Betting Value in Battle 4 Atlantis NCAAB Tournament in Bahamas

David Lawrence

Friday, August 8, 2014 5:46 PM GMT

The brackets for the various early-season tournaments in college basketball have been revealed, and at the end of all the disclosures, it seems fairly clear that the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in the Bahamas is the best of the lot.

Six likely NCAA tournament teams will be in the eight-team field. The seventh team is one that made consecutive appearances in the NCAA national championship game in 2010 and 2011. Only the eighth team is a lesser light in college basketball. It’s a star-studded field.

 

What Does This Mean For Each Team In The Field?
The Battle 4 Atlantis becomes a chance for each of the top six teams to gain valuable experience against tournament-level competition. The other value of having such a great field in Atlantis is that even one high-quality win will improve the resume in case there’s a somewhat close call on Selection Sunday. Teams are going to get a strength-of-schedule boost from this tournament. Having one win will be significant, and having two or more wins will make it very hard for that team to miss the NCAA tournament when the field of 68 is announced in the middle of March.

Here are the brackets: In the top half, Wisconsin plays Alabama-Birmingham and Florida plays Georgetown. The key here is that the Florida-Georgetown loser will almost certainly play UAB in the second game. The Gators and Hoyas want to avoid losing to each other, just because winning is better than losing. However, losing that first game would lead to a game with UAB, which would reduce the strength of schedule on the team’s resume. Florida-Georgetown becomes a vital game for those two teams.

In the bottom half of the Battle 4 Atlantis bracket, North Carolina plays Butler and UCLA faces Oklahoma. What’s true for Florida-Georgetown is also true for UCLA-Oklahoma, in that the loser will play Butler, a likely non-tournament team. That’s not good for the strength of the resume, so the Bruins and Sooners want to be sure they can get out of the first round and face North Carolina in the semifinals. UAB and Butler are the two teams nobody wants to play in the second or third game of the tournament. This is primarily true because anyone who does play UAB and Butler will have likely lost in a previous round, but the other purpose of a tournament like this is to boost one’s schedule, and anyone who plays UAB or Butler in this tournament is not boosting the quality of the slate.

 

How To Bet The News
It’s easy to pick Wisconsin over UAB and North Carolina over Butler, and it will also be easy to pick other teams over UAB and Butler as the tournament continues. The other games will be hard to determine. Florida, playing early in the season with a radically different lineup compared to the one it used a year ago, will probably be adjusting to its situation and is therefore not a good NCAA Basketball pick to win the whole tournament. Oklahoma is not a strong defensive team, so the Sooners are going to find it hard to win three games in a row. North Carolina and UCLA are the best bets in the bottom half of the bracket, with UCLA being a slight favorite. Wisconsin is a Final Four-level team. The Badgers should be better on defense this season, and they’re the overall favorite in this event, coming out of the top half of the bracket.