Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 5:36 PM
There are just a couple of weeks left in college basketball’s regular season. This is a unique and challenging time for Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping because of the emotional factors that are in play in all of the major and mid major betting conferences.
Most of you know that my top priority in each game is to focus on PLAYMAKERS and GAMEBREAKERS. That works great when teams are at 100% focus. That means it’s worked out great already again this season…and will then work again for me in the conference tournaments and the Big Dance. But, RIGHT NOW, the top athletes on the best teams are starting to take their eyes off the ball. They know that their biggest games are off in the near future.
*Inconsistent scoring rather than aggressive scoring
*Inconsistent or poor defense rather than intense defense
*Power teams playing 5-7 points worse than their Power Ratings, sometimes more
I still trust my work on isolating the high impact players. But, I do the best job I can to make sure that the team is still focused before I place a wager on them, or release them as a big play to my clients.
Late February and early March results in past seasons have made it very clear that you have to be careful asking for peak (or even average) performances from top teams. Some will continue to shine. Many will go through a lull before bringing fire again in the tournaments.
The second key is always THE MOTIVATION FACTOR. If anything, that actually favors some midrange and lower underdogs who will be:
*Playing for revenge off an earlier loss
*Looking to make headlines by scoring a big upset
*REALLY looking to do that in front of loud home crowds
Ideally, you’re best plays will have you on superior teams who have superior motivation in the matchup. Our current time period creates a lot of inferior teams with superior motivation. That’s why it’s so dicey.
And, unfortunately, we see too many games where NEITHER team has much motivation! The favorite is thinking too soon about March. The underdog is down in the dumps because of a disappointing season, and they know their only hope is to get hot in a couple of weeks in their conference tournament. There are still some games every night that will have a buzz to them. It’s largely a dead zone though for handicappers who believe motivation is an important element in the process.
Here’s my best advice to Advanced Handicappers for this period on the calendar:
*Focus on teams who ARE motivated in a given matchup because of revenge, a shot at winning their conference regular season championship, or because of their position on the bubble for getting into the NCAA Tournament. Note that I won’t recommend betting all bubble teams because many are mediocre in the first place and not deserving of a bid. But, those who have TALENT and are playing well lately are worthy of consideration at affordable prices.
*Focus on home underdogs who have at least one dangerous scoring weapon, and have a one-sided motivation edge because of rivalry revenge or some other meaningful factor.
*If you’re an action-minded bettor, trim your daily action by at least 30%. Maybe 50%. You can be aggressive when warranted. Have the discipline to recognize that aggression isn’t warranted as often now as it was several days ago. If you’re the type who only attacks 1-2 top plays per night, this probably won’t affect you because there will still be that many truly standout options. I’ve seen far too many action-minded bettors ruin good seasons by taking a badly timed hit just before the lucrative tournaments got started.
If you’d like some daily guidance from The Dean of Sports Handicappers, my best plays are available for purchase right here at the website with your major credit card. You can also sign up now for the rest of basketball, and use your conservative Las Vegas betting strategies to build a nice bankroll for the tournaments.
I have another edition of coursework scheduled for later this week that will help you make money as a sports bettor. Don’t YOU fall into the trap of taking your eye off the ball because the tournaments are just around the corner!