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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 4:00 PM

I’m planning separate classes this week in my Advanced College of Sports Betting and Handicapping for dealing with the NIT and the NCAA tournaments. They are completely separate events…and the dynamics for both are very different.

 

Among the most important:

*Most NIT games are played at campus sites rather than neutral floors

*Many NIT teams are actually disappointed to be there rather than happy

*Many NIT teams are mediocre at best in terms of true quality

You can make a lot of money in the NIT if you make smart bets. This is particularly important in the first week because any money you make Tuesday and Wednesday nights in the NIT can be re-invested Thursday and Friday in the NCAA’s. A great money-management opportunity! On the other hand, if you get reckless, you can screw up your NCAA plans by deleting your bankroll needlessly with dumb bets.

Here are some quick keys, starting with my tried-and-true proven fundamentals.

 

PLAYMAKERS AND GAMEBREAKERS

You often have “one-man teams” in the NIT…meaning teams who posted winning records because one star could carry them that far…but who’s one-dimensionality hurt them when facing the best teams in their conference who were headed to the Dance. Be sure you know who the scoring stars are on these NIT entries…then evaluate how well their opposing defenses will or won’t be able to stop them. Stars can have HUGE games in the NIT against disinterested teams with bad defenses. They tend to fade in later rounds though when better defenses have settled in for the trophy race.

 

THE MOTIVATION FACTOR

Boy, is this huge in the NIT. As I said at the top, each year sees teams who just don’t want to be there. Loaded Kentucky last year lost to Robert Morris! Bubble teams from the Dance who are crushed to be relegated to this lesser event often no-show early action. Many manage to win their openers straight up anyway because they’re given home games against pretenders.

On the other hand, some teams from this group get so mad about the snubbing that they channel the energy into a great NIT run. The eventual champion of the NIT is often a furious team that really should have been invited to the Dance. So, we have big extremes in play here. THE MOTIVATION FACTOR will send some high seeds home earlier than expected, while also launching others to their best runs of the season.

I strongly encourage all of you to read press clippings about team mindsets heading into first round action…and then monitor opening games very closely to get a read on who cares and who doesn’t. Bet against lethargy as home favorites in round two. Bet on “angry with something to prove” all the way to and through Madison Square Garden in New York.

 

THE MATCHUP FACTOR

Classic fundamentals still apply to the NIT, particularly in later rounds when everyone who’s survived has committed to the event and is trying their best. Back good defenses and fade bad defenses. Back balanced attacks while fading one-dimensional offenses who are facing a strong defense. Pay attention to rebounding and turnover strengths and weaknesses. Everything we’ve talked about through the regular season still applies. It will play more of a starring role in later rounds.

I know that many of you will wait until Thursday to begin attacking the college basketball postseason card. If you lack confidence in the NIT, that’s probably for the best. Hopefully the coursework you’ve been doing all year has improved your confidence! You do have the tools at your disposal that will help you pick NIT winners from the get-go. If you’d like some help finding those because you want to build early bankroll…you can purchase my daily tournament BEST BETS right here at this very website with your major credit card. 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’ll be back in a couple of days to focus more intently on handicapping strategies for the NCAA’s. Then, I’m hoping to provide “read and react” bonus sessions when developments warrant throughout the rest of the month of March. We often see surprises come up from out of nowhere in both of these events. Smart handicappers will learn how to spot those early and take advantage. Dance examples like Butler, VCU, and George Mason if you go back a bit come to mind. If we’re destined to see another Cinderella this year, let’s try to see her smiling as soon as we can!

Thanks again to all of you regulars for your hard work. The grind is about to pay off through another MONEY-MAKING MARCH MADNESS!

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