by Joe Paciella - 10/09/2007
Basketball season's going to be here quicker than a Rasheed Wallace ejection. So you need to have a solid game plan to attack with. Here are a few basketball betting tips:
Betting basketball totals - It's the over/under of basketball. Betting basketball totals can be lucrative for bettors if the proper research is done. The biggest difference between the total for basketball and football is the amount the spread can shift. In an NFL game, a big move is a line that moves a point. In NBA basketball betting, lines can move anywhere from a couple of points to even up to 10. If the bettor can spot one of these initially skewed lines, the payday should be good. Things to look for here are good/poor home or road shooting percentages, long road trips, or, if two opposing styles meet, which team will control the game more.
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There are some other ways to exploit a total close to game time as well. Sudden injuries and illnesses can affect a team's output, and be too close to tip-off for the general public to throw any substantial cash on one side to make the line move. That's where you, the sharp bettor, come in and load up.
Betting basketball moneylines - Money lines are good to look at for college basketball betting. Teams that typically fare well at home are usually great money line plays, since all they need to do is win. The return for the favorite in a money line play is obviously not as good as if you took that team to cover a spread, but it's much better than writing a check for the loss if that team ends up winning but not covering.
There are also good ways to spot places to pick the underdog, and cash in big on a money line play. These games are called "trap" games, and usually fall in between two big games for an opposing team. For example, let's just say that Ohio State plays at home against Indiana, then on the road at both Purdue and Wisconsin; the Purdue game would be a trap game. Here's why: we all know that Indiana and Wisconsin would be tough tests for the Buckeyes, but a closer look would reveal that Purdue boasted a 16-1 home record last year. There would be great value in taking the Boilermakers in a money line play, since they would surely be the underdog and would have an excellent chance to win. Check the schedule to see if any big time schools have stretches of their season such as this one.
Beware the National TV Novice - Those NCAA teams that normally do not play on national television can be a telltale sign of which side will come out on top. Before the week begins, scout the television schedule to see which school will be playing on the road for a "Big Monday" or "ACC Wednesday" game, and take notice as to how many times that program actually plays on national TV. Wager large if that seldom-televised school also has a fairly young team.
Major Value in the Mid-Major - Lastly, there can be great value in the NCAA mid-major. Tiny schools that lose more talented players to big universities are now showing that they can hang by keeping their players for all four years and playing as one cohesive unit. Be sure to spot the middies that have senior guard play and coaches that have been there since the Taft administration. The squares will surely load up on a North Carolina, only to have a team such as Butler back door cut their way to a back door cover.