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Preparing to Bet College Basketball

Prepare to bet college basketball this season.

Key Points

Ė There are a few factors every bettor should examine before they bet college basketball.

Ė Bettors should know that coaching plays a much bigger role in the performance of college basketball teams compared to other sports.

Preparing to Bet College Basketball

If you love college basketball, youíll love it even more when you win more bets on the sport. A new season comes around every November and smart bettors do some preparation in advance of the season.

Even if you donít prepare right away, you can still get ready for the meat of the season which usually starts after the holidays. Teams begin their conference schedules and NCAA bracketology really begins to take shape. Having the ability to spot undervalued college basketball teams can help produce winners throughout the season.

If you havenít already, here are a few strategies you can put in place to prepare to bet college basketball this season.

Check Returning Players

One of the best and easiest places to start preparing to bet college basketball is by looking at rosters. Bettors should research the teams or conferences that they plan to be betting on during the season. Be sure to have an easy-to-use, technology driven sportsbook too.

Check the rosters for returning players. Nothing beats experience in college basketball. Teams with a large percentage of returning players typically do better than similarly talented teams made up of younger players.

Just because a team lost three or four players doesnít necessarily handicap them going into the next season. There could be four or five players that received significant playing time the previous year and all return.

Itís worth noting that bettors should look into any transfers. In todayís day and age, the transfer portal is a big deal and teams can greatly enhance their roster with the addition of experienced players from other programs. Some coaches rely heavily on the transfer portal. Be sure to check if the teams you are watching have any impact transfers. That will affect how you bet college basketball during the season.


Bet College Basketball - Coaching Changes

Coaching changes in college basketball have a much greater effect than in most any other sport. The influence of a coachís system can have a profound effect upon the performance of a team in a short amount of time.

When you bet college basketball, remember this. A good coach with a bad team is more likely to defeat a bad coach with a better team. If you think about it, there are plenty of examples. A great coach takes over a poor team and they instantly qualify for the NCAA tournament in the coachís first year.

Think about a coachís style too. Virginiaís Tony Bennett has built a college basketball power by playing what is known as the Pack Line defense. He has had relatively few four- and five-star recruits until recently. Thatís a great coach who wins games with weaker talent. Teams that play against Virginia could be good targets for team totals bets.

Too many bettors overlook the impact of a head coach or even assistant coaches in college basketball. Be sure to track any coaching changes.

Conference Strength

As you prepare to bet college basketball, one of the most important factors in determining a teamís success will be the strength of the conference in which they play. In most conferences, teams play all or a majority of the other teams in the conference twice. The majority of a teamís games come in conference play.

Repeatedly facing good teams in a conference helps teams get better. Familiarizing yourself with all of the teams in a conference can help you as you bet college basketball over the course of a season.

To help familiarize yourself with a conference, be sure to have an online wagering portal that allows you to check lines and odds, scores, and much more.

It also helps when March Madness rolls around. There are plenty of solid sleepers that come out of strong conferences. Teams with what appear to be mediocre records go into their conference tournament and the NCAA tournament and do very well. Itís because of the tough conference schedule they played.

Impact of Freshmen When You Bet College Basketball

Over the past decade or so, college basketball has seen a number of freshmen that have an instant impact on their teams and their performance. Zion Williamson, Chet Holmgren, and Cade Cunningham are all examples of players who started immediately for their college teams and had a profound effect on their teamsí performances.

Itís not that freshmen are necessarily more talented than they have been in the past. Today, first-year players are more physically and mentally prepared to play right away. Many of them play one season and then declare for the NBA draft. Williamson and Cunningham were No. 1 picks in the NBA draft. Holmgren was selected No. 2 in 2022.

Coaches are more willing to start freshmen now. They are aware that many of these top athletes are likely ďone-and-doneĒ type players that will leave for the NBA after their freshman season. If you like to bet college basketball, you might like betting NBA point spreads too.

Itís not just the high-profile freshmen either. Other first-year players can provide much needed depth for a team. When you bet college basketball, you will have more success if you understand the impact of any freshmen or other first-year players.


The conference schedule is a good indicator of how well or how poorly a time might perform during a season. Donít forget, teams also play a fair amount of non-conference games particularly at the beginning of a new season.

A relatively easy non-conference schedule can pad the win-loss record. However, it might result in a record that isnít all that indicative of how good (or bad) a team really is. Every season, there are a handful of teams with 26, 27, or even 28 wins that are left out of the NCAA tournament. Itís because their strength of schedule wasnít that great.

Teams that play some quality opponents in the early season often find that they are better later on because of it. Many teams like to play in early season tournaments that include ranked teams. Playing these ranked teams helps them get ready for the conference play as well as the end-of-season tournaments.

As part of any good basketball betting strategies, be sure to look at a teamís schedule as a whole.

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