It is the time of year when conference championships are almost upon us and there are several keys that should be looked at when handicapping the tournaments during March Madness.
Experience pays off:
One has to look at teams that have played in championships to get back to the championship round. In the last five years teams that have won the championship has made it back to the big game 63% of the time. This has to do with being able to handle the pressure of the big game.
Depth is a must for the championship tournament as it will always give an edge to a team when it comes to late in the tournament when teams have played several games over several days. Teams that are strong in depth allow players to be fresher longer and eat up precious time as well as fouls at any given time.
This one is rather obvious has teams that rebound the ball well get a second chance at missed shots and will often control the tempo of the game for the most part. The teams in conference that have had the rebounding edge has gone to the championship round more often than not.
Another obvious one is free throws. Teams that can shoot free throws will win games down the stretch and in conference tournaments they are invaluable. With the basics of picking a winner in the conference tournaments out of the way let’s look at some of the intangibles that will make you money ATS.
Ride the Streak:
Hot teams coming into the tournament are always a play in my book. These teams usually get all the bounces, play the game the hardest and take advantage of teams playing out the string. However a note here is if the team is undefeated in conference play when they enter the tournament I suggest a play against them SU and ATS.
Stay away from the last team to make the tournament:
The #8 seed is a dangerous go of things in conference tournaments. They have played the #1 seed before (often twice) and so the #1 seed knows exactly what to expect and is not surprised by the play or the temp unlike March Madness when the lower seeds surprise more often. The #8 seed is not a money maker ATS either as they are just 51% ATS in conference tournaments.
Your upsets will be from the middle of the pack:
This makes sense as the teams ranked #4-#6 are often playing opposition with equal talent or close to it. This is where the dog will become more valuable than not and will have an easier path to getting to the conference championship and often cashing as an underdog along the way.
The conference tournaments to me are very valuable when considering the big dance in March. The reason is simple. When you play close attention to the conference tournaments you are watching teams that will make the Big Dance and you will get insight on how to play them when March Madness starts.