The pandemic couldn’t have come full force at a worse time during the 2019-2020 NCAA basketball season. March Madness was in full swing when conferences started canceling tournaments, and like a domino effect, once one canceled, they all started to fall.
In probably the weirdest NCAA basketball season to date, one game was even called off at halftime, as the Big East Conference canceled their tournament during halftime of the Creighton-St. John’s game at Madison Square Garden.
At long last, though, college basketball is back. The season started on November 25th with cautious optimism that March Madness would actually happen this year. If you want to try your hand at betting on some of these games, you’re in the right place. Read on for our NCAA basketball predictions for the 2020-2021 season.
Consider Your Options
College basketball has 32 different conferences and leagues. That’s almost three times as many as college football. Because there are so many leagues and teams, oddsmakers tend to stick to the big-name conferences when they make their odds.
With more than 350 D1 teams competing this season, your best bet is to pick a few teams or conferences that you really care about and focus on those. This is also to your advantage because oddsmakers and other bettors typically focus on the big conferences, so there is more money on those games and the lines are more accurate.
If you can become an expert on the smaller conferences, though, your knowledge can pay off in a big way. The big money isn’t in these smaller conferences, so you can make a killing if you get it right.
It’s a long season and remember, you haven’t seen any of these teams on the court since March (or even earlier for teams that didn’t make the playoffs). Instead of going all out right away, pace yourself and adjust your strategy as the season plays out.
Ignore Home-Court Advantage
How much home-court advantage is worth is a toss-up in college basketball. Experts argue that it can be anywhere from 3 to 6 points, which is a huge range when you consider that in football, the disagreement is whether it’s a 3 or 3.5 point advantage.
Your best option is to ignore the national numbers and consider each team individually. Of course, this could be a moot point this year, as many schools are playing with no fans (or very few fans) in the stands.
Do Your Homework
If you want to win and want to do it often, do your homework. If a line looks too good to be true, find out why. Study the injury reports, look at the season schedule, and inform yourself.
Save yourself money and aggravation by up-to-date on the daily happenings for the teams you want to bet on.
It’s a toss-up this year, as there are six teams with under +1000 odds to win the tournament. The current favorite is Villanova, at +700, but Baylor, Iowa, and Gonzaga are hot on their heels at +800. Right behind them are Kentucky and Virginia, at +900.
Although the numbers say Villanova right now, our pick is Baylor to win it all after they beat Gonzaga in the National Championship game. Buckle up, though, as this season is bound to be a roller coaster.
NCAA Basketball is Back, Baby!
In the immortal words of Dick Vitale, NCAA basketball is back, baby! Use our tips for success this season and remember to do your homework, pace yourself, and don’t get overwhelmed!
If you’re ready to place your bets on NCAA basketball, football, and everything in between, check out some of our other picks.