Conference vs Non-Conference Game Betting

College basketball betting is really about three seasons - the non-conference schedule, the conference schedule, and the postseason including the conference tournaments and the NCAA Tournament. In this article, we’ll take a look at the differences between betting on the first two parts of the college hoops slate - non-conference and conference schedules.

betting the non-conference schedule

As a general rule of thumb, homecourt advantage is huge in college basketball, and that’s true whether it’s a non-conference or a conference matchup that we’re talking about. That said, homecourt advantage is also overvalued in certain spots, so do your homework.

Tournament hopefuls use the non-conference schedule to pad their resume and build some confidence and cohesion heading into league action. Lack of history between the schools and/or roster turnover from the previous season makes handicapping these games difficult. Early in the year, bettors are often forced to rely on what they know about a team from last season in handicapping non-conference games.

Beware of the mid-major with something to prove in non-conference games. Teams from the power conferences might be looking to coast, but mid-majors know a win over a big program can be all they need to book a ticket to the Big Dance.

A common theory in college hoops betting is that home underdogs are always good wagers. Not in non-conference matchups. In fact, small road favorites tend to be better bets than home pups in these types of games.

betting the conference schedule

The conference schedule, of course, presents a different beast. The teams and the coaches are familiar with each other and their respective styles, and rivalries, motivation, and the revenge factor can play into which team wins against the point spread.

Don’t forget about the hard statistics either, but remember that conference games bring out the best in a feisty underdog – especially when on their home court against a hated rival. Winning more college basketball bets depends on understanding the difference between handicapping college basketball conference vs non-conference games.