Intro: In college basketball betting, bubble teams,
squads in must-win situations, offer great opportunity for the bettor. But it is
to go with them against the college basketball line or against them? Body: As we
approach the final weeks of the college basketball regular season, which
includes the major conference tournaments, it’s time to remind you of one of the
great pitfalls gamblers make. That is to bet on the team that needs a win more.
Combine this with the public’s infatuation with betting on the better
team, some of the best investment opportunities are forthcoming in the early
days of March Madness betting simply by fading bubble teams.
they great go-against teams for the sharp player? The previously stated motive
is one of them. The linesmakers know that gamblers accept as true that the
bubble teams will be more motivated. Thus, bettors are ready and willing to lay
But the fact is, if a team is on “the bubble” they haven’t
been victorious often enough in such “must win” games. The squads that excel in
pressure games have their NCAA at-large bid locked up by this time of the year.
The most opportune situation is when a bubble team is matched up against
a squad in a pure spoiler role. Let’s clarify the relatively objective
definitions. Not that we really need it, but the cheat-sheet we utilize for
which teams qualify as “bubble” would be Joe Lunardi’s Bracketology on ESPN.com.
Lunardi essentially has 12 bubble teams: last four in, last four out and
next four out. From a handicapping standpoint, the list gets smaller as the year
A team in a “pure spoiler role” is one that has no chance at an
at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. Again, Bracketology is our favorite cheat
sheet if there is any doubt, though we of course follow college basketball to
the point where we know who’s certainly in, who is out, and who is on “the
One of our Golden Rules of online betting is to bet on
inconsistent teams to continue to be inconsistent, while the public seems to
believe unpredictable teams will somehow improve in stress situations.
When Team Bubble is going up against inferior “spoiler” teams, they are
going to be overpriced because of public perception. We do caution that while
betting online against bubble teams is certainly our strong bias, as always the
angle is merely part of our preponderance of data scrutinized before finalizing
In so far as over/under plays, we also lean towards betting the
under in such games. In spoiler versus bubble team circumstances, there is
plenty of motivation for both squads. Intensity shows up positively on the
defensive end, but the angst of a must-win game shows up negatively with sloppy
play on the offensive end.
Written by Joe Duffy of VegasTopDogs.com