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Submitted by Richie Baccellieri on Tuesday, January 20, 2015 at 4:00 PM

College Basketball has always been my favorite sport to follow as a fan, oddsmaker, and handicapper. Pro football is obviously KING out here in Las Vegas because the sums of money bet in that sport dwarf everything else. But, for pure entertainment and bankroll building, college basketball might be the better sport.

I have to say, though, that the marketplace right now is very difficult for really aggressive basketball bettors. Sportsbooks are intimidated by this sport for a variety of reasons, and do their best to defend themselves against the most serious threats.

Among the reasons…

*The public just doesn’t bet much college basketball until the NCAA Tournament. There’s some square action…but it’s not like tourists flock to Las Vegas on Wednesdays or Thursdays in January or February. Sharp action from guys who really know their stuff has a much greater presence percentage-wise than in the football markets.

*The computer age has made it much easier for the Wise Guys to get solid reads on every team. This used to be a “feel” sport for a lot of guys because it was so hard to get meaningful stats for all the board teams. Now, it’s easy to get those stats…and it’s easy for those comfortable with spreadsheets to make accurate projections. The smart money got smarter!

*Put those two together…and sportsbooks will often be “one-sided” on the WRONG side of a game. There’s no dumb money from the public to help balance the action. Even if oddsmakers do a great job of posting openers on 95% of the games, being off by a little on those 5% means trouble.

Now, sportsbooks could try to expand their analytics departments to try and match the sharps opinion for opinion. The corporate mindset doesn’t really see the benefit of devoting resources to create a break-even proposition. They want to devote resources to what will make money. That means making it as easy as possible for squares to bet pro football from September through the Super Bowl, while making it difficult for sharps to bet college basketball until the tournament.

That’s done by:

*Posting lines well after offshore numbers have settled

*Keeping betting limits relatively low

*Not offering a full slate of Over/Unders

*Moving lines aggressively once sharp action makes itself known

*Inviting the sharpest bettors to do their business elsewhere

This is a nightmare scenario for college basketball sharps because they can’t get down big money at their preferred lines very often. But, it’s actually very good news for recreational bettors like many of YOU who may have an informed opinion about your local teams but don’t bet like a high roller.

*Limits probably don’t affect your personal bankroll, so you don’t have to worry about that.

*The cat-and-mouse game between sharps and sportsbooks regarding market timing actually allows recreational bettors to get some decent numbers. If sharps are going to make their move on a game late…you’ll probably be okay.

*The fact that sportsbooks aren’t devoting huge expenses toward analytics departments means that you statheads with a head for numbers have a chance to find some really good edges. Do your homework, crunch the numbers, and see if you can find any gems.

*I’ve also noticed that, this year, there are a lot of team and total trends that are going largely unnoticed. Oddsmakers and sharps are so worried about each other that they’re missing out on some developing stories. If you’re following your local teams closely, or watching a lot of TV games, you’re likely to pick up something that isn’t being fully accounted for in the markets.

Now that football is all done except for the Super Bowl, YOU need to make college basketball a very important part of your sports betting portfolio. Don’t just wait until the NCAA Tournament to get TV games for fun. Take advantage of what the market is giving educated bettors during a time when lines are beatable.

If you’d like some help with that, you can purchase my basketball BEST BETS right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions about my personal service, call the VSM office at 1-888-777-4155 any weekday during normal business hours.

I’m planning more college basketball related reports to run through January and February as we gear up for the tournaments. I’ll have one more NFL report on the Friday before the Super Bowl. I greatly appreciate that so many of you have been reading my analysis of sharp betting this season. It’s obvious you were telling your friends about it too given the high readership totals. Thanks for your interest.

Watch some college games on TV tonight to get your blood pumping. It’s my favorite betting sport. Maybe it will be yours too by the end of the season. See you again soon for more market coverage.

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