Most college basketball bettors probably know that there is good value to be had in betting on the mid-major conferences. Most bettors probably don’t spend nearly as much time betting on those conferences as they do on the big ones, though. It makes sense – there are a huge number of conferences, and most get barely any national coverage most of the year. Unless you are doing nothing but handicapping college basketball it just isn’t possible for most bettors to keep track of what is going on in every mid-major conference. There is just too much information to process, and as a sports bettor you’ll wind up making poor decisions if you try to bet on all of it. There are some really good opportunities out there, though – too good to ignore. The trick, then, is to find ways to find some of those good plays in a way that is manageable. Here are four good tips for college basketball handicappers to use in dealing effectively with mid-major conferences:
What’s your preferred style of play? – The goal for a basketball bettor is to find the conferences that are worth their time and the ones that they can continue to ignore. This is a good starting point. There is a wide variety of play in college basketball, and some of it you will prefer more than others depending on what you like. Some conferences play a wide open aggressive offensive style, while others play a slower, more defensive style. It makes sense that you are going to be more excited and engaged by a conference that plays a style you like. The more interested you are in the play, the more work you are likely to put into your handicapping, and the more success you’ll have as a result. Since you aren’t going to be able to effectively handicap every NCAA basketball conference, then, you might as well spend some time looking at the style of play in different conferences to find the best fits for you. You’ll want to look at factors like the tempo, the caliber of the players, the types of coaches, the level of play (are the teams evenly matched, or are their frequent blowouts?) and so on.
What are your betting priorities? – When you are looking to define the conferences that are interesting this is a crucial consideration – perhaps the most important. Each college basketball handicapper needs to think about what is important for them to find, and what kind of bets they like to make – and can make successfully. Do you like basketball games with a good amount of public action, or ones that no one cares about? If you like more action then you’ll like the A-10 or the Mountain West. If you like games with few bets on them because the lines are set with less care and can be softer then you’ll want to look for a much smaller, more obscure conference. There are other factors you’ll want to consider as well. Do you want to easily be able to watch the games on TV? Do you care if there is a lot of national coverage to refer to? Does your preferred sportsbook reliably set lines for all conferences, or just some? Are the limits on smaller conferences high enough for your needs? How many games would you like to handicap, and how many teams are you comfortable with getting to know?
When do you like to bet? – Different conferences like to claim different nights during the week when they play most of their games – typically once on the weekend and once during the week. Some college schedules will work better for you than others, so you might as well pick a conference or conferences that work for you. Geography can be a consideration for you, too. East coast games start several hours before west coast games, so some conferences will work better for your schedule than others.
Pick your spots – The important thing when deciding which mid-major conferences to pay attention to as a basketball bettor is to be patient and pick your spots. That can be a hard thing for a lot of sports bettors to do because they love action and love to gamble. The worst thing you can do as a college basketball handicapper, though, is throw your money around at games or conferences that you aren’t prepared to bet effectively. If you don’t bet mid-major conferences now then you’d be far better served to pick a single conference to get to know instead of trying to do it all at once.