It's never too early to reacquaint yourself with college basketball betting Trends and Odds.
Which is why we're going to offer up a quick primer now to
help beat the NCAA odds.
Three hundred and fifty-one teams will compete for the 2014
NCAA Men's Basketball Championship, from the New Jersey Institute of Technology
Highlanders and Houston Baptist Huskies to the UCLA Bruins and Kentucky
Wildcats. There are at least that many
betting strategies to consider once the season gets underway in a little more
than three months; I know, because I've tried many of them from following home
'dogs to playing only games involving mid-majors to simply flying by the seat
of my amply-sized dungarees.
Whatever wagering system or strategy you choose to employ,
the first thing all fans and bettors alike need to do for the 2013-14 season is
catch up on just where those 351 teams call home on the conference
landscape. College football realignment
the past few years resulted in relatively quiet alterations to the collegiate
hardwood, but the latest shifts are going to bring very dramatic changes this
Conferences most affected include the Big East and ACC,
plus the newly-formed American Athletic Conference that picked up remnants of
the old Big East plus former C-USA squads.
Defending national champ Louisville, listed at 12/1 at some shops with
NCAA basketball futures odds this early, is among the teams moving to
(hopefully) greener pastures in the American Conference which could be an
impact group in its inaugural season with Temple, UConn, Cincinnati and Memphis
(50/1) also part of the mix.
There isn't much doubt as to where the ACC stacks up
entering the season. A conference that
already boasted Duke (12/1) and North Carolina (15/1) was augmented by the
defection of Syracuse (30/1), Pittsburgh and Notre Dame from the former Big
East where Butler, Xavier and Creighton have joined the 'Catholic 7' who
remained behind. This is Butler's third conference
in as many years, plus the Bulldogs lost coach Brad Stevens to the Boston
Celtics in the NBA.
All of which is leading to a boatload of changes to
schedules which are still in the works, though we do know a little something
about the many early-season tournaments.
Speaking Of Coaches
& Early Tournaments...
isn't the only team with a 1st-year coach taking over, and you need to know
coaches and their styles unless you're just going to ride trends developed in
the past or as the season progresses. You
could realign the conferences annually and coaches are always going to have
their own systems and strategies just like any bettor.
You think Bo Ryan is going to start using a run-&-gun
style or that Jim Boeheim stops using his 2-3 zone just because they're in a
new league or playing new conference opponents?
It goes without saying you need to know the players,
especially who's injured or serving a suspension, and there will be a bunch of
those during the first two months of the schedule. Those first two months include a lot of
tournaments that can serve bettors two ways, helping bring home a winner
because you know which players are going to be on the floor in possible
mismatches as well as getting to know which teams might have deeper benches
when injured or suspended front-line players return to action.
I like to pick a few of the early-season tournaments and
focus on the 'projected top 100' teams more than the rest for the first two
months. Many of the tourneys begin by
the second weekend of November and carry into early-December just before breaks
for exams and the holidays; two that I've already pegged for extra attention
are the Anaheim Classic -- new conference rivals Marquette and Creighton could
meet -- and the Maui Invitational that includes Syracuse and Gonzaga.
Don't Forget The
Of course, nobody can really keep up with all 351 teams
outside of knowing a few names and numbers.
The Duke's and Ohio
State's are easy to follow
with their media coverage so enormous, but don't forget the teams outside of
the 'Power 6,' a term that may need to be redefined soon.
Just like focusing on a few early tourneys, try and put your
time and energy in on a few teams or conferences. Those games in the WAC, Big Sky and Horizon
League can provide winning tickets for the bettor who follows the action on the
court and at the window just as easily as concentrating on the ACC, Big 12 and
Whatever system or betting strategy you choose, the
first rule should be to take a disciplined approach with your money. It's a five month haul to get to the last
dance at the NCAA Championship
, and your bankroll needs to last the whole w