We look at the right situations to back mid major teams against opponents from a major conference when placing our NCAA Basketball picks.
NCAA Basketball public bettors usually have biases like playing favorites and the over. Oddsmakers know this and adjust the lines accordingly to maximize their chances to earn profits; which means that sharp players know these biases and consider the potential line moves on the NCAA Basketball odds board while looking for value.
One of these biases is the blind support of teams from major conferences (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC) against mid major schools. Public bettors love big name teams like Duke and Kentucky, so they back them all the time, which is not always the best approach.
The major conferences have bad teams and the overlooked conferences have very talented squads. So is it possible to find situations in which we should back mid major teams because they offer great betting value?
Positive Track Record Against Strong Teams
You can figure out if certain team can beat an opponent from a major conference or at least cover the spread by researching their track record against the top conferences.
Mid-major teams with success against high profile opponents won't be intimidated, for example, the Gonzaga Bulldogs, who went 3-1 SU & ATS against teams from major conferences last season.
Comparable Talent Level
Keep an eye on mid major teams that match up well with their Power Five conference opponents in terms of size, speed and athleticism. Those squads provide outstanding betting value, especially when they focus their game plan on their strengths, creating unique systems that teams from the major conferences have rarely seen. Know the systems that mid major teams use before placing your NCAA Basketball picks at a sportsbook like 5Dimes so you can determine if the major conference squad has faced a similar play style.
Overvalued ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 & SEC Teams
There are major conference teams with lousy or overvalued records. Sometimes these teams have impressive records because the level of competition that they have faced isn't strong. Public bettors might see a team from a major conference with a 10-3 record and assume that they're playing very well, but most of those ten wins might have been against lousy teams and the three losses could be against good teams, so their record has less merit.
Major Conference Team Looks Ahead to the Next Game
We saved the best situation for backing a mid major team for last. This scenario takes place when the major conference team has a big game against a tough opponent soon. For example, Indiana (from the Big Ten) will be playing Duke right after they play the mid major opponent. In this case Indiana will likely be more worried about Duke and their players will be less focused on the current game. Sharp bettors recognize that this is the best recipe for an upset or at least a cover.