How to Bet College Basketball Conference Tournaments

Learn how to bet college basketball conference tournaments.

Key Points

– Conference tournaments provide some unique circumstances for bettors.

– Factors like location, motivation, and previous meetings play a role in how to bet college basketball conference tournaments.

How to Bet College Basketball Conference Tournaments

In college basketball, conference tournaments present a special handicapping challenge. They are games just like any other, but they also have some unique characteristics that make it challenging to bet on these games.

There is a large amount of pressure on each team to win. Once they lose, they are eliminated and for many teams that means it’s the end of the season. Another key element of these games is that they are played in a tight timeline. Teams may play on consecutive days. 

Bettors can handicap these games similarly to how they would handicap any other game; however, they need to go a bit deeper. Here’s a look at five factors that can help you bet college basketball conference tournaments.


Location, Location, Location

Just like in the real estate world, location matters. The venue where teams play can make a significant difference in how teams perform. At the very least, the location of the conference tournament can  provide some teams an advantage. 

Some conference tournaments are held at neutral sites. The entire tournament is played there. Others may play the entire tournament at the home arena of one of the member schools. Still others may play games hosted by the higher seed with the championship game held at the highest remaining seed’s home gym. 

It goes without saying that a team that gets to play at home may do better than anticipated in a conference tournament. Take the Mountain West Conference tournament as an example. It’s year-end tourney is held every year in Las Vegas. That gives UNLV a distinct advantage. 

At neutral sites, there are teams that are located closer than others. The Big Ten tournament is held in different locations from year to year. When it is held in Chicago at the United Center, it’s essentially a home game for Northwestern, which is located in the Chicago suburbs. Purdue and Illinois are each roughly 2.5 hours from Chicago, and Michigan State and Wisconsin are both within 3.5 hours. Rutgers is roughly 13 hours (over 800 miles) from Chicago.

The point here is that some teams will have more fans as it is easier for them to get there. This could work to some teams’ advantage.

Health & Depth Help You Bet College Basketball Conference Tournaments

In most conference tournaments, teams will have to play on consecutive days. If they do get a day off, teams that go deeper in the tournament will end up playing three games in four days or even four games in five days. 

This is much more than the average college team is used to. Most teams play just two games per week during the regular season. Playing on consecutive days can be exhausting. The increased magnitude of the games also wears down young players. It can wear down bettors too if they are losing a lot. It might be a situation where you try to win more bets with free sports picks.

Health is a key factor in progressing through a conference tournament. Depth is another. Teams will need key minutes from guys off their benches in order to have a chance at winning. The best players on each team must be prepared to perform. Backups must also be ready to help relieve some of the stress put on starters that play 30 or more minutes each game.

It is worth noting that there is no reporting of injuries required by any college team. The best way to learn more about any injuries and whether or not a player might be out of a lineup is to go to local media sites and social media. Knowing if a player is in or out will help you bet college basketball conference tournaments. 

The Motivation Factor

Most teams definitely want to win their conference tournament. In reality though, some teams are more motivated than others to do so. The motivation factor can be part of the creative betting strategies to jumpstart your results during March Madness.

Some teams must win their conference tournament to qualify for the NCAA tournament. A team from a mid-major conference, for example, might have a great record. The problem is that they don’t have any wins over any major teams. They will be more motivated to win their conference tournament in order to guarantee a slot in March Madness.

On the opposite end, you may have teams with no chance of earning an at-large bid and no realistic chance of winning the conference tournament. Sometimes, these teams might play with some passion and pull an upset. More often than not, these teams are uninspired. That is something to keep in mind when handicapping conference tournament games.

Bet College Basketball Conference Tournaments Using Season Data

All teams that compete against one another in conference tournaments have met at least once during the regular season. In many cases, they have played twice. 

Prior meetings are a wonderful way to gauge how teams complement one another and how they can take advantage of one another’s limitations. However, it’s crucial to avoid overanalyzing these circumstances. 

There is a saying that it is difficult for a team to beat the same opponent twice. It has also been said it is difficult to beat a team three times in one season. Don’t be fooled though. Often, a team beats a conference opponent twice simply because it is a better team. When the teams meet for a third time in the conference tournament, the team that won twice tends to win more often in the third game.

Learn to Pass

Just because it is conference tournament time doesn’t mean that you have to bet. These games present some serious challenges and if you can’t find any betting value then learn to walk away.

There are too many times when the betting public takes away any competitive advantage bettors might have in a conference tournament game. If the value isn’t there, then pass on that game and don’t bet. 

The best place for your money is in your pocket if you can’t find value. When you bet college basketball conference tournaments, learn how to spot undervalued college basketball teams and then take action. When you do, you’ll have a much more enjoyable March.