One of my favorite times of the year is coming up. We will have Selection Sunday on March 13, and then the lines come out for every game. We’ll all get ready to place our wagers and go crazy for that first weekend of the tournament. Here are a few things to look out for when placing your wagers or even picking teams for your bracket pools.
When filling out your pools, always check the spreads first. It’s the best indicator for how close the games could be. If you have a No. 14 seed playing a No. 3 seed and the spread is 3.5 on a neutral court, then you know these two teams are closer talent-wise than the seeding would have you believe.
Next, check locations. How close is each team playing to home? Do their fans travel? It’s important that teams get out to early leads or have the majority of the fans there. During close games, the crowd usually starts pulling for the underdog and can make things tougher on the higher seeds.
When betting games, the most important thing for me is to always follow the money. See where the public money is coming in and fade that as much as possible. Look for reverse line movement. That’s where money is coming in on one team and the line is moving the other direction — like if a team is favored by five and all the money is coming in on that team, but the line goes to 4.5 instead of 5.5. That’s because of sharp money. That’s the side you want to be on. In that scenario, I want to bet the underdog.
During the tournament, gamblers love to bet high seeds and the over. You have to be careful with totals. Sometimes the venues teams play in during the tournament have terrible backdrops and make for difficult shooting days.
No matter what teams you bet on, good luck and make sure you are not chasing if you get down.
Photo Credits: Courtesy of Kentucky Athletics, Kansas Athletics and Duke Athletics
Originally published Feb. 16, 2022