As we inch closer to the third month on the calendar, college basketball is heating up in anticipation of conference tournaments and March Madness. That means that Handicapping the Hardwood is a must-listen for any serious college basketball handicapper.
Handicapping the Hardwood is designed to be an informational podcast that pays special attention to the betting aspect of college basketball. The whole point of the show is to make bettors aware of things that can help them make educated wagers. The oddsmakers are good and you need everything you can to get an edge. With schedule analysis, stats, trends, and coaching analysis, you can expect quality information from Handicapping the Hardwood, making it a must-listen every week for any serious college basketball bettor.
Adam opened the show with a discussion about Wichita State. The Shockers are the lone undefeated team left in the country and sit #2 at 29-0. There’s been a growing group of people hoping that the Shockers lose a game and get exposed. Does that give them a chip on their shoulder here at the end of the season? Are they the “hunted” instead of the “hunter”?
How does Kyle rank the top three conferences in the country and who are they? Will the national champion come from one of the top three conferences?
The Inside Edge (8:05 mark)
The discussion then shifted to the “Inside Edge” segment for this week. This is a great source of information for college hoops bettors, with trends, injury updates, and perception. All of these things are critical to making informed wagers. The oddsmakers are sharp and you need to be sharper! Paying attention to the Inside Edge every week could be just what you need to help increase your bankroll.
Kyle’s first point for this week’s Inside Edge was a year-to-date breakdown of home teams and road teams against the spread, as well as favorites and underdogs. The splits are nearly 50/50, which means that getting an edge anywhere you can is important. One of the places to get that edge is here at BangTheBook with our daily previews and free picks. Another place? Handicapping the Hardwood!
Adam and Kyle talked about home court advantage and the notion that oddsmakers are getting better at calculating the home court advantage in a given situation. As usual, they pointed to under the radar games as a place where you may be able to find value on teams that oddsmakers have not properly adjusted under.
According to Kyle, unders are cashing at 53.6 percent this season, the only blind bet that would make you money this season. In the last month, the under is at 51.3 percent, so books have adjusted. Are overs going to start to have more value towards the end of the season? Kyle seems to think so. Listen to this week’s Handicapping the Hardwood to find out why!
Would Kyle advocate trying to do more middling late in the season in these games that become foul fests? He says yes. Look at teams’ past tendencies. With larger sample sizes now, you can see when a team over or underperforms in the first half of a game and look to play on that team’s impending regression.
The next key point in this week’s “Inside Edge” was the injury to Larry Nance, Jr. for the Wyoming Cowboys. One of the most important things to do with a key injury is to adjust your numbers accordingly. Any time an injury occurs that will impact a team, Adam and Kyle discuss how much of an adjustment it would create. Kyle suggests a three or three-and-half-point adjustment for Wyoming without Nance. His line for Wyoming on Tuesday night against Air Force was 10 without Nance and 13 or 13.5 with him. The line from the oddsmakers is 7.5. Where else can you get that kind of insight?
Kyle’s high on the Virginia Cavaliers, a team that wins with defense. Adam says that they fly under the radar because of how they win games. Offense is exciting. Defense is not. The duo then discussed Virginia’s tournament chances. Do they think Virginia has a chance for a deep run?
With a lot of humility, Kyle gave Adam a nice pat on the back about the scheduling spot for UC-Irvine last week. In a game that both guys discussed, UC-Irvine went to Hawaii and had a game the next day against Cal State Northridge. UC-Irvine fell apart in the second half of the Northridge game and wound up losing by six as a six-and-a-half point favorite. The Anteaters just ran out of gas and Adam isolated a great situational spot on last week’s show. These are the things that Adam and Kyle try to find to talk about on Handicapping the Hardwood every week and hopefully the listeners cashed in.
Kyle may have uncovered a gem from the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. Who are they? You’ll have to click that play button to find out!
Wichita State at Bradley (27:00 mark)
What is the mindset of the Wichita State Shockers? Do they feel like they need some style points? Kyle isn’t sure, but he does agree with the earlier point that the media is still underestimating Wichita State. The perception of the team may be driving the Shockers at this stage of the season. Kyle, a college basketball totals expert, has this total at 125 and the current total on this game is 130.5.
Adam has a suggestion for how to bet this game and Kyle agrees that it is a good way to approach this matchup. The Shockers are on national television tonight, giving the country a rare chance to look at the #2 team in the country. Will that have an affect on the game?
Baylor at Texas (31:50 mark)
Adam starts by saying that the line seems low, but it is lined right at Kyle’s number. Kyle has the total at 140. Both guys lament the coaches, Scott Drew and Rick Barnes, as guys that they cannot trust. Perception means a lot in college basketball and there’s a recency bias in this line, according to Adam. Baylor has won four straight games, but two required overtime and one was over TCU, who is 0-15 in conference play. Texas has lost in an ugly way to Iowa State and Kansas in consecutive games, but both matchups were on the road. Texas has been good at home throughout the season and that’s a point that Adam stresses in his thoughts on the game.
Looking below the surface is the only way to get an edge in college basketball and that’s what these game breakdowns stress on Handicapping the Hardwood.
North Carolina at North Carolina State (36:45 mark)
Kyle is right on the line in this game, with a total of 150. Perception is high on the Tar Heels and Kyle has a great feel for this team right now. The team is growing up right before everybody’s eyes and that makes them a dangerous team to go against heading towards March. This is a different UNC team this season, buying in to playing on both ends of the floor.
That being said, is UNC fat and happy? Are they on upset alert against little brother?
Oregon at UCLA (42:00 mark)
Kyle has this game at UCLA -7.5 and the total at 159. As you’ve seen so far, Kyle’s numbers are pretty accurate and when they’re not, he fires because he believes he has an edge, so listening to Handicapping the Hardwood can give you an edge on games that aren’t lined yet.
Both guys agree that there’s a lot of talent on the floor between these two teams, but is either one of them worth your money?
UC-Santa Barbara at UC-Irvine (46:00 mark)
This week’s under the radar game again features the Anteaters as Irvine and Santa Barbara fight for the top spot in the Big West. Kyle has this game lined at Irvine -4.5 and the total at 123, with the same season revenge angle in play, something that Kyle loves to look at. This is a great matchup of two great bigs between Alan Williams and Mamadou Ndiaye.
This is a chance to cash on a late night game that isn’t getting the respect it deserves.
It was another show full of great information and people are starting to take notice of Handicapping the Hardwood, the best college basketball betting podcast around. Remember to send in your questions, comments, and thoughts to Adam and Kyle or Tweet them at us for next Friday’s show.
Download this week’s podcast or listen to it on the embedded player in this article and share it with your friends, family, and fellow bettors so that everybody can bang the book this week in college hoops!
Adam Burke is a freelance writer and amateur handicapper with a knack for finding value through matchup analysis and a deep understanding of the sports betting market. His main area of expertise is baseball, with a background in sabermetrics and advanced statistics. He is the host of The Gridiron Gambling Report and our college football and college basketball BangTheBook.com podcasts on the BlogTalkRadio Network.