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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Monday, January 6, 2014 at 5:00 PM

I know many of you are just now starting to pay attention to college basketball. No matter how often I beg Las Vegas gamblers to dive into this sport early, many wait until after the BCS Championship game has been played in football to even start their handicapping process. Then, they dig a hole in January with their own picks that I have to help dig them out of in February and March.

I know that most of you regular students here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping aren’t that far behind. Many prepared in advance of the season and have been winning since the get-go. Others missed out on the first few weeks of the season…but came on strong in December once the college football regular season had ended.

Since we’re ALL now in the position of trying to win college basketball picks every night, this seemed like a great time to talk about what The Dean of Sports Handicapping has noticed so far through the 2013-14 season.

*First, the way games are now called by officials has had a dramatic effect on the sport. There are now several teams whose PLAYMAKERS and GAMEBREAKERS are allowed to drive to the bucket and score points. It’s been, to this point anyway, a great equalizer. Many superpowers are suddenly finding out that they’re not as great as they thought when they’re not allowed to grab people on defense! As a fan, the game is a lot more fun to watch. As a handicapper, the door has been opened for great opportunities that weren’t there before. Many powers are overrated in the prices. Many sleepers are actually hidden powers!

*Second, the emphasis on “one-and-done” players in the media has led many in the world of sports betting to underestimate the impact of ball movement and experience. There are several good TEAMS right now…emphasis on TEAM…who are taking advantage of the new offensive fluidity to find great looks almost every time down the floor. The guy who can hit an open trey is now a GAMEBREAKER instead of a gym rat. Point guards who are best at distributing are more valuable now than ever. Those things were always important. But, new offensive freedom has really opened the floodgates in terms of variety. Vegas oddsmakers are still waiting for the media-darlings with the freshman superstars to get hot. Veteran, smart teams are cashing more tickets for bettors.

*Third, on the other end of the spectrum…many bad teams are really getting left in the dust. I’ve talked often in the past about how the key to making big money in Las Vegas involves knowing who to bet AGAINST just as much as knowing who to bet on. Teams without scorers who used to rely on physical defense to win have no chance to compete this year. Oddsmakers have been very slow to adjust their Power Ratings, and are still behind the curve with many of these stragglers. You used to be able to cover spreads as a dog with “ugly basketball.” Those teams are now losing by much bigger margins, and aren’t covering.

My classic fundamentals of finding PLAYMAKERS and GAMEBREAKERS while monitoring THE MOTIVATION FACTOR are still the keys to winning. That never changes. In fact, the way the game is called now has made the approach even more profitable! If you’re just now sitting down to focus on college hoops, you need to focus on those elements. Know which teams are putting the biscuit in the bucket because they have a variety of weapons. There are several good games on TV this week that will help you make those evaluations. Just remember that the WORST teams aren’t on TV much, but will open the doors for really big profits if you can find the right ones to fade.

If you’d like some nightly assistance in basketball as you work to catch up, you can purchase my nightly BEST BETS right here at this very website with your major credit card. I also have great rates for packages take you through March Madness. You can ask for details about those when you talk to one of my representatives in the Vegas-Sports-Masters home office at 1-888-777-4155. Be sure to ask about including the rest of the NFL Playoffs with any basketball package.

I’ll be back with you later this week to talk about the divisional round of the NFL Playoffs. The bye teams will take the field with full knowledge that there are some truly dangerous survivors from Wildcard Weekend looking to extend their postseason stay. Thanks again to all students for embracing the coursework with such enthusiasm. There’s still plenty of money to be made in the baskets this season, even if you’re just getting started. KELSO STURGEON has been beating the books for decades, and I’m optimistic this will be my biggest college basketball season ever!

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