NCAA Basketball Picks: Conference Game Betting Trends

LT Profits Sports Group

Tuesday, December 24, 2013 5:00 AM UTC

Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013 5:00 AM UTC

Now that we are nearing January, conference play is about to hit full swing in NCAA Basketball, making this the perfect time to look at conference betting trends.

The 2013-14 NCAA Basketball season is nearing the end of the early non-conference portion of its schedule and the early-season tournaments are winding down, and that means that we will soon almost exclusively be making NCAA Basketball picks on conference games, especially as we get into the heart of January.

Thus, this is the perfect time to look at conference betting trends from the last five seasons since the 2008-09 season, and you will see that every one of these trends are contrarian in nature. Some would say it is always good to think contrarian at all times, but that becomes especially true during conference play when the teams are much more familiar with each other, making it harder to maintain long streaks of virtually any kind.

Besides, if that familiarity does not compensate for various streaks, then the line adjustments by the oddsmakers almost certainly will. So moving right along, here are some contrarian conference trends that have performed very well over the past five years, with all records based on closing odds from Pinnacle Sports since the 2008-09 NCAA Basketball season.

Play against conference home teams coming off of 10 straight up wins (152-100-3, 60.3% ATS): It is difficult to get much more contrarian than this, well except for maybe the next trend that follows. Novice bettors generally hate to bet against hot teams, especially when winning streaks reach double-digits, and that becomes doubly true when these teams are now home. However, that is precisely when these teams have been the most overvalued, especially when facing familiar conference opponents that may have a clue how to slow them down.

Play on conference road teams coming off of 10 straight up losses (82-46-3, 64.1% ATS): This angle is the polar opposite of the previous angle, although the two trends are identical in their contrarian thinking. After all, who in their right mind would consider putting down their hard earned money on a team on a double-digit losing streak, especially on the road? But that kind of thinking is the reason why this trend is over 64 percent over around 130 plays in the last five years. You will often hear amateurs going on about never putting money down on bad teams, but many professionals make a good living by backing these undervalued “losers”.

Play on conference road underdogs coming off of three road games (124-87-6, 58.8% ATS): Now, it has long been a belief that teams on long road trips are at a disadvantage as they get deeper along into the trip, and this theory exists across basically all sports, whether college or pro. Well, there could be some truth to that in regards to the straight up results, but in our world of betting ATS, oddsmakers are obviously quite aware of this phenomenon and it has often resulted in teams starting to get undervalued once a road trip reaches at least its fourth game, especially with the “padded” spreads when these teams are underdogs.

Play on the ‘under’ in division games if a team is coming off of three ‘overs’ (152-109-4, 58.2%): Division games are a subset of conference games where teams are even more familiar with each other, and with these games being the most important on the schedule, they are often played closer to the vest than other games, which is another contributing factor to the success of this ‘under’ angle in addition to the normal line corrections that come following a string of ‘overs’.

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