It’s easy to get caught up in the March Madness hype. After all, the NCAA men’s basketball tournament brings out the best in collegiate athletes. However, it’s also an excellent time for bettors to make extra earnings.
But beyond March Madness lines, there are underlying factors to consider. There are five March Madness betting analysis tips to think about before wagering.
Coaching Is Key
Most bettors focus on players when betting on a team to win the national championship. But, while players are on the court, bettors often look at the role coaches play. In particular, rookie or unknown coaches don’t usually lead their teams to the promised land. Usually, tenured coaches with a proven track record will take all the glory.
Since 2012, the only coach without significant experience to lead the national champions was Kevin Ollie of Connecticut in 2014. However, it’s worth noting that Ollie took over from the legendary Jim Calhoun. Coaching may play a manageable role in individual matchups. But when it comes to the overall tournament outcome, it is just as important as the players on the court.
The NCAA tournament is unique due to its condensed schedule. This situation means there’s little time to turn things around. That is why momentum plays such a crucial role when entering the tournament.
Peaking teams can ride a hot streak to the championship. Similarly, underdogs can find their hot hand to become the next Cinderella story. For instance, the 2011 Connecticut Huskies are a great example of how momentum can take a team to the top. Bettors should also beware of cold teams. Teams on a cold streak entering the tournament are usually the best candidates for an upset.
Teams with more experienced players will typically have the advantage over younger teams. Experience and seniority are critical during March Madness, specifically in tight matchups.
Seniority is even more important in the backcourt. Experienced guards can make a significant impact on a team’s overall performance.
For example, the 2017 North Carolina Tar Heels featured two juniors, Joel Berry and Justin Jackson. Teams going with talented freshmen may be more exciting to watch. But when it’s crunch time, the experience can mean the difference between moving on or going home.
Focusing on Successful Programs
There’s a reason why some schools are constantly vying for the national championship. These schools have historically successful programs based on committing to player development, good coaching, and financial resources.
Historically successful programs such as Duke and North Carolina have focused on recruiting good players, developing them, and hiring top coaches. Less-known schools can ride a hot hand, but it takes more than momentum to become a college basketball powerhouse.
Smaller schools such as Gonzaga took decades to leap into the national spotlight. The university has been around since the early 20th century, but it was in the 90s that Gonzaga made it to the NCAA tournament for the first time.
Hiring coach Mark Few in 1999 helped turn the Bulldogs into a perennial contender. Focusing on historically good programs helps spot the best choices for individual matchups and tournament champions.
Crunching the Numbers
March Madness wagering is meant to be fun. So, data crunching may not be on most bettors’ to-do lists. Nevertheless, bettors serious about earning some extra dollars must pay attention to the numbers.
The most common data source is the AP Top 25 poll. This poll is an excellent indicator of who’s who, but it only paints part of the picture. Other factors are at play, and consulting additional betting information sources, such as Ken Pomeroy’s stats, is a great place to start.
Other college basketball experts also offer their opinions and picks. Comparing these expert picks can help decide which bets to make on individual games and when filling out brackets.
Making mistakes is a part of the learning curve in March Madness betting. However, it can help build experience for the next tournament, so bettors should take the occasional error in stride and hope that next year will be their big win.
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