The college basketball season is rapidly approaching. College basketball can be an extremely overwhelming because there are over 300 teams in Division I. Needless to say, it can be very tough to be an expert on every single team, especially at the beginning of the season. Let’s take a look at three ways I think you can be be prepared and find edges early in the season on the college hardcourt.
1. Examine Teams With New Coaches First - Why would you want to spend a bunch of time on teams that are very similar to a year ago? If the public masses know the team easily, you better believe the oddsmakers are going to know that team well also. Look for teams with a new coaching staff. These new coaches are likely to want to do things differently. Will there be a faster or slower tempo? Maybe they will switch from man to zone defense. Major turnover gives you more of a chance to have an edge on the books.
2. Focus Most On Under the Radar Conferences - It’s easiest to find a lot of good information on the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, etc. Why not just learn those teams inside and out? There’s nothing wrong with knowing the major schools inside and out, but focusing on them first is a poor strategy. The oddsmakers know these teams much better too. We are looking to uncover value and early in the season there is absolutely more value in the smaller conferences. Start small and work your way up to bigger conferences.
3. Back the Veterans Early - While there are some exceptions to the rule, veteran teams are more often worthy of your backing in the early season. The teams who have had a chance to work together for many years and have the same coaching staff are a couple steps ahead in November and December. I don’t like to back inexperienced teams early in the year, especially when they are on the road. Even the teams who have an ultra high ceiling can look pretty bad in the early going.
The large slates of games every day in college hoops can be overwhelming. I recommend working your way into it and being careful with your bankroll. The season is a very long grind!