Tips to Win Betting March Madness on a Budget – Live from Las Vegas!

BY MATTY D.

The chaos of March Madness doesn’t have to swallow you, or your modest sports betting budget, whole. Check out my top 5 tips to enjoy sports betting March Madness with some moderation.

Tip #1: Bet the Futures

Betting the futures is a great way to prolong your enjoyment of March Madness.

Tip #2: Shop around

If you like an udnerdog to actually win the entire tournament, shop around for the best price. You might be surprised to see the wide discrepancy. For example, an 8 seed that I like to win the National Championship is 75-1 at one casino, but 125-1 at a casino right across the street. Even on a five dollar bet, that can cost you $250!

Watch the other 3 tips in the video below:

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Click here to see my top 5 NCAAB future values for March Madness 💵 💵

11 Injuries to Monitor Before Filling out your Bracket – March Madness 2023

March Madness 2023 is underway and this article is tracking the most important injuries to monitor. That includes watching how teams are adjusting after losing stars. Don’t fill out your 2023 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament bracket before checking on the health statuses here!

BY MATTY D.

The new headline is to track the status of a starting guard for the odds-on favorite to win the 2023 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship. Marcus Sasser missed the AAC Championship game against Memphis and is questionable going forward.

Photo courtesy uhcougars.com

Unfortunately, this update also comes as one of the best players on one of the best teams just tore his ACL. Zakai Zeigler, the 5-9 spark plug for the Vols offense and defense just suffered the injury on the eve of March. Despite the cruel turn of events for this surging sophomore, he took to Twitter with a very positive message:

Aside from Zeigler’s major injury, there are many student athletes still in recovery mode. Here are the top 11 injuries to monitor while those players are nursing different ailments. See more of a summary of how this affects each team in alphabetical order below.

Top Injuries to Monitor across College Basketball

To recap, here is a top 10 list (plus some) of the most important injuries to monitor:

14. Jett Howard – Michigan guard
13. Chucky Hepburn – Wisconsin guard 
12.  Moussa Cisse – Oklahoma State center
11. Anthony Anderson III – Oklahoma State guard
– – – – – – – – – PROJECTED CUT – – – – – – – – –
11. Nijel Pack  – Miami guard
10. Efton Reid III   – Gonzaga center
9. Federiko Federiko – Pittsburgh center
8.  Kendrick Davis – Memphis guard
7. Timmy Allen – Texas forward
6. Ben Vander Plas – Virginia forward
5. Zach Freemantle  – Xavier forward
4. Keyonte George – Baylor guard
3. *Jaylen Clark – UCLA wing
2. *Zakai Zeigler – Tennessee guard
1. Marcus Sasser – Houston guard

In the case of 2 of the top 3 injuries here, there is no chance for a recovery. Both Jaylen Clark and Zakai Zeigler are *out for the remainder of the season. In these and similar cases, we are monitoring the team adjustments instead of the personal recoveries.

Players recently returned from injury add to resurgent college basketball teams

It’s not all bad news on this list. In fact, there’s a strong handful of players who are recently back into lineups and taking their teams to the next level. Nick Smith Jr. is adding a scoring punch to an Arkansas lineup that suddenly has found itself on the bubble. Justin Moore has a month under his belt after a torn Achilles. His Villanova Wildcats looks like Nova once again. And Dariq Whitehead has been back for Duke with the Blue Devils finally safely off the bubble.

See more about each team affected in alphabetical order below.

Arkansas and its future NBA lottery pick Nick Smith Jr. navigates knee “management”

Nick Smith Jr. returned to action on February 11th after missing nearly two months with “knee management.”  He played just 21 game minutes in his first pair of games, but then averaged around 35 minutes after that.  In fact, he played all 40 minutes in a close matchup against the Alabama Roll Tide in a game the Razorbacks were fighting from behind for most of.  He dropped 24 points and grabbed 6 points in that game.  It looks like Nick Smith Jr. is back to his NBA prospect self, but check his injury status pregame during March Madness just in case! 

Photo courtesy arkansasrazorbacks.com

Baylor back in the habit of reloading talent

Keyonte George missed a game at Oklahoma State in late February, but it almost didn’t matter. The freshman shooting guard has glided right into a productive role with Baylor this season. But in his absence, the Baylor Bears just reloaded again. This team is already accustomed to losing one or two first round picks to the NBA every year. Now, it’s also been in the unfortunate habit of having injured players miss some of all of the season. Baylor has been in postseason position and jockeying for the Big 12 title this season, despite not having veteran forward Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua. Now he is back.

In that Oklahoma State game that George missed with an ankle sprain, seldom used guard Dale Bonner filed right in with 15 points in 32 minutes. He had rarely played in the previous few games. Baylor coach Scott Drew has an abundance of riches. This team should be feared as a top pick to win it all.

Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images

Duke started its season without the services of All-American freshmen, center Dereck Lively II and small forward Dariq Whitehead. In late February, Duke had a completely clean injury report according to Covers.com. Still, double-check these youthful Dukies for any bumps and bruises.

Gonzaga monitors the injury status of its rim protector off the bench Efton Reid III

If the Gonzaga Bulldogs are going to make a deep run in the tournament, they need to stand tall at the rim. After 7-foot something Chet Holmgren left for the NBA, the Bulldogs were a little thin on the inside. They added Efton Reid III, a big man from LSU. When Reid popped up on the injury report in late February, it was a concern for Gonzaga’s overall depth.

Reid has returned to action in March, but has played sparingly. He logged only four minutes in the WCC Championship game against St. Mary’s.

Memphis monitors a motley crew of injuries to its ball-handlers

Point guard Keynote Kennedy punched a wall after a loss to Houston and effectively sidelined himself for the rest of the regular season. He was the Tigers third leading scorer. Its top scorer and senior transfer Kendrick Davis also missed that game with a bad ankle. Davis averages around 21 points a game. Both of these teams are worth monitoring as Memphis will likely be an underdog in both its own conference tournament and if/when it makes the NCAA Basketball Tournament. They’ll need all hands on deck (and not against walls).

Miami misses Nijel Pack in a game they’d like to have back

Florida State stormed back to beat the Miami Hurricanes in a game their tournament seeding will likely want back. Florida State isn’t good this year. However, it’s important to note that K-State transfer guard Nijel Pack missed that game for Miami with a lower body injury. Watch this injury closely so that Miami doesn’t suffer anymore surprises.

Michigan plays it safe with Jett Howard’s injury, looks to get on right side of bubble

The coach’s son Jett Howard missed the Wisconsin game with an ankle injury in late February where the Wolverines nearly lost. One more loss in a close game like this might cost Michigan its tournament berth. Watch Jett Howard’s status. He is averaging 14.4 points per game for a Michigan team that can struggle at times to score.

(Missouri’s Kobe Brown out with an illness February 26th – should be short term).

Oklahoma State tournament chances on thin ice while starting center and guards out

It’s never good to have your starting center and starting guard out while you’re trying to play your way off the bubble. But that’s exactly the position that Oklahoma State finds itself in. Moussa Cisse and Anthony Anderson III are both missing time as we roll into March. Anderson’s injury might be more long-standing with him dealing with a wrist injury.

Pittsburgh wins play-in-game despite not having a center in the starting lineup

The nation learned who Federiko Federiko was on Tuesday night as the tournament tipped off with its play-in games. The Panthers center was listed as a game time decision, according to Pittsburgh Sports now, but he ended up sitting out the game while nursing a knee injury. The nation watched as the Panthers battled to win a tight one point game against Mississippi State. Jorge Diaz Graham did a nice job as a substitute center, stretching Miss St. center Tolu Smith outside of the paint. The smaller lineup worked out for Pittsburgh.

(TCU’s Eddie Lampkin Jr. out with undisclosed injury late February).

Tennessee suffers major blow with Zakai Ziegler’s injury

Ziegler’s injury leaves the Vols very thin at point guard. The Volunteers just lost Kennedy Chandler to the NBA (and Memphis Grizzlies) after a one-and-done campaign. Shooting guard Santiago Vescovi is expected to do more ball handling. Tyreke Key is also expected to get more minutes.  

Wisconsin watches Chucky Hepburn’s injury status

Wisconsin’s starting point guard Chucky Hepburn missed some minutes against Michigan in a critical game to finish February. He remains on the injury report with a lower body injury. Hepburn played the last few games for the Badgers, including a first round win against Bradley in the NIT Tournament.

Xavier’s Zach Freemantle ruled out for remainder of the season

For a second straight season, Zach Freemantle’s foot is finding itself on the injury report at the most inconvenient time. As March began, the power forward was ruled out for the remainder of the season. This leaves a gaping hole in the front-court of Sean Miller’s core unit. Fellow big man Jack Nunge will now need to continue (Freemantle has been out for weeks) picking up the slack on the boards and with help defense. The power forward was enjoying the fruits of a veteran team playing winning basketball with Sean Miller’s return to the Musketeers sidelines. Xavier is a 3 seed and will play against upset-minded 14 seed Kennesaw State. Kennesaw State has surged onto the national radar with an impressive program turnaround against coach Amir Abdur-Rahim.

UCLA loses super athletic wing Jaylen Clark for the season in major postseason loss

UCLA has a major problem on its hands. Despite how consistent guards Tyger Campbell and Jaime Jaquez Jr. have been over their careers, the Bruins rely on some offense you can’t draw up. This is where Jaylen Clark has come into play. He is a great slasher, finisher, and just the type of super athletic wing who you don’t have to feed the ball to in order to get productivity. His athleticism finds a way. Clark had more than doubled his offensive productivity from a season ago and averaged 16 points a game. He gave Campbell and Jaquez a great third option in the early or late stages of a shot clock. And Clark is a great defender. Now, UCLA will head into the tournament without their most athletic wing. This is a major problem.

Staff writer Ben Bolch of the LA Times writes how UCLA’s title chances aren’t over with Clark’s season-ending Achilles injury. I would disagree.

Bolch points to how UCLA went 6-1 while freshman guard Amari Bailey was out for a month with a foot injury. This is an apples to oranges comparison to the superior athleticism that Jaylen Clark brings on the floor. Bailey is a primary ball-handler, which UCLA already has in full supply with Tyger Campbell. Instead of thinking about Bailey as a replacement, freshman Dylan Andrews is more of the prototypical wing who Bruins fans need to look forward to stepping up.

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College Basketball Futures 2023: Best NCAAB Values as Long-shots Right Now

These college basketball teams are all high value picks as longshots to win it all.

BY MATTY D.

This has been a volatile year for college basketball’s top 25. After the long-standing favorite of Houston, numbers 2 through 10 have been a game of musical chairs. The Houston Cougars currently sit at 6-1 odds to win it all.

Click here to see the volatile fluctuations of team stocks over this season.

Best longshot odds to win the 2023 NCAA Basketball Championship

Meanwhile, college basketball fans have been treated to some real surprising performances from mid-major teams this season. This article outlines my favorite value picks for current odds to win it all. Two of those teams have improved from an off-the-radar mid-major to a staple of the AP Top 25. Only one of my 5 value teams from the start of the season have stuck on this top 5 list.

#5 Florida Atlantic 175-1 to Win NCAA Basketball Tournament

The Owls have come out of nowhere, so if you’re scratching your head, welcome to my list. The Owls haunted the Florida Gators and their high hopes for a tournament caliber year by dominating them in Gainesville. That was the start. Florida Atlantic continued their momentum into conference play where they’ve beaten tournament-relevant programs like UAB, North Texas and Western Kentucky. They have repeatedly been ranked in weekly polls in the 21-25 territory. Yet, they’re somehow still 175-1 to win it all. That, according to FanDuel Sportsbook app on February 15th.

The Owls can knock down the three. FAU’s bench can score — its two top scorers come off the bench. They rank among the top 10 teams in the nation in scoring and have a perimeter surrounded with combo guards who can create their own shots. Take your shot by considering this heavy underdog for at least a Final Four ticket. The Conference USA teams are always dangerous in March Madness (think Middle Tennessee and North Texas).

Photo courtesy fausports.com

#4 Arkansas Razorbacks 50-1 to Win NCAA Basketball Tournament

This is the only SEC team to currently make the list, but there could have been many others. Missouri, Auburn, and Texas A&M are also very intriguing. Arkansas makes the list because tits resume is 95% stamped for approval and a tournament team. Those other teams may be in the 65-75% range. At 50-1, Arkansas carries the flag for a conference that is still largely underrated by the futures market. If you are a futures shopper you should consider investing in the conference itself to win it all. You might even find a 4-1 or 5-1 steal and suddenly be invested in all the high level teams — Tennessee, Alabama, the list goes on.

As for Arkansas, the roster has turned over completely for 2022-2023, but the identity remains the same. Late season news for Arkansas has been a mixed bag. They took some questionable losses like losing to Vanderbilt in mid-January and losing to Mississippi State at home mid-February. The good news is that super hyped NBA prospect combo guard Nick Smith Jr. has recently returned from his knee injury. Smith Jr. is slowing gaining more minutes and productivity as March approaches.

Smith Jr. and fellow freshman Anthony Black were especially gelling in an SEC tournament game against Auburn where they scored 14 and 19 respectively with great efficiency. This team is hitting its stride as the tournament nears.

The Hogs defend hard, play fast, and challenge at the rim on both ends. This is a better team on the defensive end, ranking in kenpom’s top 20. The Mitchell brothers offer some size and athleticism down low. Jordan Walsh is really fun to watch with his Dennis Rodman-like tenacity. The team is loaded with McDonald’s All-Americans (three current, one more committed). If you are reading mock NBA draft boards and like this team because of prospect Nick Smith Jr., don’t. Smith has not been a consistent piece of this lineup. That said, if he emerges into the rotation during the start of the tournament itself, it might be time to jump on the bandwagon. That might be a guy, and this might be a team, looking to improve its stock greatly on the national stage.

Photo courtesy Razorbacks Men’s Basketball on Twitter

#3 College of Charleston 400-1 to Win NCAA Basketball Tournament

This one honestly made me do a double-take. I can’t believe College of Charleston is being disrespected in this way. If 400-1 is too rich for your blood (or too thrifty in this case), then you should at least consider CoC at 90-1 or 100-1 to make a magical run to a Final Four. This is a tournament team. The Cougars have cracked the AP Top 25 a few weeks ago and have stuck there in the 18-25 range. Even though they play in a mid-major conference, they may not need to win their conference tournament championship. However, they did win their conference tournament and earned a spot as a 3 loss team.

Two losses in conference took this team from 300-1 to 400-1. That includes a four point loss to Hofstra and a one point loss to Drexel. Otherwise, the Cougars only loss was against UNC early in the season. The Cougars struggled with Towson which has a great scorer in Nicholas Timberlake. The way that College of Charleston beat Towson in comeback fashion in early March and again during the Colonial Athletic Tournament shows that the Cougars can take a punch. They were the hunted all season long within their conference.

This team is especially a case where you need to shop around as a futures investor. The odds for this team are all over the place. On March 10th, three major sportsbooks had them listed with large discrepancies. Ceasars had them listed as 500-1 underdogs to win it all, while FanDuel had them at 400-1 and MGM at 250-1 (according to VegasInsider.com).

Anyone who buys this ticket should also be rooting for Florida Atlantic to win its conference tournament. Like the Owls, the Cougars don’t want to put this decision in the tournament committee hands. And if both Florida Atlantic and College of Charleston get upset in their own conference tournament, it’s highly unlikely that both get a tournament bid. Although, it would be really cool if they played each other in a play-in game! I would love that more than seeing some middle-of-the-pack power six teams play each other.

This was the conference standings for CoC in mid-February showing a dominant record.

C of C has been totally running their league opponents out of the gym. They are consistently winning by 15, 20, 25 points or more. The are undefeated in the Colonial Athletic Conference and only have one loss to their name at 21-1. It has wins over Kent State, Virginia Tech, Davidson and Colorado State. Its only loss is to UNC. Bracketologist Joe Lunardi has them slotted as a 10 seed. Even if they lose one or two games in their conference, you could easily see this squad as a play-in-game 11 or 12 seed. Head coach Pat Kelsey has come over from Winthrop where he has brought his renowned conditioning and winning ways. The Cougars are deep, tall, can shoot, sprint to the ball, and play a ton of guys. A recent box score showed Kelsey playing 13 people. I didn’t even know that was possible. In that game, 10 players scored and 10 players played 9 minutes or more. Kelsey gives his guys no excuses not to run to a loose ball, hustle to a rebound, and get out in transition. The makeup of this team is perfectly suited for a tournament situation. If a 6 or 7 seed overlooks them, they’ll at least get the attention of the 2 or 3 seed in the next matchup.

Photo courtesy CofCSports.com

#2: San Diego State 75-1 to Win NCAA Basketball Tournament

Could this be the year that the Mountain West actually clicks? If it does, this will be the team to do it. However, there is reason for suspicion. The Mountain West went winless in last season’s tournament. This year, there is a lot of noise about the conference being fourth, fifth, or sixth best in the country. They compare favorably to the ACC, which will likely get seven teams in the tournament. With so many teams with a NET ranking in the 30s or 40s, you’d assume that the Mountain West would also get multiple bids. New Mexico is fading down the stretch of the season. Nevada and Boise State are also projected tournament teams at this point. However, it’s the Aztecs that have the experienced nucleus and chronically under-the-radar culture.

Longtime Steve Fisher assistant, and now longtime San Diego State coach, Brian Dutcher has his Aztecs playing great defense as always. The Aztecs actually rank 27th on Kenpom.com in defensive efficiency, which is perhaps lower than you’d expect from the standard set there.

If you watch college basketball, the cast of characters at San Diego State is comically familiar. It seems guys like Matt Bradley and Nathan Mensah have been there for a lifetime. And they’ve achieved so much. The starting lineup features four seniors and one junior. Bradley has reached a new level with his offensive production. He is averaging 17 points in the month of February. I would hate to have a futures ticket on a young team like Arkansas and have to face a veteran bunch like San Diego State in the tournament. ESPN college basketball Seth Greenberg talks about being “invested in winning.” By that standard, it’s time that the Aztecs commitment pays dividends. The team’s Twitter hashtag is even “The Time is Now.” If you have any belief that the Mountain West will rebound and represent itself well in the tournament this season, San Diego State is a no-brainer.

#1 Drake Bulldogs 300-1 to win a College Basketball Championship

#1 Drake Bulldogs 300-1 to win a College Basketball Championship

If it weren’t for the pandemic, this team might be a household name as an underdog similar to how Oral Roberts will be perceived coming into the 2023 March Madness. Drake is big, experienced, and boast the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year. In a conference that recently sent Cinderella Loyola Chicago to the Final 4, no one should be sleeping on the Bulldogs. Point guard Roman Penn is a powerful asset as an ambidextrous and wise veteran player. The Siena transfer had battled injuries throughout his collegiate career but is looking poised to lead a deep run in another tournament. Drake ran Bradley out of the gym in its conference championship game in St. Louis. Bradley was considered to be a good team. You don’t have to worry about this mid-major team not having the size to battle against a power 5 school. Darnell Brodie is built like a right guard but can guard any center nationwide. Brodie also has a sweet stroke from the charity stripe, just saying. Book the Bulldogs, Owls or Cougars in your Sweet 16 if the bracket allows for it and make for an exciting March Madness!

Removed from List: Creighton Bluejays 30-1 to Win NCAA Basketball Tournament

***Creighton has been removed from this list, as the cutoff for how to define an “underdog” has been drawn at the 60-1 threshold. Still, if you might like the argument below to buy in at 30-1.

Creighton’s futures tickets have been selling at a discount since a stretch when they lost 5 of 6 to start December. After then going on an 8 game winning streak, they just lost on Valentine’s Day to another ranked team at Providence. But when you look closer at the details, you see that this is still a Final Four caliber team. Creighton started the season ranked in the Top 10 of the AP Top 25. Futures for Creighton to win a NCAA Basketball Championship started around 35-1, dropped as low as 80-1, and have now regained strength around 35-1 again. After the Providence loss, the odds stuck at 25-1. If you are shopping, you could likely still grab this team at 30-1 or even 35-1.

Creighton has regained its footing with a solid performance within the Big East. However, its non-conference wins early in the season might be its saving grace. The Big 12 and SEC get a lot of hype as the best conferences in basketball. Well, Creighton beat Texas Tech (Big 12) and Arkansas (SEC) right before that losing streak started. And, the losing streak could certainly be attributed to losing their starting center, Ryan Kalkbrenner, to injury. Once Kalkbrenner returned, Creighton went 4-2 immediately. The loses they suffered during that rocky stretch included respectable losses to probably tournament teams. They lost to Arizona, BYU, Texas and Marquette in that stretch. This gives you an idea of how aggressively this team was scheduling. They had high hopes since challenging eventual champion Kansas in last year’s NCAA tournament.

Creighton was 65-1 to win it all on the FanDuel Sportsbook app on January 25, 2023.

Creighton’s athletic wings Arthur Kaluma and Trey Alexander set the tone for a stellar defensive squad. South Dakota State transfer Baylor Scheierman is a strong guard who can score at all three levels. He was arguably the most sought after transfer in America this offseason. And sophomore point guard Ryan Nembhard is a poised point guard who can control and take over games. Despite the turbulence, Creighton is still projected as we publish this as a tournament team. You can buy them at half off their 30-1 starting price when the season started.

Fun fact: Creighton has one of several sons of NBA stars playing college hoops right now.
Click here for our full list of sons of NBA players playing college basketball in the NCAA 2022-2023 season.

When it comes to college basketball futures for March Madness 2023, Creighton lives in the same neighborhood as some blue blood programs. Duke, UNC, Creighton and Indiana all have roughly 50-1 odds to win a championship as February 2023 began. A recent poll by College Basketball Eye Test on Twitter showed that Indiana is the most popular pick among these values.

NCAAB Handicappers Free Picks for Saturdays, Season Record

BY MATTY D.

Find free picks against the spread every Saturday for college basketball here on collegebasketballeytest.com. The theme of this article is to find incorrect odds, otherwise known as “suspect spreads.” Picks are tweeted before Saturday’s tip.

College basketball eye test’s record against the spread stands at 40-46 heading into the start of March.

Because Saturdays are really the most exciting national showcase of college basketball action, we focus on this day to have some fun.

This website and its author Matty D. took a 56% winning percentage from the 2021-2022 season into the 2022-2023 campaign. Click here to see a breakdown of last year’s picks. An archive of every pick from the 2022-2023 NCAA Men’s College Basketball Season is recorded below.

College Basketball Odds and Picks Against the Odds for Today

If sports betting isn’t your thing, the odds are still a great measuring tool to debate the best teams. Join the college hoops conversation by following us here on Twitter.

The final picks for February went 8-3 to put an unlucky streak to an end.

NCAAB Record Against the Odds for 2022-2023 by College Basketball Eye Test

Below is a log of some of the tweets from this season with picks, good and bad.

After starting with a poor record of 9-17 to start the season, the record ATS improved to 15-21 and then 18-22 after consecutive winning weeks. That record improved to 23-25 after going 5-3 during the SEC Big 12 Challenge. However, the picks had a difficult February. Picks took a nose-dive during a 1-4 showing on the first Saturday of February. The site then went back-to back losing weeks in mid February (a disgusting 2-7 performance on the heels of a 6-7 showing).

Here are January 21’s picks and January 14th’s listed below.

On January 7th, the picks were particularly bad. The one saving grace being that 5 of 6 favorites taken to cover at least hit ML. Kansas State the call of the day yet another +6 dog to win outright. Picking +6 underdogs to win outright has randomly been a strength of this website.

The year 2022 ended on a sour note with picks going 3-5. That brought the season record to a 5-7 start.

Join the college hoops conversation by following us here on Twitter.

Please bet responsibility, seek help if you need it, and find resources throughout this blog about betting college basketball on a budget.

College Basketball Odds: Big Movers in NCAAB Futures 2022-2023

These college basketball futures odds are the most active, according to DraftKings.

BY MATTY D.

The college basketball season is a volatile environment and these fluctuating odds, to win the 2022-2023 Men’s National College Basketball Championship, reflect that. Here are some notable teams on the move since the start of the college basketball season in early November.

College Basketball Futures Odds where team stock is improving

If you bought stock in UCONN basketball at the start of the season, your investment is up 700% to 800% depending on which marketplace you reference. On the DraftKings Sportsbook app, the UCONN Huskies started the season as 80-1 underdogs to win a national title. Today, they are almost the betting favorite at 12-1. Houston is the only team ahead of UCONN at 7-1.

Junior forward Adama Sanogo is leading the way for the Huskies by averaging 18 points and 7 rebounds this season.

Another team that is becoming more expensive to invest in is Alabama. The Roll Tide is quietly moving into more expensive waters. Alabama started the season at 50-1. Today, they are 25-1 to win a title. That number is likely to continue trending upwards with the outstanding play of their super freshman, Brandon Miller. Bleacher Report has him listed at the top 8 overall pick is this upcoming NBA Draft.

Ironically, Alabama and UCONN played each other earlier this season. The Huskies won in convincing fashion. If each team wins its own conference, the tournament committee might be convinced to make each squad a 1 or 2 seed in the tournament.

The Virginia Cavaliers have moved up from 40-1 to 22-1.

If you like huge underdogs on the move, there are many still left to choose from. Teams like Toledo, who weren’t even listed early in the season, have made their way onto the radar and into betting marketplaces. Mid-major darling Drake has moved from 250-1 to 200-1 after its win against Mississippi State.

College Basketball Teams whose stock is dropping

Michigan has dropped from 35-1 to 75-1, according to DraftKings.

UNC was once the preseason number 1 overall ranked team. The Tar Heels stock has dropped from a 9-1 favorite to a more modest 25-1.

Dayton plummets from 80-1 to 300-1 on DraftKings (started the season at 48-1 on FanDuel in preseason) 

There are a lot of other teams that have dropped around 50 points on the “to one” scale. USC drops 150 points from 100-1 to 250-1 and Wisconsin drops 50 points 

Another team that has disappeared from many top 40 boards is Oregon. The Ducks started the season at 60-1 to win a national championship.

Other notable movements in the NCAAB futures markets

Blue bloods like Indiana, UCLA, and Duke remain consistent in the 14-1 to 30-1 range throughout the season so far. This is more or less a second tier of values after the heavy favorites.

Illinois up from 40-1 to 28-1 despite getting clobbered by Mizzou  

Did we miss any? Join the conversation by following us on Twitter.

Eye Test Breakdown of AP Top 25 Preseason Basketball Rakings

BY MATT DE SARLE

The AP Top 25 ranking is king in college basketball and dictates whose resume is worthy of the tournament, so its preseason ranking is also very important to dissect as the 2022-2023 campaign begins.

Here are some initial considerations about the AP Preseason Top 25 and specifically its top 10.

10. Arkansas Men’s College Basketball Preview 2022-2023

The Razorbacks deserve to be here if you take into consideration especially its tournament success over the last two years. However, they have lost a lot of talent to graduation and the NBA draft in those two years. Head coach Eric Musselman is becoming the Pete Carrol of college basketball. The years go by but his energy appears ageless and he brings back a secondary of wings who can defend the full playing surface. The Razorbacks lose their first, second and fourth overall scorer from last season including JT Notae’s average of 18.3 points.

Follow College Basketball Eye Test on YouTube


9. Creighton Men’s College Basketball Preview 2022-2023

This may sound like a surprise but the Creighton Bluejays might actually be underrated at this spot. This is a good looking team with a coach’s dream for a starting five. Point guard Ryan Nembhard is the straw that stirs the drink. You haven’t heard much buzz about the Bluejays because Nembhard missed a majority of last season with injury. However, he plays with the steady confidence and control of his older brother (Andrew Nembhard) who now cracks the rotation as a point guard for the Indiana Pacers.

“I’m just excited to be back. It’s been a long journey, but I’m ready to go,” Nembhard said in a post-practice media availability recently posted by the Creighton YouTube channel.

Creighton touts a 7’1″ center in Ryan Kalkbrenner who has great hands and score in multiple levels. Kalkbrenner can run the floor, shoot the three, and post you up. Sophomores Trey Alexander and Arthur Kaluma contributed to a solid season for Creighton last season and return as dual threats. Head coach Greg McDermott has an opportunity to win the Big East this season with an eye to a 2 or 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament with a preseason ranking that actually makes sense.

Ryan Kalkbrenner and Ryan Nembhard headline a sneaky good Creighton team.

8. UCLA Bruins Men’s College Basketball Preview 2022-2023

If you believe Tyger Campbell is one of the nation’s best point guards, you have reason to believe in this team. However, the Bruins lose a collective 32 points per game in scoring from guards Johnny Juzang and Jules Bernard alone This will be a great opportunity for the next swingman waiting in the wings, Jaylen Clark. Clark was a regular rotation player last season and shined with a 25 point year high. Head coach Mike Cronin enters his fourth season as the Bruins head man, so the hard-nosed wrinkle to the UCLA tradition should be firmly in place. One of the newcomers for UCLA this season has matured overseas. Italian Abramo Canka has international experience playing in several leagues. Of course, it wouldn’t be UCLA without a little Hollywood factor to the script. McDonald’s All-American Amari Bailey brings a resume of being a top 5 recruit according to ESPN, but also some TMZ articles about he and his mother’s popularity.

Jaylen Clark has a huge opportunity this year at UCLA.

7. Duke Blue Devil’s College Basketball Preview 2022-2023

Duke didn’t just commit to the youth movement in college basketball with one-and-dones, but it doubled down. This went from a program that rarely acquired freshman phenoms for one season to now leading the nation in that category. Duke has 3 of the top 10 ESPN top 100 recruits. That includes number one overall ranked Derek Lively and number two overall recruit Dariq Whitehead. Couple that youthful energy with the dawn of Jon Scheyer’s first year as Duke head coach replacing the legendary coach Mike Krzyzewski.

Duke couples to the two highest ranked freshmen for the 2022-2023 season.

Baylor and Kansas dead-heat for fifth best team in preseason rankings

AP voters totally took the easy way out here and punted on who is better, Baylor or Kansas. Of course, these programs enter the season as the last two national champions. They have battled for the Big 12 crown in heated competition more recently (after KU’s long-standing dominance of the conference). Kansas coach Bill Self will miss the first four games because of a self-imposed suspension by the school, because of NCAA infractions. After this total sharade, the poor guy will have to make his return to the sidelines to coach the Jayhawks in the Bahamas. Both the Jayhawks and the Bears have each lost a professional lineup of stars from their national championship seasons. Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua, Flo Thamba, LJ Cryer, and Adam Flagler remain from the 2021 Bears national championship team. Ironically, that will probably be more incumbent playing minutes for this 2023 postseason than the 2022 championship Jayhawks will return. The 2022-2023 Kansas Jayhawks most important returning players are likely Dajuan Harris Jr. and Jalen Wilson. Drake transfer Joseph Yesufu is also probably likely to see more minutes in his second season with the Jayhawks. The Baylor Bears win the recruiting race based on rankings. Shooting guard Keyonte George ranks sixth overall in the nation while the Jayhawks highest recruit is fourteenth overall in forward Gradey Dick. Baylor loses Matthew Mayer to the transfer portal but probably gets a more physical replacement at forward in BYU’s Caleb Lohner. KU’s transfer news is headlined by the addition of Kevin McCullar Jr. from within the conference. He averaged 10 points and 4.6 rebounds last season for Texas Tech.

4. Kentucky Wildcats enter season ranked top 5 despite 2022 upset

Saint Peter’s magical run as a 15 seed started with a defeat at the hands of the Kentucky Wildcats. Yet, Rick Pitino and the Kentucky Wildcats still enter the 2022-2023 season as a top 5 ranked team. West Virginia transfer Oscar Tschiebwe headlines a talented roster. Tschiebwe was a runner up last year for the Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award (to Keegan Murray). However, he probably should have won it based on his gaudy numbers and striking similarities to Malone’s game. Pitino is known to moan on Selection Sunday after the SEC hosts its championship game late in the day and his team is punished for a 5 or below seeding in the field. This time, his program is given the benefit of the doubt entering the season with a top 5 ranking. It’s hard to imagine that Pitino would have to prove himself, but this season feels like a “show me” year with it being nine years since Kentucky has made a Final Four.

3. Houston Cougars 2022-2023 College Basketball Preview

True college basketball fans everyone should celebrate the Cougars top 5 ranking. It was earned through hustle, defense, and overcoming adversity. Houston was the walking wounded last year but still managed to put a scare in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. Guards Marcus Sasser and Tramon Mark were two of the Cougars who missed most of last season. However, their return brings a scoring punch to a program that’s already proven it knows how to defend and earn hustle baskets. Speaking of which, Reggie Chaney returns for a fifth year as a graduate student. The Houston Cougars should have one last swan song in capturing the American Conference crown before leaving for the Big 12 next season. Sasser and Jamal Shead headline the conference’s preseason all-conference first team.

2. Gonzaga Bulldogs Reload in Transfer Portal to Prepare for 2022-2023 Season

Drew Timme is back. That continues a legacy of long-tenured Gonzaga stars who commit to Spokane and make a run at a Final Four. And when you think of the Gonzaga Bulldogs basketball history, you don’t often think of transfers coming in and having a major impact. But that tide has changed. Gonzaga is now not only a desirable location for star freshmen like the former Bulldog Jalen Suggs. The university is also now a coveted program to pull into major conferences (as re-alignment goes wild). It’s also a destination for transfers. Chattanooga transfer point guard Malachi Smith will fill the void left by Andrew Nembhard leaving. And LSU big man Efton Reid is going to bring some size at 7 feet to help bolster an otherwise lacking interior. There are nine sophomores on this current Gonzaga Bulldog roster, so it’s hard to predict whether Mark Few’s club can be expected to mature into a #1 seed in this year’s tourney (as has been the standard).

1. UNC Tar Heels enter season ranked #1 overall

The band is back together. North Carolina and coach Hubert Davis made a surprising run in last year’s NCAA Tournament, finishing as the runner-up. Starting guards RJ Davis and Caleb Love return to run-it-back. Even Leaky Black sneaks back into a group that includes Puff Johnson, Armando Bacot, and a lot of reasons to be optimistic about the returning talent. They also add forward Pete Nance, whose game has blossomed at Northwestern despite getting crushed by Big 10 competition in recent years. However, North Carolina’s 2022 regular season featured some head-scratching moments with an absolute lack of defense. Hopefully, this team doesn’t have a hiccup with the momentum they’ve gathered and regress to their mean where they had nine (some very bad) losses in the regular season. UNC barely has a top 50 recruit with 6-1 guard Seth Trimble scratching the list at #46.

Best Longshot Odds to Win a College Basketball March Madness 2022

BY MATTY D.

The parody of the college basketball landscape in 2022 offers no shortage of long-shots with intriguing values. Many people (including myself) consider 7 or 8 teams that could easily win it all this year. However, none of those teams look like Baylor and Gonzaga did last year. It appeared inevitable those teams would face each other in a 2021 Championship game. Instead, those favorites right now are priced in the 4-1 to 6-1 territory. That’s teams like Gonzaga and Arizona. It would be hard to swallow paying a price in the 7-1 to 18-1 territory for any of these teams without the conviction of seeing them surge the way Gonzaga and Baylor had last season.

And so when the Madness of March begins, those 7 or 8 championship contenders could get upset and the list of possible champions would grow. Below are some of my favorite long-shot value picks to find themselves in the mix. If you’re considering any of these bets, please look at both the Final Four odds in addition to a National Championship ticket. The last thing you want is to have two of the four teams make the Final Four, neither win a national championship, and for you to not cash a ticket.

Read also my favorite 14 picks ATS on Thursday and Friday by clicking here.
If you are struggling to moderate your gambling, help is available. Please visit https://www.ncpgambling.org or call 1-800-522-4700 to get help anonymously.

Editor’s Notes: This article has remained intact as-is for over a month. I will stick with my gut here and roll with the teams that I had hand-picked in mid-February. Subtle edits have been made to the start of the summary for each team below.

[At the start of February, I picked 5 teams in a YouTube video. Things have changed considerably since then… ]

Updated: Best Longshot Odds to win March Madness 2022

Here are 5 teams that are the best value bets right now for college basketball futures. You could call them sleeper teams, although their likelihood to make the NCAA Tournament at this point is better than them not.

Best Long-shots to win March Madness 2022 by future values

5.. UAB BLAZERS BASKETBALL FUTURES ODDS 400-1

According to FanDuel Sports App, UAB will enter March Madness as a 400-1 underdog to win a national title. The Blazers earned a 12 seed and will play against Houston in the first round.

Here’s what I had written earlier in the season…

These Blazers were trailblazing their way to a regular season conference championship, until they stubbed their toes at Old Dominion on Super Bowl weekend. Its stock sunk some 50-1 points. Still, they make my top 5.

Coached by former Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy, the Blazers are as dangerous as they come. Conference USA has continued to play the disruptor role in the NCAA Tournament. And with no shortage of size on this UAB roster, the sky could quite literally be the limit.

On January 22nd the Blazers beat current conference rival LA Tech in their house, securing (for now) an inside track to its conference championship. Jordan “Jelly” Walker scored 37 points in that game. As you know, a sub 6’1″ scorer is a hallmark sign of a dangerous Cinderella program.

UAB’s stock did slip in the following days after being upset by Marshall. This puts the Blazers in jeopardy of not winning its conference regular season. Regardless, Conference USA will likely be a one bid league. Therefore, if you invest in UAB you’ll need them to win their conference tournament.

Jordan Walker can drop 30 at any point. Photo courtesy: uabsports.com

Assuming it wins its conference tournament, UAB would likely get a 12, 13 or 14 seed. That means they could play an LSU, Texas Tech, or other middle-of-the-pack team from a Power 5 school. UAB has a 7 footer at center in Clemson transfer Trey Jemison, so size won’t intimate them. The Blazers can score the ball, ranking just within the top 50 on Kenpom’s score for efficiency. If you like UAB at 250-1 to win a national title, you’re going to love them at 65-1 to make the Final 4.

Responsible sports betting is possible when a 10 cent wager can win you 6 bucks. This wager was placed January 26, 2022 and reflects the “Vegas odds” at that point.

After its dramatic game-winning buzzer beater win by Jelly Walker at Western Kentucky, UAB stood as the 41st ranked KenPom team on January 28th. Meantime, they were 37th in the NET rankings. Therefore, a legitimate case can be made for UAB as an at-large bid, even if they don’t win their conference tournament.

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4. SAN FRANCISCO DONS BASKETBALL FUTURES 250-1

San Francisco drew a 10 seed and will play against a dangerous 7 seed in Murray State. Both of these programs are actually very dangerous in this position. Murray State is an even better value from a high-ceiling perspective. They enter the tournament at 500-1 to win a title according to FanDuel.

Here’s what I had written earlier this season…

There is a clear turning point in San Francisco’s season that has it skipping the line and getting into the middle of the mix as a great long-shot. After taking a large lead in pivotal games in January against Gonzaga and St. Mary’s, San Fran squandered those opportunities to punch their tickets. However, when February came, they blitzed BYU at their house. The Dons came out of halftime and continued pressuring the (weakened) post of BYU. They got out in transition and guarded well in transition. They took the life out of the crowd. It was the opposite of what those games in January looked like, and it could be a turning point for San Francisco to be considered one of America’s most dangerous underdogs.

San Francisco is lead by super senior point guard Jamaree Bouyee. He is one of the top 6-1 and under guards poised to upset some people in March Madness. They also have size down low, which is always a challenge for mid-major teams. San Francisco was available on the DraftKings app at 60-1 to make March Madness on February 3 and it’s unlikely that value will remain for long.

San Francisco stood at 200-1 to win a National Championship (and 80-1 to make the Final Four) on DraftKings on Valentine’s Day. Betters will love them even more if they can win a late February home game against Gonzaga before the tournament begins. They missed an opportunity to beat Gonzaga late in February, but the St. Mary’s Gaels did it on that same California road trip for the Bulldogs. The WCC has the pedigree to pull some upsets in this tournament.

Photo courtesy usfdons.com/ Christina Leung

3. DAVIDSON WILDCATS BASKETBALL FUTURES ODDS 400-1

Davidson draws a 10 seed in the NCAA Tournament and plays against Tom Izzo’s Michigan State team. That’s bad news for Wildcats fans. However, Michigan State is beatable and so is Duke in the (possible) following round. I am rolling with Davidson at 400-1 here.

Here’s what I had written earlier in the season…

At the end of January, Davidson finally cracked into the AP Top 25 and officially became the most dangerous underdog in America. After the Wildcats went undefeated in its first six conference games with wins at St. Bonaventure and at VCU, they were honestly long overdue for this position. Throw in the fact that they beat Alabama and its Elite 8 pedigree.

The problem with Davidson going into the conference tournament “Champ Week” is that it faces about 5 other teams from the Atlantic 10 that could easily steal a bid. Richmond, VCU, Dayton, St. Louis and St. Bonaventure are all worthy opponents. Most of those teams are borderline tournament teams. Davidson finished February as a projected 11 seed in the tournament. That doesn’t leave much margin for error for Davidson to lose its conference tournament. If that happens, we could be looking at two A10 tournament teams, or a damn good Davidson team in the NIT.

A tempting bet in this direction is to take the Atlantic 10 at around 65-1 to have its team with the NCAA Basketball Tournament. That’s a great value if two teams make the tournament. It’s a lousy bet if only one does.

Michigan State transfer Foster Loyer gets the headlines as people talk about this team, but it’s really an extremely balanced squad. Loyer leads the team in assists. Four players average 12 or more points. Power forward Luka Brajkovic offers great hands and skill down low. The senior from Austria averages 7 rebounds per game. Junior guard Michael Jones showed everyone during a nationally televised game against Richmond that he can light it up. Jones was un-guardable that night as he scored 29 on 8 of 9 from the 3 point line. The Wildcats leading scorer is actually South Korean guard Hyunjung Lee. Lee averages 16 points per game with 6.7 rebounds with it. The stability of this upperclassman roster is anchored by a longtime winner, head coach Bob McKillop.

In his last bracket projection of January, Joe Lunardi had Davidson has a 9 seed. This is the type of mis-seeding that often happens to a mid-major team. This Davidson program probably had no business being a 10 seed with Stephen Curry before it made its magical Elite 8 run.

And while you can debate what Davidson’s seed would be, it’s not debatable anymore that it’s a tournament team. Therefore, even if you snag Davidson at 150-1 you could hedge it by taking the eventual round one matchup (today projected as BYU as a 125-1 underdog) and have some high ceiling options headed into the field of 32.

GOING TO VEGAS FOR THE BIG DANCE? CONSIDER THESE 5 TIPS BELOW!

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2. USC COLLEGE BASKETBALL FUTURES 200-1

USC’s value doubled as the bracket got announced, which means the payout is twice as great. I am doubling down on this team as they play a smaller Miami Hurricanes squad to start their March Madness journey.

Here’s what I wrote earlier this year about the Trojans…

USC defeated Oregon in their place on February 26th to bounce the Ducks from this list and insert themselves onto it.

I will admit to overlooking USC after one of its Mobley brothers (Evan) went to the NBA this season. While Evan Mobley is the likely NBA Rookie of the Year with the Cavaliers, big brother is one of the nation’s best veteran players. The 6-10 big man features great hands, range, rebounding, and the ability to orchestrate the offense from the post. Boogie Ellis is the actual orchestrator at point guard. He transferred from Memphis. Ellis is a streaky shooter who can definitely get hot. Shooting guard Drew Peterson is playing some really confident ball right now. He hit a dagger three to win that Oregon game and also went buck-wild against UCLA in a game that Mobley missed in early February.

USC has a front line of muscular forwards who can outwork people on the offensive glass if defenses aren’t aware. Head coach Andy Enfield has already taken the college basketball world by surprise in his career (see Dunk City). This USC team was in the Elite 8 last year. Many players on the current roster played key roles in a Sweet 16 win against Oregon.

A bet worth looking at is the Pac-12 around 5-1 to have a national champion. Obviously, you’d get a favorite in Arizona, a preseason favorite in UCLA, and throw in a high-upside USC team at that rate. If a surprise team like Arizona State (see our list of possible Cinderellas for Champ Week), Colorado or Stanford win the Pac-12 tournament, you could have 4 or 5 teams for that one cost. Oregon is the unknown as a bubble team.

1. LSU COLLEGE BASKETBALL FUTURES 120-1

March Madness is all about unlikely outcomes. What is more unlikely than your coach getting fired for multiple violations stemming from an FBI investigation… and you still advance to the Final Four.

I actually love LSU as they draw Iowa State to start their March Madness journey. They would have to become the first 6 seed in 30 years to make a Final Four, however, if they have a magical run on their mind. Below is what I had written about the Tigers earlier this season…

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ABOUT THE 6 SEED CURSE AND OTHER TRENDY TRADITIONS

On February 15, LSU stood at 16th overall in the NCAA Net Rankings, but still had a long-shot odd to win a national title. The Tigers were then 15-1 to reach the Final Four and 80-1 to win a national title. Those numbers don’t reflect how this team is getting healthy at the right time. Coming out of the SEC, which has two legitimate title favorites (unlike any other conference), the Tigers will be eager to devour any other competition aside from their in-conference opponents. Point guard Xavier Pinson has brought a lightning quick dimension to the offense. And this team gets after it on the defensive end unlike most teams. They are consistently top 5 in forced turnovers, defensive efficiency, and outright steals. LSU won’t come back from large deficits with three point prayers, but they might outwork their opponent on the offensive glass to get back into a game. They are mostly young and hungry, with a few key veterans like senior Darius Days. LSU has been flirting with the Elite 8 and Sweet 16 for the past few years, and shouldn’t be overlooked as players like Days and Pinson have returned from injury and are finding a rhythm. LSU plays a marquee matchup against Kentucky in late February. This can serve as a stress test to measure how legit they are. For now, the eye test says they are much better than 80-1 to win it all.

HOST CITIES FOR THE FIRST ROUND OF MARCH MADNESS 2021-2022

Portland
Buffalo
Milwaukee
PIttsburgh
Fort Worth
Greenville
Indianapolis
San Diego
*These are also the sites of the second round.

Best College Basketball Handicappers Picks for Suspect Spreads Saturday

BY MATTY D.

The best college basketball handicappers all share one common trait: Wins! And the against the spread picks by collegebasketballeyetest.com have had a successful 2021-2022 season. Every Saturday, Matty D. shares his picks on Twitter on the hashtag #SuspectSpreadsSaturday. The phrase alerts fans about which Vegas spreads look suspect, or questionable.

During the regular season, this website boasted a 70-49 record against the spread. That’s a winning percentage of 59%.

Unfortunately, the tide turned during March Madness. Handicapper Matty D. went a woeful 4-10 with his published picks during the NCAA Tournament (below). The good news is that he spotted two large underdogs (+7 or greater) who won their games outright. The winning selections are in below below.

Looking for the best long-shots to win March Madness? CLICK HERE!

My record against the spread this season is 70-49-2 as of March 7, 2022.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL PICKS FOR FIRST/SECOND ROUND OF THE TOURNAMENT:

These picks appear in order of confidence level, from the lowest confidence pick at 12 all the way down to the most confident pick at number one.

14. Delaware Hens +15.5 vs. Villanova
13. Longwood Lancers +16.5 vs. Tennessee
12. Providence Friars -2.5 vs. South Dakota State
11. Davidson +1.5 vs. Michigan State
10. UCLA -13.5 vs. Akron
9. Arkansas -5.5 vs. Vermont
8. *New Mexico State +7 vs. UCONN
7. LSU -4 vs. Iowa State
6. Norfolk State +21.5 vs. Baylor
5. *Richmond Spiders +10.5 vs. Iowa
4. Loyola -1.5 vs. Ohio State
3. UAB +8.5 vs. Houston
2. V-Tech +1.5 vs. Texas
1. USC -1.5 vs. Miami

My final record ATS for 2021-2022 including the tournament was 74-59-2 (56%).

Honorable mention: If you are a fan of Big Ten basketball, a 3 team money line parlay with Indiana, Wisconsin and Illinois could make sense. Each team will fluctuate between a 4 to 7 point favorite, but could all win a close game. If you like Indiana, they sit in a similar position as a small favorite against Wyoming in the play-in game.

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Select the seed to survive and advance to the next article!
The collegebasketballeyetest.com bracket features a 12 seed in the national title game.

Matty D’s Philosophy for College Basketball Picks Against the Spread

Just like a Thursday or Friday in mid-March, a Saturday offers the widest sample size of games to choose from. If you’re a college basketball fan, you’re probably familiar with the power 5 schools. If you’re a better, it’s also good to get familiar with a few mid-major conferences. For example, I have gotten cozy with the Conference USA and American conferences over the years. This familiarity helped me go undefeated with 7 correct picks (and one tie) in the selections below.

Underdogs like Providence and Western Kentucky proved their worth early in the season.

My rule is to always bet any 6 point (or more) underdog to cover the first half. If and when an underdog challenges a favorite, it’s normally off of adrenaline and a lack of familiarity in the first half. I would always wager a dollar amount equal to, or slightly more than, the entire point line for the game. I would also traditionally bet 10-30% of that dollar amount on the money line. If I really believe that a 6 point underdog will win the game, I might bet 30% of my point line bet on the money line. For example, if I bet $10 on Providence to cover a 6.5 point spread, I would bet $3 on them to win the game outright. The money-line odds in that situation would be somewhere in the ballpark of 2-1 or 3-1. The advantage to being able to play on sports betting apps is that you don’t have to pay the traditional $5 or $10 minimums per bets at the physical casino. This helps betting on a budget. On FanDuel’s app you can make a minimum bet of 9 cents whereas DraftKings offers a 10 cent minimum.

If you or someone you know is struggling to set limits with sports betting, help is available.

Matty D’s Running Tally of ATS Picks for College Basketball Season

Here is a running tally of the college basketball sports betting picks for the 2021-2022 season with the newest up top.

These picks on February 5, 2022 went 6-5 on the week.
Pick are always published on Twitter before tip off on Saturdays with the same hashtag.

Please follow on Twitter to join the conversation!

How to Bet March Madness on a Budget

As the country slowly re-opens while more states have legalized sports betting, here are tips for betting March Madness on a budget.

Click here to watch the haymakers strategy for more low risk high reward fun.

If you are struggling with gambling addiction, you are note alone. Please seek help. Click here to visit a national helpline or seek other safe avenues. Good luck to everyone out there!

Here is my entire 2021 March Madness bracket filled out on March 15, 2021.

People line up ahead of sports book opening during March Madness

Case Study: How to Hedge College Basketball Futures

How and When to Hedge College Basketball Futures Odds

It’s the great debate. That is, at least in sports books around late March. “Hey, I have XYZ team at 80-1 to win a title. Now that they’re in the Sweet 16, should I start hedging?” said every amateur bettor in this position, ever (even if to himself).

So, what’s the best answer?

Like everything else in 2020-2021, there is no simple answer. However, below is a great case study to help structure our debate…

Futures odds listed in January of 2021 at a William Hill Sports Book.

Best Time to Pick College Basketball Futures Values

Let’s simulate a bettor making futures picks at the start of the season with $100 bucks. Or, in this case, $108 to be exact. In November when these picks are made, there are naturally some good values. For example, the Houston Cougars out of the American Athletic Conference were 50-1. Although they play in a non-power 5 school, Houston would ascend into the AP Top 10 throughout that season. The team’s value increased to 12-1 by February.

So when do you hedge?
Should you sell a ticket that doubled in value on a secondary market, such as PropSwap?
If you had two future tickets like it, and sold one on ProSwap, that would be considered hedging your bet.

When to Hedge College Basketball Futures

Let’s fast forward. Now that games have been played and you can use your eye test to analyze teams, who do you like? In our case study, the longest shot odd of North Texas (above) is having a difficult year. Meanwhile, in its conference, UAB and Western Kentucky are piecing together a quality resume. In fact, it’s within the realm of possibilities that one of those teams get an at-large bid. And so, instead of throwing out the North Texas bet that could win $10,000, we hedge it by also investing in the other in-conference rivals. This way, it becomes a statistically likelihood the bettor will have a Conference USA team in March Madness.

See Western Kentucky and UAB below.

A second round of futures value bets are made with $100 after watching the first half of the season.

You can see that for just $3 dollars and $4 dollars respectively, the odds are probably around 95% at this point that the better will have the Conference USA team among its roster of teams in the actual March Madness bracket. Did we mention this was betting on a budget?

And so at this point the bettor would have 13 teams in play. We are conceding that 2-4 of those teams won’t make the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament (let’s say two Conference USA teams in addition to one other). So let’s say that 10 teams will be in the tournament and for $200 the bettor can himself to win at least $1,000 in those ten scenarios. And so the next question may be: When would he start hedging if he acknowledges Gonzaga and Baylor look far-and-away like the nation’s best teams (at +350 and 6-1 for their respective futures).

How to Hedge Your Bets on Selection Sunday

Back to reality, on this particular season North Texas did win its conference tournament. And so the bettor brings into the tournament a $10,000 lottery ticket. Should he hedge by immediately taking the opponent of North Texas? Continue reading to review some specific strategies to consider, each with their own nickname, for betting futures on a budget during March Madness.

Don’t Let a Crowded Region Cloud Your Final Four

Let’s say that four of the futures bets made in November land in one region during March. At face value, this could look like a horrible outcome for the budget bettor. However, it you change your mindset as the investor, it could work for you. Let’s say that Texas, Houston, Colorado and West Virginia all entered the same region. Instead of seeing the National Title game, or ever the Final 4 itself, as the climax of the tournament, that person would just have to move up its timeline for the tournament climax. The climax may actually be when all of those teams have an opportunity to cover the spread on the first two days. Or, the climax might be a money line parlay on all of those teams winning outright in the field of 32. Either way, a crowded region should immediately have the bettor move up the finish line in his mind. A textbook parlay in this scenario would be to take the 4 teams to cover a first round spread to win at 10-1. It might also be worth lookin at what factor a money line parlay pays. It can be typed in before canceling the bet on a kiosk. On the flip side, a reverse haymaker wheel could make sense as an insurance policy. For example, two team pairs of underdogs could be bet on in a rotation to hedge two real losses happening for Texas, Houston, Colorado and West Virginia.

Bracketology example from January 22, 2021 courtesy Joe Lunardi/ESPN

In terms of hedging futures, there will likely be a situation where 2 or 3 of the preseason futures teams are in one eighth of a bracket.  In this case it wouldn’t make sense to hedge so that more than three teams are covered.  For example in this eighth of a bracket above, an ideal sweet 16 matchup would be the two futures (Colorado and Houston) against each other in the sweet 16. Chasing both UNC and Texas State on futures here might muddy the water too much with losses.  Perhaps a very small amount on UNC to win a title (because their final 4 odds will likely be in the 6-1 ballpark) and short the high value Texas State single bet as a lone insurance policy.  

Investing in Short, Mid-size, or Long-range College Basketball Futures

With the overview example, this person might have 6 teams in the tournament. Especially if those are high value tickets, the plays has to be hedged in some way: Let’s call it long, single, or mid-sized. In the hypothetical scenario that his North Texas ticket draws Florida State in a 14 seed matched up against a 3, he might go one of three ways. In the long example, he would simply take Florida State as a title contender at 20-1. And so this could become a line in the bracket that he just commits to and invests in, depending on the winner. Betting $100 on Florida State at 20-1 would guarantee that he would have a 1 in 32 shot of winning at least $2,000 for $105 invested ($2,000 if FSU wins title, $10,000 for North Texas). The mid-sized play in this hypothetical would be taking Florida State to win the region. That bet would be roughly one quarter of the title future. So Florida State might be 5-1 to win this region, although they’re more likely to be 4-1. And so betting $25 at 4-1 would pay $100 and, again, guarantee that some investment survives and advances into the field of 32. A short term play would be to just focus on the single game between North Texas and Florida State. It would be easy to just root for North Texas to cover a 13.5 point spread. Another tempting short term play (although one that’s rarely advisable) would be to bet heavy on the chalk. Florida State might be -750ML in this hypothetical, so the bettor would have to put up $150 to win $20 bucks (and profit $15 from his original $5 bet on North Texas).

Standing by to Wait-and-See which Seed Starts Growing in March Madness

There’s no shame is standing by to watch the first two days of the tournament to see who has truly brought their A+ game. We will learn a lot about these teams as we see them live in action. Many of the nagging injuries would be proven a hindrance or a non-factor. If you have high value future bets that have made it to March Madness, that could be an excuse to save money by not betting a single game itself. For example, this bettor might have 6 seed Colorado squaring off against 11 seed Louisville. If Louisville wins the game outright, perhaps it’s time for the bettor to take the Cardinals to win the region or the title. Besides, he bet Colorado because he thinks they’re a good team, so by default he would have to like Louisville if they won this first round matchup.