Not long after the hoop nets are cut down and the NCAA Championship is over for the year you can bet on who you think is going to win the next edition. It’s always intriguing to see what the futures have to say about the college basketball teams and their chances for the next season. It’s typically not much of a betting opportunity, though – tying up your money for that long would require a lot more value that you can usually get. Every so often, though, there is a future price that is s attractive that it makes sense to bet on the college team as soon as you can. Here are four situations in which a bet far in advance could make sense in college basketball:
Have a reason to be more optimistic about a freshman that the public is – The public loves high profile freshmen. Their problem, though, is that they pay very little attention to college basketball recruiting – far less than they do for college football, and even that isn’t a whole lot. If you are a person who spends a lot of time following recruiting closely then there is a very good chance that you will have better knowledge than the betting public will. We’ve seen time and again in recent years in the tournament that a freshman who is put in a position to succeed can be integral to the success of his team. If you are confident that you know what college freshmen are likely to be those difference makers then there is a good chance you could get a jump on betting on them and their basketball teams before the betting public even becomes aware of their name. It’s important here, though, that you are really sure that the freshman is going to get a chance to make an impact. He needs to play for a college basketball coach that can and will use freshmen, fill a position of need for the team, and have the body and background to be able to contribute right away.
Optimistic about a coaching change – The coaching carousel will typically have stopped spinning by the time futures odds are released. The betting public will have a good sense of the high profile, big name coaching changes. they won’t be nearly as dialed in to lesser names who are still very significant – assistants for major programs getting their first shot with their own team, a talented guy moving to a school where he will finally get top level talent and good facilities, or a coach who has been out of coaching and is making a return. If you as a college basketball handicapper follow teams and coaches closely then there is a chance that you will have a much better sense of how good a coach is and what he is likely capable of than the public will. You may be able to find strong value as a result. You need to be careful here, though, because it’s rare to see a coach – even a very talented one – have a lot of immediate success at a new basketball program.
You expect a dramatic downward shift once the public gets hold of it – Sometimes the best reason to make a futures bet on college basketball now is because you know you like the team and you know the price is only going to get worse as time goes on. If a team has characteristics that are likely to make them a public team during the season – a high profile coach, a player who will be vying for player of the year, a freshman who should be a stud, a real chance to win their conference , and so on – then once the public starts to pay attention to the futures they are likely to bet the team down significantly. Getting in early before that fall happens can turn slight value into dramatic value for the basketball bettor who has solid knowledge, and that’s always a good thing.
You think a key player departure won’t hurt nearly as much as people think – When a guy has been a household name during his career and he leaves the team through graduation or to go pro then the public is typically going to panic. They know the player well, and so they assume that his departure will be a fatal blow. If you know the college basketball team in question well, though, then you may very well find that the departure of the player isn’t going to have nearly the impact you would expect. Perhaps the team has a very good player waiting in the wings to take his place. Or maybe the player was too selfish and made it hard for the team as a whole to reach their best. Addition by subtraction, or at least the ability to maintain the status quo when a player leaves, can create huge value for college basketball handicappers in futures betting.