Sports Betting Tips And Articles

Betting on Ranked & Non-Ranked Matchups

Knowing the nuances involved in betting games involving ranked schools and matchups featuring unranked schools is key to wagering both college football and basketball successfully.

Let's face it: Handicapping games with two ranked teams is a lot more enjoyable – and on the whole, a little easier for the public bettor. For a big-time matchup of ranked opponents, there's simply more information, more press, more coverage, and thus, more knowledge available to Joe Q. Bettor.

This is especially important in college football, where the importance of one player among 22 starters is often overlooked. If a No.1 ranked team's right guard goes down with an injury, you'll hear about it. You'll even find out everything that you need to know about his replacement, right down to his favorite ice cream flavor.

The point is, you'll have everything you need to know about the two teams in the BCS Championship Game. They're both ranked. They're both public. The same can't be said when Ohio clashes with Kent State in a Tuesday night MAC barnburner, you get my drift?

Besides, there's always value on the board when a ranked school is dogged against another ranked school. It's not too often an undefeated team are dogged – especially this late in the season. But scenarios like that can happen all the time in games involving a pair of ranked schools.

Keep in mind, however, that the underdog isn't always the sharp spread wager in those scenarios. Sometimes, the lower-ranked team is overvalued because of their ranking, among other reasons.

The positive is that a game between two ranked teams will always give you a betting angle. But that doesn't mean you should blindly take the pup just because they could conceivably win outright.

Of course, there are also disadvantages to wagering matchups involving ranked schools. If you have all the needed information, guess whom else does? The oddsmakers, silly. The lines and totals are much sharper when ranked teams hit the field or the hardwood, especially in college hoops' conference play.

At the same time, sportsbooks' dirty little secret is that the softest lines around exist in college sports, especially in basketball. There are 250+ Division I college hoops programs, meaning that on any given Saturday there are 70-100 games that need a spread and an over/under.

The vast majority of these contests involve unranked schools, and there's no way the books can stay on top of it all. If you know your stuff, there's money to be made snapping up some pretty dull lines offered up by the guys setting the spreads.

In addition, there are a lot of good teams that are unranked – in both sports. Remember that a school that's No. 26 in the nation (and thus out of the AP Top 25), could actually be one of the best teams around. Keep an eye out for teams just out of the rankings when they match up with schools carrying the status of a national ranking.

Also, the rankings themselves can be very misleading. Polls are subject to preseason expectations, scheduling, and matchups. In college pigskin, a team can start the year ranked No. 5 in the country, but at the end of the season aren't even bowl eligible. On the college hardwood, a team can begin the year in the top 10 in the polls before reaching the final – of the NIT.

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