March Madness is a high betting time of year. Every NCAA tournament game is televised and you can watch the first two rounds for free on the internet. Betting the NCAA basketball tournament has never been easier.
During the college basketball regular season you can find easy value in the underdogs, especially in the lesser followed conferences. There are over 300 teams in the top division in college basketball. Each team plays roughly 20 games in the regular season, some teams approach 30 games-and this is before their conference tournaments. The NCAA Tournament is a different story.
When betting the NCAA basketball tournament it is best to look for value in the favorites early in the tournament. Think about this for a second. The lesser known colleges have gotten stronger. The competition is better. There have been tournaments in years passed with more upsets than would otherwise occur. The public stigma in NCAA basketball betting in today’s betting arena is the underdogs have just as good a chance as the favorites. The public loves the Cinderella story of the smaller school beating the big time program.
Since the public perception regarding betting the tournament is that every team has a fighting chance, including the underdogs, the lines are set not on public perception, but on the most likely statistical outcome of each game. Use this to your advantage. More public betting dollars are wagered on the underdogs in this tournament than in the regular season. That makes the favorites more valuable. Sports books know that public bettors are more likely to bet on an underdog in the NCAA tournament and they set their lines according to these public betting patterns.
The favorites are more valuable in the first two rounds than they are further along in the tournament. As the tournament goes on and there are fewer games to handicap, the lines become sharper and the value of the favorites decreases. That is not to say there is no value in the favored team but it does lessen deeper in the tournament.
Lines set between -3 and -5 cover more often than any other line. If you see balanced action on a game with this line, take the favorite. Likewise, if you see the underdog bringing in more money than the favorite, take the favorite. This might be the most enticing line in the NCAA tournament for a public bettor. They love jumping on the underdog here because they believe that if the game could end that close, there is a very good chance the underdog will cover or even win the game outright. Unfortunately for public bettors, as mentioned above, the favorite covers this line much more often than other lines. This is especially true in the first two rounds.
Betting the NCAA tournament is easy if you think outside the box a bit. Remember, the public loves the favorite, but when this tournament starts the public starts changing their betting patterns. Capitalize on this switch in mentality and look long and hard at betting the favorites early.