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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Wednesday, December 19, 2012 at 7:00 AM

Oddsmakers traditionally dread the first several weeks of college basketball. That’s because sports bettors have everything going for them when attacking the nightly cards. Remember that oddsmakers must post a number in every game, while YOU can pick and choose the very best value options.

It’s already clear a few weeks into the new season that oddsmakers misread many board teams. That’s understandable with so many teams playing in so many conferences in so many different parts of the country! Here’s a quick look at the biggest misreads.

THE UNDERRATED: BEST ATS RECORDS (at least 6 board games)

Illinois-Chicago 8-1

Creighton 8-1

Syracuse 6-1

Wyoming 6-1

Arizona 6-1

Utah 6-1-1

Virginia 6-1-1

Cal Northridge 7-2

Washington State 6-2

Indiana 6-2

Charlotte 6-2

George Washington 6-2

Bradley 6-2

Pepperdine 6-2

That’s more than a dozen teams who are at 75% or better with at least six games under their belts. Clearly these teams are playing at a higher level than oddsmakers were expecting. It may surprise some of you that big name teams that Syracuse…and especially INDIANA…can show up on a list of “underrated” teams. Even though Indiana lost to Butler, was fortunate to pull away from Georgetown in overtime, they’ve exceeded he number three-fourths of the time.

Note how spread out geographically those success stories are. No matter where you live in the country, there’s a team nearby that’s cashing tickets. Don’t feel overwhelmed by the big college basketball schedule. Focus on a conference-load or team-load you can handle, and exploit oddsmaker errors.

THE OVERRATED: WORST ATS RECORDS (at least 6 board games)

Marshall 0-7-1

Drexel 1-8

Wisconsin-Milwaukee 2-9

Massachusetts 1-7

UTEP 1-6

Missouri State 1-5

Arkansas State 1-5

Denver 1-5

Auburn 2-6

UAB 2-6

Georgia State 2-6

Saint Louis 2-6

Long Beach State 2-6

Sometimes you’re best options are “fades” like these because it takes longer for lines to adjust to teams who are never on TV. Betting against struggling teams who are even worse than expected can cash tickets for you well into January and sometimes even February. Oddsmakers are under pressure to “fix” misreads on major conference teams. In the Sun Belt, Conference USA, and some of the Midwest mid-majors, there’s no sense of urgency because those games are so lightly bet. We strongly encourage you to keep an eye on as many of this group as you can in the coming days and weeks. Many seemingly simple strategies have proven the test of time.

College basketball’s schedule cools off a bit around the holidays. That makes it the perfect time to get caught up with your handicapping and sports betting approaches. Get on top of things NOW so you can profit through the end of non-conference play and in the opening weeks of league action that gets rolling after the new year.

If you’d like some help, JIM HURLEY is always ready to go with BIG, JUICY WINNERS! Game day releases are available for credit card purchase here at the website. You can also sign up by calling the office at 1-800-323-4453.

It’s back to football Thursday here in the NOTEBOOK, as we get ready for a big weekend of bowl and NFL playoff chase action…

Thursday’s NOTEBOOK: a stat preview of the Poinsettia and Beef O’Brady’s Bowls

Friday’s NOTEBOOK: a preview of the New Orleans and Las Vegas Bowls that go early Saturday

Saturday’s NOTEBOOK: a preview of Atlanta-Detroit in the NFL, a Saturday Night Special

Sunday’s NOTEBOOK: a preview of San Francisco-Seattle, the prime time game on NBC

Monday’s NOTEBOOK: a preview of the Hawaii Bowl

Whether it’s college basketball, pro basketball, college football bowl action, or the NFL through the playoffs and Super Bowl…JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK will make sure you GET THE MONEY!

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