Handicapping Tips for the 2019 College Basketball Championship

Handicapping Tips for the 2019 College Basketball Championship

Written by on February 12, 2019

The NCAA Men’s College Basketball Championship is only a month away. Although a month seems like a long time, it really isn’t. Soon, teams will battle it out in their conference championship tournaments.

Then, on March 18, the Selection Committee puts together the 64-team March Madness Tournament. A month out’s the perfect time to prepare for the action that awaits! Check out 4 tips that should help us score a few bucks during NCAA March Madness. And be sure to check out the latest odds to win the 2019 college basketball championship before placing any bets!

Handicapping Tips for the 2019 College Basketball Championship

Tip #1: When in doubt, take the odds

Familiarity’s a big deal in the NCAA Tournament. Bigger schools aren’t familiar with smaller schools. That’s why 12-seeds always have luck against 5-seeds. If you want to play a specific game between a big school and small school, but aren’t sure which way to go against the spread, take the points on the smaller school.

Tip #2: If the higher seed is favored, they’ll most likely cover

Odds makers and college hoops handicappers have become adept at finding the higher seeds that can upset the lower seeds. Nowadays, higher seeds sometimes show up as favorites ATS over higher seeds.

Often, those lower seeds cover because what basketball analysts consider an upset in the NCAA Tournament, isn’t an upset in NCAA Tournament handicapping, right? Don’t overlook higher seeds going off as favorites over lower seeds.

Tip #3:  1-seeds are 1-seeds for a reason

Last year, UMBC beat Virginia as a 16. However, 2-of-4 1-seeds made it all the way to the Final Four. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t play against a 1-seed. It just means that you must have a real good reason to play against the 1-seed.

For example, Xavier lost in Round 2 as a 1 to Florida State last year. The Musketeers were a good team, but they probably didn’t deserve a 1 over Duke, Purdue, or Michigan.

Tip #4:  Beware going against the traditional Big 4:  Villanova, Duke, Kansas, and Kentucky

Once the tournament starts, the Big 4 often play deep into the tournament. It comes down to coaching and Villanova’s Jay Wright, Duke’s Coach K, Kansas’ Bill Self, and Kentucky’s Coach Cal have had tournament success in the past and will continue to do so this year.

Kansas and Villanova made it to the Final Four while Kentucky lost in the Sweet 16 and Duke lost in the Elite Eight to Kansas. Pay attention to the Big 4. All 4 will likely march to the Sweet 16 again.

Tip #5: Consider playing against these 4 teams: Virginia, Michigan State, North Carolina, Tennessee, Arizona

All 4 are good, maybe even great, basketball teams. But, all 4 haven’t proven themselves yet. North Carolina can play well in the tournament. However, when Roy Williams’ teams moves on to the Elite Eight or Final Four, it’s because he has the best team on the court.

Tom Izzo’s Michigan State squads almost always underperform while Rick Barnes at Tennessee has gone to the Final Four only once and Arizona’s Sean Miller has never taken a team to the Final Four. Neither has Tony Benett at Virginia.