The Final Four


We are used to seeing brackets in our daily newspapers, so it was surprising to see them being used for something as nonchalantly as a sports bet. However, the internet has caught on, and many sites will offer you free brackets for the NCAA Tournament. That means that you can easily look at the Top 25 and Top 50 rankings, or you can even purchase special hooded printable brackets to use for your own personal picks.

If you want to bet on the NCAA Tournament using the brackets than you’re going to need to know a little more about them. Each year the Southeastern Conference hasems championships and the top 25 (as well as the other top 8) are guaranteed to be represented. The reasoning behind this is that the strength of the Top 25 is not as strong as the strength of the Top 8, so with only 8 teams in the Top 25, if you’re smart you’re going to bet on the Top 8 underdogs, and master the art of betting.

The majority of the NCAA Basketball fans that don’t know a thing about basketball, or the teams involved, spend some time searching for tips and strategies to help them bet. This is a good way to earn some extra money, but don’t be blinded by the enthusiasm of having a favorite team, as any favorite team will have your odds in their favor, simply because of the inherent wealth of talent within the team.

Thus, knowing the different teams in the NCAA Tournament and how they match up against each other can greatly improve your chances of placing the winning bet. Knowing the teams, players and coaches will make it easier to understand the factors that are affecting the team’s performance, and help you to place winning bets.

If you don’t know anything about basketball, or the NCAA Tournament, there is still time to make a smart bet. We’re going to Pitt vs. Seton Hall, and we’re going to risk $100 to win $100 on Pitt (bet $100 with the odds listed above). We’d win $170 (recipe: 25/1). Therefore, a $100 bet would return $160.

However, we’d lose $100 if we placed our bet straight up on Pitt. Instead of risking $100 to win $91, we should risk $165 to win $100. This $100 of capital will earn us another $45 in winnings, and Seton Hall will risk $100 to win $91.5, giving us the same $45.5.

To make this system work, you have to bet $200 on the underdog to win $100 and $200 on the favorite to win $91.5. This system would seemingly be quite the opposite of the way most people bet, but it’s not. This line of thinking is the reason why Vegas books make money off the novice bettor.

The Margin Betting Concept

Another concept you might want to consider is the Margin Betting concept. It’s really a hard concept to grasp, but once you’ve gotten the gist of it, you’ll be profitable in no time.

To hurdle the Margin concept, you’ll need to start betting in relation to the true odds, rather than the over-under. After betting on the over, you must bet the spread less the actual over-under of the game.

Let’s use an example. Pitt is playing at Seton Hall. The spread for Pitt is 9.5 and the actual over-under is 59.5. However, we believe Pitt will win the game due to their better skill level and superior depth. Therefore, we may bet on the Pitt +9.5 at the Bet store and, consequently, bet $100 on the Pitt – 59.5 at the Bet store.

If you were to win both bets, you’ll lose the first bet due to the Vig. You’ll get your $100 back plus your $100 winnings ($150 total). However, since you bet $200, you’ll have a net win of $200 as Pitt thus wouldn’t count as a win. In that case, the game is even. However, if you bet $100 on the Pitt – 59.5 and win, you’d have a net win of $100 as Seton Hall, which would count as a win for you.

The net win when you bet on the underdog is just the vig. You can bet as little as you like with this system, and the books keep track of the bets you place, so you can get credit for your wins. This system isn’t designed to beat the line, it’s designed specifically to help you make money.