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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Friday, February 15, 2013 at 12:41 PM

The heated competition of conference play in college basketball is taking its toll on favorites, a fact exhibited again last night has public choices went 18-28-1 (39%) against the spread (ATS) with 15 of them losing straight up. A sampling of results produced Temple (16-8), a 17-point home favorite, losing to a dreadful Duquesne (8-16) team, 84-83, and Stanford, a 9½-point home favorite, losing to Southern California, 65-64.

The upset win by Southern California was especially pleasing since I had released the Trojans as my 100-unit College Upset Game of the Month. Little makes one feel better than being right in a 100-unit game and the victory left me with a 15-5-1 record in these games this season.

The dominance of underdogs is by no means assured but it is safe to assume that teams that are motivated to win to rescue a bad season, improve their chances to win a conference championship or to increase their hopes of getting to the NCAA Tournament can be formidable opponents.

Handicappers know betting lines are already as tight as a dead-heat and the incentive factor that comes at this time each year makes beating them a much greater challenge. The equalizing factor in all of this is the fact winning is just as great a challenge for bookmakers.

The keys to winning remain just as they have been all season - working harder at handicapping, digging deeper into the data, looking for edges not found in the statistics, finding situations that bend the number in favor of one team or the other and in the overall process simply doing a better job of analyzing a game than did the guy making the betting line.

For certain it is no time for handicappers to become lazy.

100-Unit USC Win Exposed Bad Number

As noted, I won my 100-unit College Upset Game of the Month with USC last night, and for reasons offered in my write-up of the game as it was released to clients. Here is exactly what I had to say about the choice of USC.

Comments: "Southern California is far better than its 11-13, won its last road game, at UCLA, 75-71, is going for its 4th straight win and is playing at a level that convinced me the Trojans---with more than their share of blue-chip talent - can win at Stanford tonight. When these teams met the first time this season - January 3 in Los Angeles - USC won 71-69 as a 3-point underdog and since then has improved dramatically while the Cardinal has remained in neutral. Stanford is 10-2 at home this season and stands 4-1 in its last five games but everything about this game points to a big-time ambush by USC which simply is the better team right now. Getting 9 ½ in a game where the 'dog figures to be the outright winner is one of the bargains of the season."

That was the simple explanation as to why I thought USC would win but it can after hours of research, putting the game through a process that addressed every issue, positive and negative. As noted many times in this space, winning is not an accident.

15-Unit Colorado Upset Of Arizona Was Written In the Situation

My Best Bets Basketball Investment Club split its plays 1-1 last night but still made money as Colorado (+2 ½) upset 9th-ranked Arizona, 71-58, as a 15-unit play, while Montana lost at Weber State, 87-63, as a 10-unit bet. There certainly was a reason to support a play on Colorado and here is how a termed it my explanation when releasing the game.

Comments: "It has been 41 days since Colorado was robbed of a win at Arizona and it is not a stretch to suggest for the Buffaloes - and a standing-room only sell-out crowd of more than 11,064 - this is not the grudge match of the entire season. In the game at Arizona, Colorado's Sabatino Chin hit a buzzer-beater to give the Buffaloes what appeared to be an upset win but after more than five minutes of studying the replay, the officials ruled time had expired when Chin got his shot off, and the game went to overtime, with Arizona winning 92-83 over a literally stunned and obviously cheated Colorado team. I personally watched the replay dozens of times and there is no doubt in my mind the field goal should have counted, but, again, it is a requirement of officials to be blind. It is against this background Colorado will take the floor tonight and reports from Boulder say the team is ready to get its revenge, and it has the blue-chip talent to do just that. It also is of note Colorado is 9-1 at home this season. "

Again, there was a reason for taking Colorado, even though an underdog, to knockoff Arizona. As noted, winning is never an accident, but the results of getting all the facts that position a team to get the job done regardless of the betting line, public opinion or national ranking.

 50-Unit Ivy League Game Of Year Tops Tonight's Betting Menu
The Ivy League can prove to be a minefield for bettors, if they don't pay close attention from week-to-week. As one who handicaps every single game on the board each day, including all those in the Ivy League, I believe I have a very accurate performance profile on all eight conference members and because of that know tonight it is time to go for the money with my 50-unit Ivy League Game of the Year. I am releasing this game with complete confidence I will get the money and you can win with me for just $50, charged to your major credit card. Better yet, click here to sign up for my St. Valentine's Package that begins Saturday and get this game free.

Tonight's Ivy League Schedule
Columbia (10-10) at Brown (8-12)
Cornell (11-12) at Yale (9-14)
Princeton (11-8) at Dartmouth (6-14)
Pennsylvania (5-17) at Harvard (13-7)

Nationally Televised Georgetown at Cincinnati Wins For 25 Units Tonight
The battle for the championship of the Big East Conference continues tonight when Georgetown (18-4) and Cincinnati (19-6) meet on ESPN looking that will keep them right in the race with seven other teams to win it all. The betting line makes this a dead-even affair but hidden from view are two little facts that should give us the winner. Get all the money with this 25-unit play for just $25, charged, to your major credit card.

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