the team can achieve, but rather the matchup with their opponent. 

Too many bettors don’t look at the matchup. If you want to win more, avoid these habits of the losing sports bettor. Winning bettors need to look at how well a team is set up to limit what their opponent does best. They should also look to see if an opponent can take advantage of any flaws a team might have. 

There may also be something a team does that an opponent hasn’t seen before. That can give teams problems. When you haven’t practiced or played a team that does something unique, it can take most of a game to get used to.

On the other hand, games can get ugly if the lesser opponent is unable to offset the stronger team’s advantage in height, length, agility, or shooting ability. In summary, college basketball handicappers must be aware that in the tournament, matchups are essential.