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College Basketball Betting Tips

Ten College Basketball Betting Tips

  • by Ben Cary
  • October 31, 2019
  • Picks

Returning players- 

Take a look at the total returning minutes for a specific team from the previous year. Teams with more returning minutes will have a slight edge ATS in the first few games before the market adjusts. Experience is huge and this is typically why you see the one and done type of schools struggle in the first several games of the year. Just take a look at Kentucky losing to Duke by 34 points in the first game of their season last year.

Teams with a higher percentage of returning minutes will have a better likelihood of getting off to a great start and cover spreads before the market adjusts aka catches on to their talent.

Some of the notable teams with a high percentage of returning minutes are Colorado, Illinois-Chicago, USF, Richmond, Air Force, Davidson & Saint Marys.

You can see the full list, where is complied by Bart Torvik.



This is an angle that I have absolutely taken advantage of. If you have never experienced physical exertion at higher altitude, it is a real thing. This is a story for another day, but back to how altitude affects the spread. This is something that I will start more effectively start tracking and there isn’t a lot of material on this available, but this is actually a good thing as it isn’t as known to the betting public.

The best angle to take with altitude is to target home teams who play in a high elevation facing a team from a lower elevation. Furthermore, you should target these home teams facing a team on a long road trip.

There will be several opportunities with this angle in the first half of the regular season, with many non-conference teams traveling to these locations. Look to target teams such as Colorado, Colorado State, Air Force, Northern Colorado, Utah, BYU, New Mexico and Southern Utah to name of few.


If you like a heavy favorite, get them early. If you like the dog, more times than not, wait.

When lines are released, the public tends to bet on the favorite, causing the line to go up. Last year, we had Duke at home facing Army, and the line opened at -31. The line moved from -31, where it opened, to -38 where is closed. Having a line move of seven is huge, and if you could have a -31 vs a -38, you would be feeling great. For this example, it didn’t matter what number you got as Duke won 94-72 (winning by 22).

A game where a line was significant, was North Carolina vs North Carolina Wilmington last year in December. The line opened up at -26 for the Tar Heels and the line closed at -28.5. UNC won by 28 and if you got the latest line, you wouldn’t have won money on this bet.



Track your bets-

The best way to do this is via the Action Network. This is also great if you aren’t even betting money and just want to track how you perform, essentially, in a risk-free environment. Use this link to sign up. If you are betting college basketball or are thinking about betting on CBB, downloading this app is an absolute must.

This app has personally helped be win countless bets over the last year with betting percentage numbers, sharp money numbers, and updated injury reports.



Offensive Rebounding percentage- This is one of my favorite stats to take a look at as a predictor of teams performing well ATS. There is a strong correlation with teams that have a higher ORB and winning ATS. We like to use this metric vs defensive rebounding or total offensive rebounds. This is because offensive rebounds will typically be around the hoop and lead to an immediate bucket or secondhand points. Teams that play at a slower will have less total offensive rebounds, so using total & balances this out.



Don’t bet on your favorite team-

I am just going to leave this one here. Okay, fine, if you do bet them, just don’t be shocked when they lose.  pro tip that I once heard was called the happiness hedge. Betting a small amount against your favorite team will put you in a win-win situation.



Non-conference tournaments- 

Most schools will play in some sort of non-conference early-season tournament (around Thanksgiving). These include- The Battle 4 Atlantis, Maui Invitational, Mrytle Beach Invitational and Charleton Classic (to name a few). Most schools play in these tournaments year after year, so you can date back and see how the teams performed against the spread. Remember, if you are going to be betting teams ATS you know to look at ATS records and not their straight up record. If a team is favored by 13 points and wins by 9, they lost “ATS”.


Sharp Money/Reverse Line Moves- 

Sharp money can be easily tracked on the Action Network and this is when there is a higher percentage of money on one team vs the amount bets on the team. For example- If Gonzaga faces Michigan and 60% betting tickets are going on Gonzaga but 60% of the actual money is going on Michigan, this means the sharp money is going on Michigan. The idea behind this is that bettors betting a larger amount are sharper/more experienced bettors and more times than not, you want to be on that side of the bet than the opposite.


Unders, great bets but they hurt when they lose.

Betting under the total is never the sexy bet, but when you identify games that have inflated totals, these can be some of the best bets to make all CBB season. I like to target teams with a slow pace of play and also teams that do not foul frequently.

Mastering the under the total bet will take your CBB handicapping to new heights. Remember, the public more times than not likes to bet on the over, so this causes the line to go up, which gives sharps an advantageous opportunity to bet opposite this move.


Bankroll Management-

Have a plan headed into the season has far as your unit size goes. If you are a decent CBB bettor, one unit can be your typical bet size. If you are newer or haven’t had a lot of success betting CBb, you can bet .5 or .75 as your typical play. You can also can double up on plays you really like a lot but I would only do this if you feel you have a very strong handicap.



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