Conference tourney week brings a lot of action for sportsbooks and a lot of headaches to go along with it.
It’s a tough week for the books because conference tourney time pales in comparison to March Madness in terms of difficulty to set odds simply because the games are packed in like a Tokyo subway.
The NCAA national title tournament has 67 games – including the first four play-in games – spaced over three weeks, while conference tournament week has around 170 games jammed into one week with games happening one day after the other.
“It’s definitely right up there towards the top (in terms of toughest weeks of the season to set odds),” says Dave Mason, brand manager for BetOnline. “So many games on such short notice. Also, so many of those small schools that are often trickier to handle.”
That’s opportunity knocking. Pay attention to the smaller conferences as next week goes on and you can catch the books in some weak spots.
“The smaller the conferences, the more challenging … you can get beat a little more on the smaller games, but that’s why limits are often lower on them,” says Mason.
Soft lines during conference tourney time are even more evident with totals. Jay Kornegay at Westgate Superbook is among the many oddsmakers over the years who have told me that college hoops totals are the toughest to handicap.
Zero in on one or two conferences this week – in particular the smaller ones – and focus on totals. You should come out of Selection Sunday with a healthy bankroll leading into March Madness.
Note: Some of the info and quotes in this piece were used in an article I wrote last March. Thought it was still relevant and hope it helps you win some money this March.