2024 NCAAB Championship Week Betting Tips: 4 Things to Keep In Mind


You’ve heard of the calm before the storm, right?

Well, conference basketball tournaments are the storm before the storm, the madness before the madness, the buzzer-beating insanity and stunning upsets before the buzzer-beating insanity and stunning upsets.

It’s a difficult time not to get caught up in the excitement, and for bettors that can lead to going off the rails and not sticking to tried-&-true handicapping methods…which can lead to bankrolls disappearing faster than a 10-point lead in the Final Four.

Balancing the excitement with control and restraint can be a difficult proposition, but it can be done if bettors step back, take a breath and remember simple fundamentals in sports gambling.

Be Disciplined, Be Selective

You don’t show up on the beach the first day of Spring Break and stand out in the blistering sun for 12 hours without any sunscreen, so why would you go all in on the first day of conference tournament action?

The most basic rule of sports gambling is money management, and that doesn’t change when college basketball moves from the non-conference schedule into the league fixture before heading to postseason tournaments and finally March Madness.

So, play it smart, and prove to the world that your mom was right about her little boy or little girl being very intelligent. And that includes the fact that while top sportsbooks need to have action on every single game, you do not.

Know Your Coaches

Let’s face it; when you get right down to the brass tacks of college basketball, the only factor that is consistent from one game to the next are the coaches and their staffs, especially during conference tournaments when there’s less time to prepare between games.

Those same coaches are a bigger factor in the NCAAB odds for every game than many people might suspect, and knowing their tendencies and previous conference tournament experiences is crucial before making a wager.

Pay particular attention to the close of the regular season when some coaches prove they can handle the pressure of obtaining a higher seed in the tournament, with the most obvious goal avoiding the early round matchups.

Coaches also must guard against too long of a break between the end of the regular season and start of the league tournament, keeping their teams both mentally and physically sharp.

What Happened in Regular Season Matchup(s)?

It might sound insultingly obvious, but knowing how things went down during the regular season meeting – or meetings, as the case may be – between two teams is essential before making a wager on any game during conference tournament play.

In addition to the usual factors involving scoring and rebounding, bettors will want to investigate to see if both sides were at full strength for the regular season matchup, or if a key contributor to the winning team in that contest is now iffy for the tourney game with an injury.

If the teams only met once, did the matchup come early in the season when the coach was still toying with rotations, or did it come late when a coach may have rested a key player having already wrapped up a tournament seed?

In the case of teams meeting twice on the regular season fixture and the home team prevailing each time, it is important to know how either side fared in neutral-court settings. It also never hurts to know trends for a given team in the building where the tournament is being held.

If one team swept the other during the regular season, the adage that it’s difficult to beat a team three times in the same year comes to mind, along with the fact that some squads are really, really good when playing with revenge, especially double-revenge.

Another angle is to check how the spreads and totals compare between the first and second meetings, and how shops such as Caesars Sportsbook (check our Caesars Sportsbook Review) may have factored in a team’s ability to play on the road.

Know the Rivalry History

Knowing what happened when the teams got together in the regular season is the first step in the process, and augmenting that with the rivalry history between the clubs is the next step before deciding on a college basketball pick.

Some rivalries are one-sided because of the talent difference throughout the years, and some are one-sided for no apparent reason at all.

While one team can dominate the series straight-up, the same can be true for lopsided results against the spread. If the ATS trends are the exact opposite of SU, it could be the betting public either favors or shuns one of the schools, a huge impact to the value on the lines.

With all of the recent conference realignment, some present conference foes are only beginning to get to know one another, all of which brings us full-circle to the coaches and how quickly they adjust to being matched up with a new face on the other bench.

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