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How to Handicap College Basketball

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Betting college basketball isn’t an easy thing to master, but there are several things you can look for when trying to spot winners. Here is a look at a few things I have found to really help my handicapping over the years.

Public Perception

There is no doubt that oddsmakers are very good at setting the lines, but many times they will adjust the lines towards one side when they feel the public perception of one team is much higher/lower than their actual value.

If you have a team that has lost five straight, the public is automatically going to start placing more and more bets on their opponents, but this is exactly what oddsmakers want, soon enough the team that is struggling is going to be getting more points than they should, and this is where handicapping sharks make their money.

Home/Away

Probably one of the biggest factors in college basketball is where the game is played at.  Many times you will see teams that are highly ranked giving up way to many points on the road, simply because oddsmakers know that the public will more than likely go with the team that is ranked, even if they are playing a good team on the road.

One of my favorite plays is home underdogs that are very good on the defensive end of the floor. Teams have historically shot worse on the road than they have at home, and when you combine that with excellent defense, you have gained a lot of value on the home team. This tends to work out because people will spend more time looking at a teams overall record, and not factor in so many of the other things that determine the outcome of the game.

Injuries

If you are going to be a successful college basketball handicapper, you have to keep up to date with injury reports for any team you are thinking about placing a bet on.  There aren’t a ton of days between games, and many times you won’t know if a player is injured unless he is on your favorite team or is a star player that will show up on ESPN.

You also have to be able to understand how a certain injury will hurt a specific team. A team that has a number of players who score in double figures, the loss of the teams leading scorer will not be as big in this case, but if say he were the only player on the team averaging double digits, than its more than likely going to really hurt his team.

Trends

This is a very popular handicapping tool used by many of the experts, but without incorporating the other factors its not as effective as you might think.  If you were to look at the trends for a college basketball game at covers.com, you will see that both teams have trends favoring them to win and trends favoring them to lose. The key here is being able to spot which trends actually factor into the matchup that you are trying to figure out.

For instance say one team has a trend that says they are 13-6 in their last 19 games played on Thursday, while the other team  has a trend that says they are 9-5 ATS in their last 14 games as a home underdog of 5.0-10.5. The  home underdog trend is a much bigger factor than how a team has done on a certain day. Spotting which trends actually matter takes some practice, but over time this can be an extremely useful tool in helping you profit in college basketball.

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About the Author: Jack Jones has been one of the top experts on the site while competing against roughly 80 of the best handicappers in the world each year. He has made most of his money on the hardwood. In fact, he has finished in the Top-5 in college basketball each of the last three seasons (#5 2011-12, #5 2012-13, #3 2013-14). He was also the No. 1 NBA handicapper from 2012-13. As of early April, Jack has compiled an 802-631 basketball run that has seen his $1,000 game players profit $124,030. He was the No. 3 College Football handicapper in 2012-13. While he doesn't have any top finishes in the NFL, he has produced steady profits without killing his clients. Jack also was your No. 7 MLB handicapper in 2009 and backed it up with a No. 8 MLB finish in 2010. No matter the sport, the one thing you can count on with Jack Jones is that he won't leave any stone unturned. You'll know why he is on a game with his detailed analysis, and more times than not, you will come out well ahead against your book. Head on over to Jack's premium pick page to see what he has in store for tonight!
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