How to Bet College Basketball Conference Tournaments

The scoreboard shows the final score of the Oregon State Beavers’ victory over the Colorado Buffaloes to win the championship game of the Pac-12 Conference basketball tournament. Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFP

The Madness of March has begun in college basketball. The conference tournaments go in full swing starting now and chaos will ensue.

This is truly a crazy time and literally, almost anything can happen and does every year. Because of the Madness, we would like to offer helpful hints for your college basketball picks during this time.

Always Start with the Fundamentals

Ya, ya, we know this is boring, but it matters to give you the best chance to win. In no particular order for matchups, know each team’s overall shooting percentage and behind the arc and the same categories for defense.

Learn More: Start Prepping for the NCAA Basketball Tournament Now

Check their rebound and turnover differentials, look for an edge and review free throw shooting percentages and attempts to better understand each team.

Have a complete picture of these elements and know their road/away records SU and ATS and you have completed your fundamental research.

Next, Motivation and Betting Trends

Motivation is a big factor in March and it can work for or against any squad.

Let’s start with an underdog of say +3 at Oddstrader.com, facing an opponent that has beaten them twice and both were by exactly three points. In looking over the game statistics, there is nothing that unusual by the numbers to find where one team had an edge and by all appearances, the previous winner made a basket or two more for the difference.

In this scenario, the motivation is with the small underdog, who could have won either contest with a break or two and the betting odds suggest they can not only cover the spread, they can win outright.

Learn More: How Do I Know Which NCAA Basketball Games to Target?

Next, let’s break down a different, yet, similar situation. A favorite has beaten their opponent by 11 and 14 points both home and away and the neutral site spread is -8. Prior conventional wisdom would suggest it is hard to beat a team three times in the same season in college hoops.

There used to be something to that thinking, but not today. If a favorite won somewhat convincingly and the stats show that in a similar fashion, there is little reason to think that won’t happen again, as today’s modern athlete feels they ‘own’ the opponent can do it again.

Learn More: Why NCAA Basketball Conference Play Changes Betting Dynamics

With so much information you can find on Google, there are a number of betting sites that have specific conference trends. This can be a helpful tool against the top sportsbooks, uncovering historical angles that have stood the test of time.

This is frequently terrific information, that matched with your knowledge of the teams, can place you on the right side of your selection. Please note, we are not saying to blindly bet trends, rather, as a complement to go with your existing research.

It is Best to Stay Away from Betting Futures on Conference Tournaments

Over the years, we have seen on social media basketball bettors making supposed picks to win various conference tournaments. This is an exercise in futility and here is why. Most bettors will take the first four seeds and make a pick based on that. Even if you could weigh the seeds based on their regular season, most top seeds would be no more than 60 percent to win and less than 50% in more balanced conferences.

Those are not good odds and depending on how a tournament plays out, by the semis-finals, the whole event could be dramatically altered.

Learn More: A Beginner’s Guide to Conference Play Betting

If you don’t believe us, take this challenge. Take your favorite eight conferences you know best, look up the odds for each one and pick two teams you think can win and make a ‘pretend’ wager of $100 on each. We’ll all by guarantee you lose money. Bet the games day by day instead, you will have a much better idea of knowing daily results.

Be Selective and Think Money Management

With the vast amount of games and all the hype surrounding these tournaments, with so many televised, it’s easy to be swept up in the emotion.

Instead, follow the information as stated above for college basketball picks and you’ll give yourself a better chance to win your bets.

And remember to check back for more betting strategy at the OddsTrader blog. Happy betting!

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