Early March Madness Betting Strategy Guide

Posted by Aaron . on February 2, 2016 in

It’s still barely February, but those of you who are diehard basketball fans are already thinking about those March Madness brackets — and thinking about placing your NCAA bets. Let’s take a look at some rules for you to consider before you call in or log a single wager.

Early March Madness Betting Strategy Guide

So that 28-4 team that looks really good on paper? If you haven’t watched them play, don’t put a big bet down on them. Even if they built that record in a conference that is traditionally strong, find some game tape on them. That way you can get a sense of how they play — and how gritty they are. Once they start hitting strange competition on the floor in the tournament, how do you think they will measure up? How do they deal with adversity when the other team goes on a run — or when they can’t buy a bucket? These are crises that strike in the NCAA Tournament, so you need to know how the team you like will respond before you lay down a bunch of money on them.

Don’t pick an upset just because you haven’t picked one yet.

Yes, there will be upsets. In a year like this, when there aren’t really any dominant programs, there could be a lot of them. That doesn’t mean that you have to go through and pick all your #10 seeds to beat all the #7 seeds, because that isn’t going to happen. If you have a lower seed that you’ve watched, or that came through a gritty conference, playing a higher seed floating along on name recognition and its position in a Power 5 conference, consider the upset — but don’t pick that gritty team until you’ve seen some tape on them.

Remember to analyze the matchups.

You can’t automatically pick all the 24-6 teams to knock off the 20-11 teams. That’s not how it works — matchups are more important than final records. Consider Baylor, for example. They are the #15 team in the nation right now, and they are scary good more often than not. They have the athletes to run just about every team in the country out of the gym. However, instead of going into a lockdown man to man defense, they run a 1-3-1 zone that is almost as ill-advised as Gene Keady’s combover used to be. This is why Duke was able to knock them out of the Elite Eight a couple of years ago, because all you have to do to beat a 1-3-1 zone is go over the top and then penetrate down the baseline, waiting to dish until the whole cross has collapsed near you, or taking that uncontested baseline three. Each team has its own foibles, so knowing how they match up is crucial for making your picks.

Should you make a parlay?

A lot of pro gamblers stay away from the parlay because of the decreased probability of a winner. However, you can up your profits significantly by winning that second (and especially that third) game. You do need to do your homework on each game, but if you have done the research and feel solid, bet about half of what you would normally put on a game on a parlay — and you’ll reap greater rewards if you’re right.