College basketball is back. A new season tips Friday. We’ve reviewed the best Pro Systems and found undervalued teams to win the NCAA tournament but the public demands more. So, we are giving the people what they want. Here is a simple betting strategy for Game 1 of the season.

Usually it’s a bad idea to bet on ranked teams (4232-4275-159 (49.7%) ATS, -273.29 units since 2005) but as Marky Mark from Sports Insights points out, Top 25 programs feast in the early going.

The first game of the season is the most profitable as ranked teams smash in Game 1.

My theory, while teams have been practicing there is no substitution for true on-court competition. Teams may struggle early in the season as they learn to incorporate new schemes and players. The best programs, usually the most talented, with superior coaching can overcome these disadvantages and succeed when the ball first hits the court.

Ranked teams are the best bet in Game 1 but what is the optimal strategy? First, avoid Top 25 matchups. Any advantage the best programs in the country have from talent/coaching would be neutralized against a ranked opponent. By targeting games against unranked teams our win rate improves from 57% to 58.5% ATS.

When betting on college basketball it is important to concentrate on heavily bet games. These contests attract the most recreational bettors. Using the “Number of Bets Compared to Daily Avg” filter we can eliminate games the public isn’t on.

It’s not a huge sample, that’s expected when looking at the first game of the season, but the results have been consistent. Since 2005, there have only been two seasons where this system had a losing against-the-spread record.

Top 25 teams in heavily bet games against unranked opponents to start the season are 51-29 (63.8%) ATS, +19.5 units since 2005.

There are currently six games that match this system. One is Duke -19.5 vs. Elon. Access the rest of the plays with the Bet Labs Starter Membership, just $49 for a month.

Bet Labs users can copy this system from the Think Tank.