The start of November marks the start of a new season of college basketball. Joining a wide range of sports betting leagues already in play, early play in college hoops tends to get lost in the mix. The heavy focus remains on college football and the NFL’s march to the postseason followed by the new season in the NBA and, to a lesser extent, the NHL.
With so much betting action on the board at your favorite online sportsbook, you really need to develop a comprehensive betting strategy for the final two months of the year to fully capitalize on this unique opportunity.
The first thing is to make sure college basketball is in the mix. Too many bettors put this sport on the backburner until the first of the New Year when conference play gets underway. Early nonconference play in college basketball offers some of the best value on the board of any sport in action.
By now, the Oddsmakers are releasing extremely sharp lines for football given all the games already in the sportsbooks. They will continue to sharpen things up for the NBA as well as for the NHL given the early results for these two professional leagues.
College basketball is a blank slate at the beginning of a new season. Many of the top teams in the nation have new faces scattered throughout their starting five. While the expectation level is raised for the best teams in the country, nobody has gotten to see just how well these freshman phenoms will be able to play as a team.
Early season games create quite a bit of guesswork with bettors, but there is also a high level of guess work among the sports handicappers setting the lines. This is especially true in games that do not involve marquee programs.
Adding to the uncertainly are nonconference matchups between teams that rarely if ever face one another. You have to break down the game while trying to gauge the impact of incoming freshmen and added transfers. You also have to factor in how much talent a team lost from the year before. In the midst of so many unknowns, underdogs gain a certain appeal.
The online bookies already know that the early money will go towards high-profile programs listed as favorites. The games that you want to focus on is solid programs getting points. These teams become especially attractive playing at home.
Every college basketball team is looking to get a fast start out of the gate. Understanding how their season ended last year can be a motivational plus. Did they make an unexpected early exit from the NCAA Tournament? Did they make a longer run that most bettors expected? These are the type of motivating factors that could carry over into early play.
Many of the early games are played at neutral sites in a tournament format. Checking a team’s recent record against the spread at home, on the road and at a neutral site becomes an important part of the handicapping process.
Another important aspect of betting early season games is access to a reliable injury report. Some teams may not be at full strength due to lingering injuries to a key player. The coach may decide to rest any player who is a bit nicked up early in the year. The main focus of the schedule is still conference play after the first of the year.
There is quite a bit of value to be found betting early season basketball if you take the time to look for it. Stick to the teams you follow and know the best. This is another great way to uncover value in the betting lines.