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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Tuesday, March 5, 2013 at 9:00 AM

The first of many Mid-Major college basketball tournaments get started Tuesday Night with the Horizon League opening round games at campus sites. That makes this the perfect time to discuss Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping principals for the Mid major tourneys.

Normally my first point is to emphasize PLAYMAKERS and GAMEBREAKERS. Here in the mid-major events though, I’ve found that it’s THE MOTIVATION FACTOR that tends to rule the day.

Keys to remember:

*Many mid major teams lack true impact stars. The better teams are well-coached and perform well within a system. The worst teams are just collections of kids happy to be wearing a uniform somewhere. There are always a few exceptions. Generally, the best players who can control a team’s destiny are in the major conferences. 

*In a lot of these Mid-majors, only the tournament champion is going to get a bid to the NCAA Tournament. That means the BEST team also has PEAK MOTIVATION because there’s no margin for error. This isn’t like the Big 10, Big 12 or Big East where you can lose in the quarterfinals with full confidence that you’re still going to get a Dance invitation. Next week, I’ll bet some value underdog plays going against big name teams who don’t really have much to play for yet. This week, we’ll be looking at good teams who absolutely have to win. I may have a 50-unit or 100-unit play (at least) on a #1 seed in a Mid-major tourney that’s likely to run up the score so no doubt remains about their invitation.

*For the bulk of these lesser brackets, senior experience often proves vital. Seniors know that a loss means their basketball career comes to an end. That means you’re getting THE MOST EXPERIENCED players at PEAK INTENSITY. This is a great combination to have in a neutral court game that’s lined near pick-em in Las Vegas.

*The worst value teams…meaning those that you want to bet against…are young teams who have lacked chemistry throughout the season. They all believe they’ll be back next year, so there’s no sense of urgency. They’re sick of each other already because the season has been a disappointment. And, nobody’s going to pass the ball to work for good shots because they all want to shoot themselves. Help defense? Forget about it. One of the hallmarks of Advanced Sports Betting is that you’re often focused on “bet against” teams rather than “take” teams. Remember to look for inexperienced, losing teams who are likely to get blown out of the gym because their season has unofficially been over for a few weeks already.

Allow me to summarize…

Best TAKE teams: any conference power that NEEDS to win to get into the Dance (true big bet potential); any upper division team that has a lot of seniors who don’t want their seasons to end yet (great sleeper potential).

Best GO AGAINST teams: losing teams lacking seniors who have shown poor chemistry in conference action (ideal for big bets against); or conference powers who are locked into Dance invitations already and may not bring the fire it takes to cover high Vegas pointspreads (the hidden key to many conference tourney upsets).

I will be posting selections daily in college basketball this week. Most of my plays will still be from regular season games in the major conferences. But, when opportunities arise in Mid-major tournaments, I can assure you I’ll be firing away with both barrels. You can purchase my top daily plays or seasonal packages at this website with your major credit card.

We’ll be talking a lot about tournament basketball in the coming days here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping. One of the reasons I’m The Dean of Sports Handicapping is because my proven methods…and my continual ability to find new ways to win…have allowed me to shine during March Madness since it went mainstream a few decades ago. The names of the players may change. The fundamentals that determine who wins and loses on the floor, and who cashes their tickets in Las Vegas, are constant.

Be a good student, and you will master those fundamentals!

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