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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Friday, March 8, 2013 at 6:00 PM

Sports bettors and handicappers don’t often find themselves talking about real estate when studying postseason college basketball tournaments. Those following my Advanced Principals know that winning means exploiting EVERY edge they can find. Today, I’m going to talk about how a tournament’s location and environment can play a big role in shaping which teams win games and cover pointspreads.

PROXIMITY: The general rule at sportsbooks is to give any team hosting a tournament about 3-4 points credit in each of their games…but to count all other games as neutral. I believe a more nuanced approach is in order. I will often give teams 1-2 points for a homestyle atmosphere if they’re likely to have great crowd support after a short trip to the site. A perfect example of this involves the Big 12 back when they had powers both North and South…and would alternate tournament sites from year-to-year between Kansas City and Dallas. When the tourney was in Kansas City, teams like Kansas, Kansas State, and Missouri scored big pointspread results against the teams from Texas and Oklahoma. When the event was in Dallas, the exact opposite happened. Kansas was upset fodder and a Southern team would often thrill a packed arena. Advanced Handicappers should go through every board tournament and make an assessment about which teams deserve 1-2 points for proximity.

SHOOTING BACKDROP: This factor alone can be worth as many as 6-7 points because so many mid-level teams rely on the three-pointer these days. An arena that’s in common use with a great shooting backdrop can create high scoring thrillers because so many treys are falling. Underdogs who have deep weapons can score upsets over powerhouse teams who are more size driven. On the other hand, if the tournament is being played in an odd site with a unique shooting backdrop…those three-point heavy teams are in huge trouble. The power teams will be scoring on dunks and layups where shooting backdrop isn’t an issue, on their way to big blowouts. Research the arenas to the best of your ability…being sure to watch the first TV game from each site so you can use that information in later rounds. If you remember what happened in past years at that site, use the information accordingly this year. It’s my personal view that Las Vegas oddsmakers are WAY behind the curve on this particular analytical approach. 

CROWD SIZE: It’s the nature of some of these events that crowd size will vary dramatically from game to game. The most lethal favorites are those who are playing in front of loud, supportive crowds from their home region. The same is true for the most lethal underdogs! On the other hand, if an arena is mostly empty for an early round game, that’s a great equalizer that catches a big name favorite by surprise (they’re unaccustomed to playing in quiet conditions) and allows a feisty underdog to catch them napping. Some of the biggest upsets in conference tournaments are when a #1 or #2 seed is playing an early game in a dead arena (particularly if it’s not near their home state). Some of the biggest blowouts are in night games when a local favorite is playing to a big crowd by running up the score.

My basic principles always start with PLAYMAKERS and GAMEBREAKERS, as well as THE MOTIVATION FACTOR. As you’re working through the possibilities to determine your betting unit size, the topics we’ve discussed today…proximity, shooting backdrop, and crowd size…will go a long way toward determine which options are value bets for 10, 15, and 20-units…and which are ideal for more serious play in the range of 50, 100, and 200-units.

You can always purchase my top plays here at the website if you’re having trouble finding winners on our own. I also have a great tournament package that’s priced affordably. The goal of my College of Advanced Sports Betting is to teach you how to be a winner yourself. As you work your way up from novice to professional, additional assistance is just a few clicks away. You learn what I’m thinking here in the coursework. It’s easy to find out who I’m betting too.

Back with you again soon as our college basketball coursework continues. The NBA will be on the backburner for awhile because so many sports bettors devote peak attention to the colleges during the tournaments. We’ll catch up with the pro’s in time for the stretch run and the playoffs. For now, the focus is on turning MARCH MADNESS into MONEY!

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