How to Bet on the NCAA Tournament: Don’t Fall in Love With Dogs
- Updated: March 13, 2014
This is the time of the college basketball season where everyone likes an underdog or as they are more commonly referred to this time of year, the Cinderella. A Cinderella team is a team that pulls off a upset or two in the NCAA Tournament and makes an improbable run for the championship. This does not happen often, but when it does, it can be quite magical. It can also mean a very nice profit for the college basketball handicapper that likes to bet on underdogs.
As seen so far in the conference tournaments leading up to the NCAA tournament, dogs have been vey profitable. In fact in tournament play on Tuesday, the dogs covered at a 75% clip with two dogs claiming championship titles and winning on the money line for those handicappers that were brave enough to back them. These brave underdogs like Mount St. Mary’s and Milwaukee automatically nabbed an invite to the big dance.
The common mistake that most college hoops handicappers do is fall n love with these dogs now and like to play them again come tournament time. Fourth-seeded Mount St. Mary’s used a bunch of 3-pointers to knock off top-ranked Robert Morris 88-71 on Tuesday night and advance to the NCAA tournament. While it led to the impressive win in the championship game, it could be a weakness in the big dance if they draw a difficult matchup.
Milwaukee was another underdog that impressed the masses in the sports betting world earlier this week. Senior forward Kyle Kelm had a double-double as Milwaukee’s front line dominated, and the Panthers led the whole way during a 69-63 victory over Wright State for the Horizon League tournament title. With an invitation to the March Madness they have a chance to upset other teams in the biggest tournament of the year.
The biggest mistake that handicappers do come tournament time is assume that these teams will have the same intensity and success in the NCAA Tournament. While it is a good idea to handicap these teams in the smaller tournaments to identify possible upsets down the road, they need to reexamine the teams. It will all start with the matchups that they draw and if they can exploit their strengths against their first round opponent. The key is to keep doing the research that is needed to pick winners. With this time of year the games and the angles come fast and furious so you have to sat on your toes if you want to make a profit.
Underdogs will make money in the big dance, but do not fall in love with an underdog just because they won the league title.