Betting on Big NCAA Tournament Points Spreads
It’s not uncommon for college basketball handicappers to come across college basketball games with monstrous points spreads, especially during the annual NCAA Tournament.
These lines are always difficult to handicap, because even though the favorite may easily win the game, it may still not come close to covering the spread.
Still, it’s not impossible for college basketball handicappers to make some money betting these games and making a profit over time. But there are some questions they need to ask if they are going to wager, especially during March Madness.
First, handicappers need to ask if the line makes any sense at all.
If a line is really big, is one team really that much better than the other? Or could it be public bias is influencing the lines more than normal, especially since the NCAA Tournament already gets more public betting action than most games during the regular season.
If so, handicappers need to need to make sure they aren’t giving up more points than they have to, because teams are motivated to win – not cover spreads.
At the same time, basketball bettors need to look at the underdog. Often times, handicappers overlook the fact that an underdog may actually be playing some very good basketball, while the favorite may just be a big name college that is not playing all that well.
Maybe the underdog has beaten some strong mid-major teams, or have played very tough against some other strong major conference programs during their non-conference schedule at the beginning of the year, or maybe even in the opening rounds of the NCAA Tournament.
Maybe they have been good on the road, or maybe they are playing well defensively.
Also what it the underdog’s motivation? Maybe it views the game as its biggest all year, one that means everything, even more as winning each tournament game means they are moving on and one step closer to being crowned a national champion. That can fire up most underdogs, who can often keep the score close enough to cover the spread even if they fall short.
With all of that, college basketball tournament handicappers need to take make sure they reexamine the favorite as well, particularly when they are coming with a huge points spread.
Sometimes, even the best teams, like Duke, Kansas and Kentucky don’t always play to the best of their ability, particularly if they assume that they are going to win a game even if they play well below their top potential. This can also be true if a team is “saving up” for the anticipation of the coming tournament rounds.
There are no style points in for an NCAA Tournament win, and a narrow win is just as valuable as a blow out win in most cases. In the end, this could result in a favorite playing down to its opponent’s level, saving some gas in the tank for the next game.
If a handicapper pays close attention, he or she may be able to find nice value on the underdog and bet them in this case.