college basketball picks & handicapping tips

10 Tips for Making Better Picks

1. Get to know your team
Study your teams, learn their strengths and weaknesses, know their home and road records, and evaluate them objectively. Pay attention to changes in the quality of a team from one season to the next as players graduate and changes occur in coaching staffs.

2. Value betting - find low risk high reward action
Successful basketball gambling requires getting value on your bets ... basically this means getting better than the "true" odds on your team. For instance, if your objective prediction for a game suggests that Duke should be receiving 5 points but are in fact receiving 8, then this is a value betting proposition. In this case, the risk to reward is very much in your favor, making Duke a strong play.

3. Bet against public opinion
Certain teams always have a strong public following. For years, the Chicago Bulls were one such team, having captured the public's admiration during the Jordan years. High-value bets can often be found by betting against these teams because the odds makers adjust the line to reflect the expected amount of public money ... thus, the underdog is often listed with better odds or a larger pointspread than they realistically deserve.

4. Stay abreast of injuries
Watch the injuries, but don't overreact to them. Judge the importance of an injured player and the quality of his back up. Remember that second-string players are often highly qualified and are especially motivated when replacing a starter, so it often pays to bet on a team missing its best player. The public normally overreacts to injuries so you may find good value in this situation. However, beware of situations where there is more than one injured stud or there is an injury to the team's captain or inspirational leader.

5. Bet on motivated teams
Sometimes a team doesn't play up to its potential and, at other times, may play well above what is indicated by their overall record - especially in critical games. Determine how important a game is to a team. If the team has already clinched a playoff spot, they may be more focused on the post-season than the present game. Conversely, a team facing a must-win situation to make the playoffs may be highly motivated. A team out to revenge a defeat earlier in the season may also be very motivated.

6. Bet with your head, not your heart
Make an honest assessment of a team's chances, not one based on emotions. Don't bet on a team simply because it's your favorite without considering the real odds. Be selective and remember that you will only find value betting situations in a small number of games. Betting the entire NCAA schedule every week is a risky proposition at best.

7. Don't chase your losses
When you do run into the inevitable losing streak, don't panic and make the common mistake of betting larger amounts in an attempt to recoup your losses. Instead, examine your handicapping methods and reduce your betting amounts until you start winning again. Remember - chasing your losses is the single biggest mistake a gambler can make. Once you start winning again, increase your bets slightly, but don't go overboard - unfortunately, like losing streaks, winning streaks also come to an end.

8. Don't bet just for the sake of betting
There is no shame in passing up a bet. Remember that there are sports betting opportunities almost every day of the year. Don't bet simply for the sake of gambling - be patient and wait for good value betting opportunities.

9. Practice smart money management
Good money management is just as important as picking winners. Increase your betting amount only when showing an overall profit and reduce your betting amount when you are losing. Try to set a maximum percentage of your betting capital that will be placed on any one bet in order to minimize your exposure ... many professional handicappers suggest that no more than five percent of your wagering capital be at risk on any one bet, no matter how strongly you feel about the game.

10. Keep accurate records
Accurate records of your wagering activity are essential for increasing your winning percentage. For example, do you tend to bet your home team or your favorite team more than you should? What are the current trends - are more underdogs winning early in the season? By maintaining records of statistics as well as your betting history will help you to avoid destructive wagering patterns and, at the same time will enable you to spot trends that may give you an edge.

 

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