A clear difference that sets college hoops apart from all other sports is coaching. Indeed, the man that runs the program bears the biggest handicapping evaluation of all. As an example, look at Tom Izzo of Michigan State. Izzo has brought stability to the Spartan program at a level that is nearly impossible to emulate. NCAA Basketball gamblers respect the seven Final Four appearances. It follows that the eight Big Ten championships impress as well. Of great concern to opponents is that Izzo finds ways to win even with less talent. The end result is exceptional betting value.
At the same time Michigan State’s main rival Michigan is also the beneficiary of effective coaching. Increasingly John Beilein is gaining respect with the college hoops handicapping community. More emphatically everyone respects that Beilein has posted two Final Four appearances since 2013. Most important of all was the 2018 Final Four run. Although it is true Michigan was an underdog Beilein had them playing well as a unit. Subsequently this emphasis on team play made Michigan a top college basketball betting line value. Such as Beilein runs a clean program he commands further respect.
A clear difference in the Big Ten has been Indiana. Increasingly Hoosier fans have become frustrated with their fall from elite status. Indeed, their last Final Four was in 2002. To illustrate this once proud program shows how the NCAA Basketball Dynamics have changed through the years. Moreover, college basketball has seen parity increase over time. For example, Loyola of Chicago made the Final Four in 2018. Naturally it was a major upset and Cinderella run. Yet is shows how lesser known programs can emerge. To this end it also shows the challenges facing programs like Indiana.
Indiana was a dominant program with the college basketball betting line a generation ago. But since the departure of Bob Knight in 2000 mediocrity has set in. Tom Crean came the closest to getting IU back to elite status. Owing to the challenges of today’s media centric era he could only manage three Sweet Sixteen appearances. More emphatically Indiana is no longer as special as it was before. In this situation every team is featured on television and social media now. In contrast to the past when a “name brand” like Indiana was front and center on weekly network telecasts.
Simultaneously other programs have emerged to become marquee names in their own right. Accordingly, Villanova comes to mind. Encompassing the Wildcats success is perhaps the best head coach in the game. Certainly, Jay Wight has completely flipped the script at this small Catholic school in Philadelphia. To be exact Wright has produced two national championships in the past three seasons. It follows that his success is a great handicapping lesson for college basketball gamblers. Supplementing that is Villanova’s success compared to the so-called traditional powers.
Watch out for the Power Brands
Specifically, North Carolina, Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, and UCLA are the power brands of the sport. As a consequence, they attract a lot of casual betting money. Extending that name brand cache is March Madness money. For this reason, these teams often end up as overlays. Supplementing that is a public that bets the brand instead of the deeper facts.
Path to Success
To conclude, success at college basketball wagering begins with the coaches. Know the coach and Know the path to success.