March Madness is nearly upon us, and with it comes a ton of NCAA Basketball betting opportunities with the office pools, individual games, proposition bets, and many others. Here are seven rules to help you make the most of your bracket and hopefully win some cash!
Seven Factors to Focus On for March Madness Wagering
1-Know the Coaches
Some of the best coaches in the nation hit a hiccup in the tournament every now and again. Tom Izzo has lost a two seed; Coach K lost as both a two and a three seed in the first round. That said, some coaches just perform poorly in March. Two coaches that immediately come to mind are Iowa’s Fran McCaffery and Tennessee’s Rick Barnes. Do your research on the coaches.
2-Strong Backcourt Play
Following the coaches, backcourt play is paramount. Very few teams that make deep runs into the NCAA Tournament have weaknesses at the guard position(s). In fact, dating back to the 2014 NCAA Tournament, only two non-point guards have been named Most Outstanding Player, and those two were Kyle Guy and Ochai Ogbaji, who are both scoring wings.
3-Shooting the Triple
This particular rule is helpful in identifying first-round upsets. The three-point shot is the great equalizer in college basketball, and if a team can get hot in the tournament and punch a higher seed in the mouth, they likely have a shot at shocking the country.
This is helpful in identifying both upsets as well as deep tournament runs. However, history has shown that it is likely the former, as most NCAA Tournament-winning clubs are well-balanced rosters that have multiple options on the offensive side of the basketball. If a team’s star player is a guard, does he shoot the three-ball well? If he is a big man, does he get to the line often? Crash the offensive glass? Stay out of foul trouble? If the answers are more yays than nays, you may have an upset pick on your hands.
At some point during the dance, a team is going to need to get stops. A trend that has become evident over the last few seasons is that national championship teams typically rank within the top 35 teams in BOTH overall offensive and defensive metrics. Visit your favorite analytics site and look for those teams and start from there.
Does the team you like have quality depth? Particularly at the pivot or the point guard position. The refs seem to come out calling games very tight in the first weekend of the dance, and having a bench that you can get three quality players off of becomes paramount to a teams success. Many teams have become accustomed to starting two-point guards, which is also something to look for as a positive.
7-Don’t Fall in Love with the Dogs
The first weekend of the NCAA Tournament is the best sports weekend of the year because, typically, anything usually can and does occur. However, just because you like a #14 seed over a number #3, that doesn’t mean they are going to run into the second weekend of the dance. Eventually, the cream always rises to the top unless there are really special circumstances, such as Saint Peter’s last season. Those teams are nice to hit, but if you pick the wrong one, you will likely bust your bracket in a hurry.
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