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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Thursday, January 17, 2013 at 8:00 AM

With so many basketball fans looking forward to Thursday Night’s Miami Heat/Los Angeles Lakers matchup, this seemed like the ideal time to talk once again about NBA handicapping. We’ve been focused mostly on football and college hoops the past few weeks here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting. Pro basketball will obviously be looming large for sports bettors in the coming weeks and months.

Here are some keys I’ve noticed this season:

*The best teams in the West are winning money for their backers, even though oddsmakers know those teams are good. It’s clear that oddsmakers didn’t anticipate how dominant teams like Oklahoma City and the LA Clippers were going to be in the first half of the season. And, the market has a history of underestimating the San Antonio Spurs. Those of you who follow my PLAYMAKERS and GAMEBREAKERS philosophy have been finding good success in the West. Most of the league’s true superstars in terms of the all-around game (offense and defense) are in the West.

*The East is very weak this year, and the teams who are good aren’t necessarily motivated to dominate right now. The Miami Heat play about one great game a week as they pace themselves for the playoffs. That’s led to a losing record ATS even though we all know they’ll be there at the end barring injuries. The New York Knicks offered value for awhile. But, the market caught up to them just as they started suffering some injuries here and there. In the East, THE MOTIVATION FACTOR seems to be looming largest. You want to find teams who are playing with intensity after putting the pieces in place. I could think of at least four teams in the East right now who are doing that even though their full season ATS mark won’t grab you. I’m not going to list them here because I plan to keep winning with those teams for my clients! Do the work and you’ll find them.

*We’ve reached the point in the season where the fatigue of playing on back-to-back nights is starting to loom larger. This probably deserves an article all its own. I’ll try to post that for you as time permits in the near future. For now, I strongly encourage you to note all back-to-backs on the schedule. Then, evaluate how each team is suited to dealing with back-to-backs based on their bench strength and overall team chemistry. Vegas oddsmakers tend to adjust 1-2 points for this angle (sometimes more). In certain situations, it can be worth 10-15 points! You never want to invest in tired teams who lack motivation to perform that night for you.

With football down to its last two betting days (the Conference Championships this Sunday, then the Super Bowl two weeks afterward), it’s time for all of you to get very serious about basketball. Professional sports bettors earn their nut in sports like basketball or baseball where the busy daily schedules allow you to profit seven days a week. Football is fun, but basketball is where bankrolls are truly built!

If you need some help in day-to-day basketball (college or pro) or in the championship rounds of the NFL, you can always purchase my top plays right here at this website with your major credit card. That Heat/Lakers matchup highlights a terrific Thursday schedule. I have great rates for longterm packages that will take you through March Madness and beyond.

I’ll be back again soon to talk about this weekend’s NFL matchups. The Dean of Sports Handicapping won his 200-Unit football play last weekend on Seattle (+) in Atlanta. Be sure to look for announcements about another major release this Sunday.

Thanks again to all of you who are working so hard here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting. Remember to print out all the lessons so you can compile a virtual textbook that you can refer to year-round. Take your Las Vegas betting to the next level!

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