Avoid The Rankings Trap in College Hoops Betting

College basketball rankings have an effect on college basketball betting because they can influence public opinion.

Knowing how to account for how teams stack up in the polls can make a major difference in cashing your college hoops wagers.

Remember that both the AP Top 25 and the Coaches’ Poll are very subjective. Sure, the voters have seen the teams and know the won-loss records, but a ton of qualitative factors go into the rankings. Preseason expectations, program prominence, and flat out bias can push a team much higher – or lower – than it really should be.

Roughly speaking, the voters don’t do that badly of a job, but even an excellent subjective analysis won’t be enough if you’re betting college basketball with the intent of making inroads. Bets can be won or lost by a few points, so bettors need to know with better certainty where schools really stack up.

The Sagarin and Pomeroy ratings are better indicators of where teams should rank in relation to each other. These systems use advanced statistical metrics to determine the rankings, and they only get more accurate as the season progresses.

Following these rating systems can keep you from falling into the rankings trap. For instance, when the No. 23 team in the AP Top 25 is dogged on the road against an unranked opponent, the tendency is to think there’s value in the ranked team, but really, that might not be the case. The school is the underdog for a reason, and in actuality, the No. 23 team in the polls could be the 40th-best team in the country.

At the same time, a ranked road team can be a good underdog bet if they’re playing at an overrated unranked school. In any case, make sure to do your homework beyong the polls before laying down your money.

Winning more college basketball wagers can be as simple as avoiding the rankings trap when you are handicapping NCAA hoops action. Get NCAA hoops betting lines and handicapping stats every day here at Odds Shark.