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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at 2:00 PM

If you’re like most basketball fans, you’re sad to see March Madness in the rearview mirror, but happy to know that the NBA Playoffs are coming up very soon. There are several dramatic storylines you need to get caught up with right now if you want to make money through the postseason. All of you students of my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping need to do the work this week and next to make sure you’re ready for the playoffs.

Here’s some homework designed to get you up to speed.

 

*Find/Calculate Won-Lost Records For:

Full Season

Only Since January 1

Only since March 1

You want to a full big picture and little picture sense of what teams are capable of overall, but what kind of form they’re in right now. You’re going to see the best of teams in the playoffs, as a general rule. That means knowing what their peak looks like even if it happened back in December. But, recent form also matters in terms of teams “getting hot” at the right time or “getting healthy” after dealing with injuries. If you’ve been buried in college basketball the past month, you’ve probably lost touch with an important story or two. To win in the NBA Playoffs, you must be on top of EVERYTHING!

 

*Evaluate Defensive Abilities In:

Points-per-possession efficiency (that’s points allowed)

Guarding the basket (two-point defense)

Forcing Turnovers

Defense just mattered in the NCAA Tournament, and it’s going to matter again in the NBA Playoffs. The media always does a great job of telling you who the scoring stars are. Handicappers surely need to know those PLAYMAKERS AND GAMEBREAKERS, but they also need to be experts on DEFENSE. You have about 10 days to make yourself an expert on defense.

 

*Evaluate Health and Depth by Looking At:

Injury Reports

Bench Production

Minutes Played by Preferred Rotations

It’s the new buzzword with NBA head coaches. They’re all worried about HEALTH! Ask them where they want to be seeded, and they don’t care. Ask them how important home court advantage is, and they don’t care. They want to be healthy for the playoffs. If they’re not healthy, they have no chance of going the distance. Handicappers must be ready to back the healthiest teams who are hitting on all cylinders, and be ready to fade teams who aren’t lucky enough to be in that position.

If you focus just on those three areas, you’re likely to find at least one great value team that’s playing well right now, particularly on the defensive side of the floor, and is in great health. You’re also likely to find at least one team that has question marks with health and defense, and was playing their best ball a few months ago.

My final tip for you today is to WATCH A LOT OF GAMES! Playoff caliber teams often bring a playoff mindset to late season games against other contenders. Coaches want their teams focused. And, players don’t want opponents thinking they’re going to be a pushover. We’ll have some matchups with a playoff atmosphere in these last few days of the season. I strongly encourage you to watch as many of these gams as you can:

 

Tuesday: Brooklyn at Miami

Wednesday: Miami at Memphis, Oklahoma City at LA Clippers

Thursday: San Antonio at Dallas

Friday: New York at Toronto, Indiana at Miami, Phoenix at San Antonio

Saturday: Miami at Atlanta, Phoenix at Dallas

Sunday: Chicago at New York, Oklahoma City at Indiana, Golden State at Portland

Monday: Miami at Washington, San Antonio at Houston, Memphis at Phoenix

Tuesday April 15: New York at Brooklyn (if it matters)

 

There’s a full schedule Wednesday April 16 where all 30 teams are in action. But, it’s possible that NONE of those games will matter. If any of them do, then…by all means…take a final taste of playoff preparation by watching the drama unfold.

I’ll have many big plays for clients in these final days of the regular season. And, the first round of NBA Playoff action is typically HUGE because there are so many great situations to exploit. I’m ready now. I’ll be even more ready for the first round a week from Saturday. Will YOU be ready?

If you’d like to take the easy way out and just play along with my clients, you can always purchase my BEST BETS right here at this very website with your major credit card. Questions can be answered by one of my representatives in the Vegas-Sports-Masters office at 1-888-777-4155. If you need some time to talk through two-sport options with basketball and baseball, now is the time to do so.

I’ll see you again later this week for some more baseball coursework. We’ll generally be alternating baseball and basketball through April and May. Headlines in either sport may lead us to emphasize one over the other for a short period. I always play that by ear because I want to be responsive to the market and to my readers’ biggest concerns.

You’ve got your NBA homework. Get busy!

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