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How to Win Betting on College Basketball

How to Win Betting on College BasketballThis is how to win betting on college basketball.

Key Points

– To win betting on college basketball, you have to narrow your choices.

– Any strategy to win betting on college basketball includes some of the basics.

How to Win Betting on College Basketball

With the start of a college basketball season, bettors should be licking their chops. It’s a long season with hundreds of games each and every week. March Madness offers a massive opportunity for NCAAB bets too. We’ll cover that more later in the season. 

Success comes to those who stick to certain strategies and modify others as a season progresses. With so many opportunities, where does the inexperienced college basketball bettor begin? 

Here’s how you can start winning when betting on college basketball.

Narrow the Field

There are too many teams and too much variance for any bettor to simply wing it and expect success when betting on college basketball.

There are 353 NCAA Division I NCAA basketball programs. The difference between the best teams in the country and the worst is vast. The only way to make any sense of anything in college basketball is to focus on a certain set of teams. The easiest way to do that is to pick a conference. 

Bettors can gain an edge when they choose to focus on a less popular conference. Sportsbooks focus their efforts on the major conferences like ACC, Big Ten, etc. Bettors can find more value in a conference like the Missouri Valley, for example. 

A bettor can devise his own power rankings for a conference much easier than for all 353 Division I college basketball programs. That can lead to some advantages throughout a season.


Betting on College Basketball - Efficiency

While points for and points against are helpful, offensive and defensive efficiency are better numbers to use to get a picture of a team’s capabilities. 

Bettors can find offensive and defensive efficiency numbers pretty easily these days. Oddsmakers use these numbers when they establish lines for games, so understanding them helps the average bettor. 

Teams with higher efficiency numbers in one or both categories are typically teams ranked in the Top 25. However, these efficiency numbers don’t tell bettors everything. They need more. That leads us to the Four Factors.

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Using the Four Factors

According to a book written by Dean Oliver, there are four factors that determine the success of a basketball team. The teams that win more games are the teams that perform well in four different categories. 

  • Shooting - Effective FG percentage
  • Turnovers - Turnover Rate
  • Rebounding - Offensive Rebounding Rate
  • Free Throws - Free Throw Rate

The idea is that teams that shoot well, don’t turn the ball over, get more offensive rebounds, and go to the free throw line more often are teams that are more likely to win.

In today’s modern game, teams shoot more three-pointers. Effective FG percentage accounts for that. Turnover rate is simply the number of turnovers divided by the number of possessions. If you don’t give the other team the opportunity to score more, you have a better chance of winning. 

If you get more offensive rebounds compared to your total number of rebounds, you give your team more opportunities to score. Free throw rate is the number of free throws a team shoots compared to the number of field goal attempts. More free throws means more attempts to score.

Find Mismatches

Using the Four Factors, bettors can find mismatches among their set niche in the college basketball market. With so much info available, it’s making sports betting so popular for all demographics.

When you have two evenly matched teams, this becomes difficult. Take the ACC, for example. North Carolina plays Duke. Two outstanding programs. You look at the numbers and neither team really has an advantage.

Sportsbooks know that the betting public is going to wager on this game no matter what. They bake that into their lines. The smarter bettor avoids that bet and finds value in a UMass team taking on Atlantic-10 foe George Mason. Using the four factors, maybe you find a mismatch in a Conference USA game. 

Regardless, find your niche and then look for mismatches at your favorite sportsbook that you can exploit when betting on college basketball.

Use the Basics When Betting on College Basketball

Any winning betting strategy needs to include some of the basics that apply to any bettor in any sport. For example, bettors should always shop for the best line for the games they like. This is especially true if you are going to bet any college basketball player props.

Finding an extra half-point on a line, a point on a total, or even better juice can be the difference between a winning bet and a loser. With today’s online tools, comparison shopping is easy. Do it.

Another easy task in making sure you win more than you lose is to track your bets. There are apps out there that can help you do it. You can even go old-school and write them down. Regardless of your methods, track your bets. When you go through a rough patch, you’ll be able to analyze why and fix it.

The other basic part of any winning betting strategy is managing your money. Whatever the strategy, stick to it and don’t deviate. Managing money will put on the fast tract to winning when betting on college basketball.


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