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NCAA Conference Tournaments

Betting the NCAA Conference Tournaments

The college basketball conference tournaments can be a challenging time for many sports bettors. There are a multitude of games being played with match-ups often not being decided until the night before, giving bettors, as well as the teams, little time to prepare for the next game.
There are several things to look for in the tournaments that could help put you on the right side of a wager.

Factors to Look For

Teams That Play a Unique Style Most conferences have at least one team that doesn’t really fit the mold of the majority of the teams. It can be a run-and-gun type of team in a conference that traditionally plays a more conventional game, or it can be just the opposite, a team that plays a deliberate slow-down game.
During the regular season, teams often have a day or two of practice time to get ready for such an opponent, but that isn’t the case when the tournaments begin.

If the talent level of the two teams is equal, the team with the unorthodox style will have a bit of an advantage and should be given a bit of extra consideration.

Teams That Must Win When the tournaments begin, there are some teams in the bigger conferences that don’t have to worry about making the field of 64, while other teams are on the bubble and need to win several tournament games, if not the tournament, to advance.

These bubble teams can be good bets, especially in early round games, where they’ll be small favorites over the teams in the bottom half of the standings, as the only thing better than a win is a convincing win.

Likewise, the bubble teams can be good underdog wagers in the later rounds of the tournament, especially when facing a team that doesn’t have to worry about advancing to the Big Dance.

Totals Just like with the NBA playoffs, college tournament games tend to be a bit lower-scoring, as for a number of teams, a loss will bring an end to the season. Each possession means a bit more, so teams are generally more deliberate with the ball and less likely to try and make something happen.

But don’t go and start to bet all the unders just yet, as there’s one factor that has to be considered, which is the fouling at the end of the game. Because teams know that a loss will bring an end to their season, they’re more likely to foul even when the game is by all practical purposes, out of reach.

A team behind by 12 points with 30 seconds left of a regular season game will probably be content to let the opponent dribble out the clock, but in the conference tournament, teams know they have nothing to lose and will do anything to extend the game, which can lead to an extra-ordinary amount of points scored in the final two minutes.

A better bet, many times, is to look at first half unders, especially in games involving low scoring teams. These are generally teams that must win to continue playing and nerves often can play a factor at the start of the game. A slow start by both teams may be enough to keep the score under the first half total.

Unfortunately, there’s no magical system for betting the conference tournaments and each game needs to be looked at individually. If a bettor doesn’t have enough time to look over all the games, it’s best to pick several conferences and stick with them – a practice I always recommend.

Have fun with the conference tournaments, use a bit of common sense, and hopefully, you’re betting account will have a few more dollars in it at the conclusion of the tournament season.


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