Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Wichita State guard Samajae Haynes-Jones
- The Thursday college basketball slate is full of early-season tournament games played on neutral courts.
- Using the Bet Labs database, we find the optimal strategy for betting neutral-court over/unders.
The college hoops action gets started early Thursday thanks to in-season tournaments. The Charleston Classic, Myrtle Beach Invitational, Junkanoo Jam and 2K Classic are light on big-name programs, but do create a opportunities for bettors to profit.
All games at these events will be played on a neutral court. Hoops are the same height in every gym, but not all arenas are created equally.
The unfamiliar surroundings, the different sightlines and each team playing a road game tends to lead to lower-scoring games.
Since 2005, the under is 1,572-1,361-45 (53.6%) in regular season games played on a neutral court. In that same span, the under is 19,880-19,938-489 (49.9%) in all other games.
Clearly there is something to betting unders when neither team is playing at home. We can improve this strategy by targeting early-season and high-total games:
- Neutral Courts in November: Betting the under in neutral-site games has been most profitable in November as offenses work to incorporate new players and schemes.
- Unders High-totals: Historically, unders in college basketball have been more profitable in high-total games (145 or more points). The more points expected to be scored the easier it is for a game to go under, it just makes sense.
The under is 405-320-6 (55.9%) in early-season, neutral-court games with a high over/under since 2005. The optimal games to target are those receiving little public action (50% or less of bets) on the under:
Six games match this system on Thursday with the first starting before 12 p.m. ET. If you are looking to sweat during the workday, these are matchups to target:
- Wake Forest vs. St. Joseph’s (11:30 a.m. ET, ESPNU)
- Virginia Tech vs. Ball State (11:30 a.m. ET, ESPN2)
- Western Kentucky vs. Valparaiso (5 p.m. ET, ESPNU)
- Appalachian State vs. Purdue (5 p.m. ET, ESPN2)
- Central Michigan vs. Cal State Bakersfield (6 p.m. ET, channel not listed)
- Davidson vs. Wichita State (7 p.m. ET, ESPN3)