It seems as if there are more and more March Madness bracketology articles every year. Experts – some legitimate and some dubious – try to predict what the NCAA tournament bracket is going to look like. That means that they will predict who will get in, who will be out, and what seeds college hoop teams will earn. In an effort to gain attention and get a head start these articles are appearing earlier and earlier every year, too – sometimes when conference play has only barely begun. While these articles are nothing more than speculation, and they rarely accurately predict anything, they can still be useful for bettors in some ways. Here’s a look at five things serious college basketball handicappers may be able to learn by reading the more respected bracketology articles that are available:
Spot teams you aren’t paying enough attention to – While the articles will rarely predict where college basketball teams will actually end up the better articles do a good job of ranking where teams are at at the time they are written. That means that it can give sports bettors a good sense of which teams are poised to be serious contenders, and which teams are likely to make the field but aren’t likely to make a lot of noise once they get there. If you are the type of bettor who tends to pay more attention to some conferences than others then this can be a good way to start to really understand the conferences you have been ignoring. If the conference has a lot of teams in the bracket then you’ll know that they are strong. If no team from the NCAA conference is a lock to get in then you know it’s not a strong group this year. A team that is ranked much higher or much lower than one would have guessed can give basketball bettors a sense of teams that they need to reassess and get a better sense of before making their bets.
Identify teams you are overvaluing – Just as the predictions can tell you basketball teams you should pay attention to they can tell you what teams you may be giving to much credit to. It can be easy for even the most seasoned of bettors to give a team too much respect because of their reputation, who they have played, the players they have, their coach, or any number of other factors. If you have a sense as a handicapper that a team is destined for a very high seed but they are consistently picked to be a much lower seed than you expect then that can be an indicator that you need to revisit a team to see if you need to adjust your thoughts.
Confirm public hype teams – Every year there are always college teams that get a lot of public buzz. They are teams that the media is talking about a lot, and which seem to have a lot of momentum surrounding them. Sometimes the teams that are getting a lot of attention are the highest profile teams that are destined to be top seeds. Other times, though, they are getting more attention than their likely seed would suggest they should because of other factors – star players and so on. These articles can help smart college hoop bettors get a sense of where the hyped teams really measure up.
Identify teams on the rise – If you compare where basketball teams show up in these articles from week to week you can get a sense of which teams are on the rise – and obviously which teams are falling. If a college team is rising but isn’t in the upper tiers then you may be able to catch on to them before the publicly has widely embraced them, and that could help you find some nice value while it is still there to be had.
Understand mid-major pecking order – It can be hard for sports bettors to get a sense of how the mid-major conferences stack up – largely because there are so many different conferences, teams may play few common opponents, the overall skill levels of conferences can vary widely, and it can be tough to find the games on television. Which conferences are really relevant on a national level, and which ones are just not strong enough to be considered serious contenders? Among the stronger mid-major conferences, the articles can also give college basketball handicappers a sense of how the strongest teams measure up – which of the strongest teams is perceived to be best, and which ones may not quite measure up with the best of the mid-majors.