Betting NCAA Tournament play in games
Over the years, the NCAA Tournament has gone through many changes, but one of the ones most significant to college football handicappers is probably the expansion from 64 to 68 teams.
With that comes a set of play-in games, a couple of days before the main tournament starts.
Also known as first-round games, these contests are equally enticing as the rest of the NCAA Tournament, as far as betting, but unlike the later round games, are in some ways quite different.
That’s why smart college basketball betters need to recognize those differences and wager accordingly. To help, we’ve assembled a list of five ways play-in betting differs from later round NCAA Tournament games.
First, the amount of information on many of these play-in teams is limited. Normally, these are the weakest teams in the tournament and could either be conference champions from smaller conferences, or they could be at-large teams that barely made the cut.
In turn, these teams probably haven’t received a lot of attention from either the media or sports writers, and although basic stats might be available, any true insight on these teams will be scarce. However, if a college basketball handicapper has been following any of these teams during the regular season, it might be to his or her advantage, as other bettors may not posses that edge, and the values in the lines will be reflected.
Next, any team with the slightest advantage will usually stand out among the others, and public bettors will take notice. If a team draws most of the share of public betting action, than finding value may be tougher than the previous scenario.
Another thing for handicappers to take note of when betting NCAA Tournament play-in games, is that some teams may be disenfranchised about not making the 64 team field, while others might be beside themselves to even have a chance at making it. This can have a huge impact on a team’s performance
College basketball bettors can get a good idea about a team’s attitude by paying attention to how players and coaches are talking and acting in the days leading up to their games.
Finally, the amount of time a team has to prepare for these first round playoff games is minimal, making the possibility of a team that played in its conference tournament final on Saturday, play a first round game on a Tuesday.
This could impact one team more than another, and handicappers need to look where and when and who a team has just played, and compare it to its first round opponent – especially if the opponent is far more rested.