How to Bet on College Basketball: 4 Tips to Handicap Like a Pro

jaylen blakes duke blue devils ncaa basketball
Jaylen Blakes #2 of the Duke Blue Devils knocks the ball away from Joshua Wiggins #20 of the Fayetteville State Broncos during the second half at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Grant Halverson/Getty Images/AFP

With the MLB season concluding, college basketball comes into season. We’ve got an exciting season ahead in college basketball.

But it’s only exciting for sports bettors when they finish the season profitable. Therefore, we’ve added a bunch of tips on how to bet on college basketball like a professional.

Follow along below!


1. Line Shopping

It’s very important to line shop. Line shopping is essentially finding the best odds for your bet.

You wouldn’t buy a shirt for $25 when you could find it for $15 elsewhere. A lot of people care about saving money until they sports bet. Then they don’t care. They’d rather leave money on the table and lose profitability.

The better the lines, the more profit you will end up making. For example:

  • If you see the Duke Blue Devils at -150 on one book and then see them at -130 on another book, you’d be saving 20 cents of juice for every single dollar that you wager.

If you’re putting down hundreds or even thousands of dollars, you’re saving yourself a ton of money by taking that -130. You can line shop at OddsTrader for the best lines on all the best, legal sportsbooks.

Other Betting Markets

Line shopping isn’t just for moneylines, it’s for every single market. You need to make sure you get the best price.

Sometimes, you’ll see a spread discrepancy too. The Duke Blue Devils could be -3 on one site but -2 on the other site. It’s just one point, but oddsmakers are sharp. I’m sure you’ve lost many plays by .5 points before. Adding an extra point of value at the same price is a great way to earn profit long-term.

This is called positive expected value. You’re looking to beat the closing line and have a better line than what the oddsmakers closed the game as once the game began.

If you’re able to have positive expected value throughout the college basketball season, you’ll finish profitable with a large sample size.


2. OddsTrader Computer Picks

There are plenty of systems out there that you can use for your benefit. OddsTrader has a computer pick system that spits out high-valued plays.

You’ll have to make sure there are no injuries that could change the stats a bit, but overall, relying on a system is one way where many professional bettors make it big.


3. ATS Standings

You know what they say. Good teams win, but great teams cover. Some teams are totally undervalued or overvalued during a season. But their actual record normally doesn’t prove it.

The team’s spread record proves it.

If a team is just 5-10 on the season but 10-5 against the spread, they’re being undervalued as a team, despite only winning 33.3% of their games.

It’s important to look at these types of numbers to know which teams aren’t getting the notoriety that they deserve. Some teams are just sneaky good at backdoor covers.


4. Analytics

The best way to bet on any sport is to trust your hard work. If you crunch the numbers and find a system that works best for you, ride it out through the good times and bad times.

As long as you stay consistent and continue to see positive results, like beating the closing line value, you’re going to be profitable.

There are four factors in basketball that matter when trying to break a game down. When you’re doing your research you want to know:

  1. Effective Field Goal Percentage
  2. Turnover Percentage
  3. Offensive Rebounding Percentage
  4. Free Throw Attempts to Field Goal Attempts Ratio

Defensively, you’d want to know the exact same thing, but you’d want lower numbers than higher numbers.

You’ll also want to look at the tempo of each team and average possession length. But the reality is, if a team statistically wins three of those four categories above, there’s a very high chance that they’ll end up winning the game.

If one team has a higher effective field goal percentage, limits turnovers, earns more offensive rebounds, and has more free throw shots attempted, there’s a very likely that that team will win.

So when you do your research on a given day, if you can find a team that you believe can do those four factors well with a reasonable spread, then you’d take it.

Best of luck on the season!


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