The vast majority of people analyzing the college basketball betting board, or squares as we call them, will always gravitate towards the lines of the top 25 teams. The big names in college basketball such as Duke, UNC, Kentucky etc. Games between ranked teams and teams in the power conferences always attract the most action with bettors but experienced college basketball handicappers will often look for the soft lines involving mid major teams or teams that rarely play on national television. Listed below are the reasons why you too should start to bet less on the marquee matchup and more on the mid majors. Betting Action
As we eluded to above, the majority of the betting public does not care about mid major teams until March Madness. This is a mistake. When you're looking at the daily odds take notice of the amount of action that is bet on the two teams. Whenever the betting action is heavier on a college basketball game the more concerned you should be with wagering your money. You'll often find that with a top 25 game between two top programs the line can move depending on the public loans and smart money. Often times the value will be bet out of a line due to the books adjusting to the betting action. When you bet mid major teams the lines move much slower due because sportsbooks are not as concerned with their exposure. This is your chance to find significant value and you can become far more profitable then betting to name brand teams. This is where real college basketball handicappers make their money.
Public Knowledge and Media Coverage
The average college basketball fan knows may know a lot about Kentucky, Duke or UNC or about a specific conference such as the ACC. This is no surprise considering that ESPN will air games featuring ACC or Big East teams on a weekly basis. It's no shocker that Dick Vitale has a love affair with Duke and UNC and so does the majority of America. The public consumes vast amounts of information relating to major conferences and very little amounts of information on the mid majors. But did you know that Rhode Island's starting PG EC Matthews, who lead the team with 16.9 PPG in 2014-15 and was a key component to Rhode Island going 16-10 ATS last season, will miss 2015 due to a knee injury? Public knowledge is general knowledge so you'll need to dig deep and have a depth of knowledge relating to all teams in college basketball. With over 300 teams it's hard to know everything about every teams so pick out a mid major conference such as the WAC or the Colonial Athletic Conference and become familiar with the team and players. Follow them on social media and receive alerts and updates relating to these teams. Your goal is know more about the less known teams then the general public. This is where real college basketball handicappers make their money.
Talent and Experience
Every year there is a new team that emerges on the national spotlight during the NCAA Tournament. George Mason in 2006, VCU in 2011, North Florida in 2013 and the list is long and wide of teams that gain national attention by upsetting major conference teams during the tournament. Often times you'll find that these teams have starters that are juniors and seniors and have played together for several years. While power conference teams with the top recruits are starting true freshmen and sophomores will very little experience playing when the game is tight, win or go home. A lot of the top programs have adopted a "one and done" recruiting mentality. When the NBA required players to attend 1 year of college before entering the draft, teams like Kentucky were recruiting magents for the top talent. It took Coach K and Duke several years to adopt this mentality and it paid off last season when they won the National Championship. What happened when the season ended? Duke lost their 3 top recorded freshman who were drafted in the 1st round of the 2015 NBA Draft. This type of overhaul does not happen to the mid major teams which is hugely beneficial when it comes time to play the big boys. There is more of a team cohesion and team first mentality which pays big dividends when wagering. A good tip to remember is to research the teams rosters and player history. Teams with starting point guards that have experience are great teams to back. Experienced players with game tested nerves are often times a smart wager.
The above representations just a fraction of what experienced college basketball handicappers and bettors will research before placing a wager. You have to remember that more times then not the value is with the mid major programs and not the media darlings. Sharp bettors focus on soft lines and they can be spotted with the lesser known teams. So the next time you're researching college basketball do not forget what we discussed and look for the value in the mid major basketball teams. I would love to have you join me and commit to winning some money this season. Luck!