Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Friday, March 7, 2014 at 6:00 PM
We’ve already seen it some this week…and it’s going to become a major story this weekend and in the conference tournaments in college basketball. Teams who “must win” because they’re on the bubble in NCAA Tournament discussions are going to be overrated by the market. Some of them will no doubt rise to the occasion and cover their spreads (particularly against flat or disinterested opponents). But, more than half will likely fail to play to inflated expectations.
Why is that?
*If you’re on the bubble right now, you’re probably not very good! Solid teams are already in the Dance. They’ve played well enough to lock up their invitation regardless of what happens from this point forward. Only “less than solid” still has anything to sweat. Put that kind of team in a must-win situation, and it’s far from certain that they’re capable of delivering. Any points added by oddsmakers to their posted lines will represent air rather than reality.
*If you’re on the bubble right now, you’re probably very NERVOUS about your next game. Too many fans, sportswriters, and even handicappers believe that “must win” is a good thing. It can be a bad thing if it makes a team play conservatively with too much fear. You don’t want to lay points with “nervous.” You want to lay points with “determined.”
*If you’re on the bubble right now, you’re probably getting enough media coverage that it’s inspiring your opponent. Kids these days really respond to what’s happening on television or in social media. It doesn’t take much to put a chip on their shoulder about their next game. If ESPN and the newspapers are talking up a team on the bubble, they’re next opponent is getting very focused about playing spoiler.
Again, there will be some bubble teams who play well. Dayton was on the bubble the other night before upsetting Saint Louis. It helped that they were an underdog that couldn’t afford to play scared…and that their opponent had already stated biding its time until the postseason. If you’re thinking about betting on bubble teams this weekend and then in their first tournament game next week, I’d suggest using these guidelines:
*Avoid medium or big favorites
*Focus on bubble teams who will likely be facing flat or disinterested opponents
*Focus on bubble teams who are “peaking” in recent weeks
*Be sure you have PLAYMAKERS and GAMEBREAKERS who can score for you
*Remember to include defense in your handicapping, because getting stops REALLY matters here
*Don’t ask an inconsistent, mediocre team to play great twice in a row
The worst bubble teams to bet are those who are laying a few extra points but are saddled with a bad offense or a soft defense. The most dangerous bubble teams for your bankroll are those who looked so great in their last game that they persuade you to bet more units than they deserve. Remember, if these teams could play great on command in a consecutive string of games, they wouldn’t be on the bubble in the first place.
You longtime readers and clients know that KELSO STURGEON LOVES BETTING MARCH BASKETBALL! I have many big plays in store for this weekend…and I’ve already developed a gameplan for the first few days of major tournament action based on my read of teams across the college basketball landscape. I can’t tell you how confident I am right now based on what I’ve learned in recent days. I hope the lessons you’ve learned all through the season here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping have you feeling just as confident.
If not, you can find additional help right here at this very website. My personal BEST BETS can always be purchased with your major credit card. I also have great rates for the rest of basketball (through March Madness or through the NBA Playoffs) that offer the most bang for your buck. Additional assistance is available in the home office of Vegas-Sports-Masters. You can call and talk to one of my representatives at 1-888-777-4155.
I truly believe that all of you do-it-yourselfers who have done your homework and prepared intensely are ready to have the best March of your lives. The market is tremendously out-of-synch with many major teams right now. You should be seeing that for yourselves on a nightly basis. Oddsmakers are spending way too much time listening to blowhard TV analysts and reading misguided computer ratings. The money is there for the taking!
Go get some…then come back early next week for some additional guidance for handicapping the remaining conference tournaments. I look forward to seeing you then for our next class.