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March Madness & College Basketball Picks Explained

Handicappers make predictions by closely studying a wide range of information. This directly informs NCAA basketball picks and parlays. Let’s take a closer look at how handicappers collect, study, and apply their research. First and foremost, handicappers are fans of the game. This means they collect primary data from watching games and staying up to date with what sports analysts and other experts are speculating. From there, handicappers analyze official records. They have access to injury reports, player data, incoming recruits, staffing changes, and so on. Player injuries lead to tangible changes on the court, while staffing mishaps can lead to issues with overall dynamic.

Lastly, handicappers pay close attention to activity in sportsbooks to see who the public is backing. Not only will they use this information to inform their picks and odds, but they’ll also use this to create parlays.

Parlays are a series of bets that run concurrently for college basketball expert picks. A bettor is paid out only if all portions of the bet are won. This means a bettor can wager on a variety of popular bets, such as moneyline, point spread, totals, prop, and futures bets—all in one go. As you can see, a variety of small details directly affect NCAA basketball expert picks. Keep reading to learn more about the various bets offered.

NCAA basketball picks against the spread refers to wagering on the underdog in a point spread bet. This means that your pick must not lose by a certain number of points to the favorite team. When it comes to NCAA basketball spread picks, OddsChecker’s college basketball picks portal connects you to the latest selections by our expert handicappers. Here, you can also find the latest parlay bets for upcoming games.

Handicappers Stephen Rodriguez and Dan Canova offer college basketball picks against the spread. Both offer detailed records for each pick they make. For instance, Rodriguez uses past meeting records between both teams set to faceoff, recent wins and losses in a tournament, and performance record against superior teams. Come post-season play, he will cross-reference these records to make March Madness picks each day.

Four teams have caught the interest of sportsbooks and handicappers. These teams will likely lead their conferences. They’re currently top March Madness picks and are considered favorites to compete in the championship final.

Baylor: As last season’s favorite to take the championship title, Baylor’s odds in the upcoming season are bolstered by decisions from top players Jared Butler and MaCio Teague to forego a move to the NBA Draft. However, Baylor still has to face Kansas in the Big 12 Conference (though they wouldn’t face them again until March Madness).

Gonzaga: The Bulldogs will have top scorer and rebounder Filip Petrusev returning, as well as a new recruit in Jalen Suggs. Though led by Pretusev and Suggs, the Bulldogs can rely on another three starting players from their 2019-20 season.

Virginia: Though the Cavaliers managed to make waves last year and didn’t seem in need of a roster rollover, they’re coming into the 2020-21 season with a few top high school recruits. They’ll have Jabri Addur-Rahim among their ranks, which will help them deal with the loss of Braxton Key and Mamadi Diakite.

Kentucky: Head coach John Calipari has done a solid job of replacing top players that have moved on to the NBA. The Wildcats have replacements in budding stars like BJ Boston, who currently has one of the strongest high school shooting records.

When it comes to betting on NCAA basketball picks, there are many options available to fans. While handicappers offer free college basketball picks as a result of in-depth analysis, fans can also take a look at computer picks. Computer picks are chosen by a program that tallies past performance. While this doesn’t include a more nuanced look at player and team dynamics, or records within a conference, it’s a popular way to see which team the public is backing.

Here are the most popular ways to wager on college basketball expert picks:

Moneyline: a moneyline is a simple win-loss wager. It’s also known as a straight-up bet because there are no additional conditions attached to the bet. The chosen team either wins or loses.

Point spread: the point spread bet is very popular when it comes to betting on college basketball. Rather than predicting a winner, point spread betting involves giving a handicap to the underdog, which is represented by a number (or ‘point’). Point spread betting involves in-depth analysis of stats that determine the spread, or the points given to each team. Point spread betting is also referred to as ‘betting the spread’ or ‘handicap betting’. Betting on the underdog is known as ‘betting against the spread’.

Futures: a futures bet is placed on the outcome of a future event, like the NCAAB Championship or which teams make it to the Final Four. Futures bets are also placed on divisional or conference matches.

Totals: over/under and Totals betting are two ways to refer to the exact same wager. Bets are placed on the total score at the end of a match, which means both teams final scores are added together. Bettors wager on whether the total score of a game will be over or under the number provided by sportsbooks.

Proposition aka Prop: a prop bet determines anything aside from the outcome of a game. In the NCAAB, popular prop bets include how many points an individual player will score or how many steals a player can make in a game.

First & Second-Half: first and second half lines are similar to point spread bets, only applied for a specific time slot. Bettors wager on the first or second half of a game to determine which team will be ahead, and by how many points.

Examining a team’s previous championship record is one way to determine NCAA basketball picks for futures wagers. Additionally, monitoring a coach’s championship record is important. For example, Duke has 5 total championship titles, three of which were achieved by head coach Mike Kryzyzewski. While the Kentucky Wildcats have 8 championship titles, only one comes from the past two decades (2012), which means this record isn’t affecting their current odds. At the moment, many handicappers and sportsbooks are offering NCAA basketball picks and parlays for the 2021 Championship final. Given that no champion was crowned in early April of 2020, this is an exciting time to back up original picks from the previous season or wait to see who experts are naming as their favorite.

Current Final Four picks:

Baylor Bears

Gonzaga Bulldogs

Virginia Cavaliers

Current National Championship picks:

Baylor Bears

Gonzaga Bulldogs

Villanova Wildcats

Creighton Bluejays

Virginia Cavaliers

OddsChecker’s expert handicappers Matt McCuen, Mike Spector and Jason Radowitz are busy working behind the scenes to build their picks for the upcoming basketball season. They’ll be available to provide insight and parlay betting suggestions throughout the season before they transition to analyzing and making picks for March Madness. Let’s take a closer look at each. Dan Canova has a strong passion for basketball. He provides NBA and NCAA basketball expert picks and analysis throughout each league’s season. His in-depth dives during January, February, and March have made him popular amongst punters. Stephen Rodriguez has spent years in the industry. He’s a fan of the NBA and college basketball, but also dips his toe in the world of football to make college football picks. He provides a variety of NCAA basketball picks and parlays throughout the season, but also offers users in-depth analysis for the hectic days of March Madness.


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