Betting Early Season College Basketball

What to look for when betting early season college basketball.

Key Points

– Bettors have some advantages when betting early season college basketball.

– Like anything in sports betting, research and information is key.

Betting Early Season College Basketball 

When college basketball season begins each November, there are some solid justifications for placing bets. Betting college basketball futures odds early is one consideration. However, there are also plenty of reasons why bettors might want to lay off betting early season college basketball.

There is a happy medium though. It comes down to understanding when to bet and when not to bet. Here, we take a look at why bettors should engage in betting early season basketball and reasons why they might not.

It’s up to you to figure out where you fit into the picture.


Not As Much Action

Whether it’s betting early season college basketball or betting on March Madness, bettors should know that the sport isn’t as popular as the NBA or NFL. There is much less action on college basketball than on the NBA. 

Early in a new season, that action is even further reduced. There just aren’t as many bettors paying attention to college basketball yet. November is an important month in both college football and the NFL. 

The NFL is the most-bet sport in the U.S. The NBA is a close second. With NFL betting and college football taking up much of bettors’ time, there isn’t any left to even think about college basketball.

That is where the smarter bettor can gain an advantage. It’s easier to determine what the books and other bettors are thinking when there is little betting activity on a game. Line movement is much more transparent and identifying games with value is much easier.

If you like betting on favorites, betting early season college basketball favorites might become your new jam. Remember, the betting public loves favorites. That leads to inflated odds. However, in situations with lighter betting action, a smart bettor can get a favorite at odds that are more realistic than games with heavy action.

Betting Early Season College Basketball – Books Not Focused

Again, the NFL and college football seasons are in full swing. Bettors are tracking college football betting trends as the regular season nears its end in late November. The NFL playoff picture is becoming clearer as teams get ready to head into the final full month of the regular season. 

Sportsbooks are more focused on the sports that are attracting the most action. NCAA basketball in November is not one of those. Therefore, sportsbooks are less focused on the lines and odds for those early season games. 

Oddsmakers just don’t spend the time on setting and adjusting lines for CBB games in November. Betting volume can be so low on some of these games that the risk to the sportsbooks is negligible. Oddsmakers establish pricing for these games and, in the end, good enough is good enough. When betting early season college basketball games, it’s important to remember this.

Lack of Media Coverage

It’s almost like we’re beating a dead horse here. Sportsbooks aren’t as focused on early season college basketball. Neither is the media. 

Most fans don’t start paying attention to college basketball until football season ends. In October, the NBA and the NHL start up. Major League Baseball is still playing its postseason and, of course, there is the NFL and NCAA football. There’s simply too much going on in the sports world for the media to focus on college basketball.

Public bettors who wager on college basketball might not know as much as they will later in the season. Serious sports bettors can dig in and find a ton of information which will give them an advantage when betting early season college basketball. Smart bettors always have an edge over public bettors. That edge is more pronounced in the early season.

Impact of Returning Starters 

NCAA basketball teams with experience have an advantage over teams that don’t. That advantage is even greater early in a season. Experienced players are used to the physicality and tempo of college basketball. It may take younger players several games to get used to playing the sport.

There are the occasional superstar freshmen that step right in and excel, but they are few and far between. That’s why smart bettors will track teams that have several returning starters and bet them early in a new season.

The advantage that can be gained early in a season dwindles as the year goes on. The new starters become more accustomed to the game. If you are handicapping college basketball games in November and December, look to back teams that have a significant advantage in the level of experience.

If you’re looking for more betting knowledge, read our article Sports Betting 101: What Is a Steam Play.

Find Longshots When Betting Early Season College Basketball

Remember that public bettors love favorites and they love popular teams. They will bet on teams like Duke, North Carolina, and Kentucky early in a season no matter who they play or how they have been playing.

The more well-known team will receive an unbalanced amount of action especially when that team is coming off a successful season. The opponent might be a more obscure team and not well-known to the casual bettor. 

The smart, informed bettor can frequently take advantage of this situation and place value-packed wagers when underdog teams face well-known opponents who aren’t as strong as their reputation would imply.

When betting early season college basketball, bettors can find many worthy underdogs. There are always some big early season upsets. Bettors that do the research and find these wagers can profit greatly.