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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Monday, February 23, 2015 at 7:00 PM

In the old days, handicappers used to make a lot of money in college basketball by recognizing which teams had dramatic splits in performance between their home games and their road games. Oddsmakers tended to use very flat Power Ratings when posting their numbers. If you knew which teams were great at home and horrible on the road, you were getting the best of it with your picks, and easily able to find blowout scenarios for your biggest bets.

That’s harder to do these days. It’s still possible, as there are a handful of teams this season showing extremes. But, the sport has changed in a way that has helped road teams play much more competitive basketball. If that happens…it becomes harder for home teams to consistently dominate.

What are these changes?

*Travel is much easier than it used to be. It’s no longer a headache to get to out-of-the-way college locales because of chartered jets and other cushy arrangements. Some of the smaller schools still have issues. For the most part, visiting teams are much fresher than they used to be when travelling.

*Three-point shooting is much more prevalent and accurate. You always used to hear handicappers and announcers talking about the weird backdrops at different locales. Today’s shooters have literally shot HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of three-point attempts in the game and practice careers where they’ve really honed in on the rim. They no longer see the backdrops. They know their spot…they know their point of focus…and they know mechanically how to get the ball on target.

*Strategies have largely standardized. It’s not true that everybody plays the same way. But, there’s a truly small number of “ways” to play. There are slow teams who pass the ball around and try to get an open look at a trey. There are faster teams who try to attack the basket more directly. Almost everyone is one of those two types. Less variety creates standardization…and standardization means closer games.  

*Officiating is more consistent. That may be hard for some of you to believe…because we still have some poorly officiated games. You should watch replays of games from the 1960s or ‘70’s! The most important element here is that it’s much less common to see games where the home team shoots 25-30 free throws while the visitor shoots 5-10. And, if THAT happens, it’s a natural outflow of offensive approach rather than “home cooking” from referees. Maybe it’s better to say it this way…if refs WERE trying to help out the home team…today’s visitors are able to make enough three-pointers to stay close anyway.

With that as a backdrop, I want you to spend some time this week trying to isolate the teams who are still showing wise splits. This will help you in these last two weeks of the regular season….and then in the tournaments because bad road teams are awful bets at neutral site tournaments.

*Find teams with extreme splits in ATS records home and away

*Find teams with extreme scoring margin differentials home and away

*Find teams who struggle as road favorites

*Find teams who have shown poor shooting accuracy on the road

That’s this week’s homework here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping. I can assure you that you will start seeing matchups much more accurately after doing this work. Some teams you were fond of because of great home results will suddenly stick out as likely underachievers in the tournaments. Probably the biggest mistake “squares” make in the postseason is that they expect easy wins from teams who haven’t established that they can win easily away from home. Fix that leak in your game…and your profits will be much larger because of those bad bets you’re no longer making.

I’ll talk more about this topic in our second get-together later this week. At that time, we’ll focus on finding good road teams who may be positioned for stellar results in their conference tournaments and whatever they qualify for beyond that. In the meantime, additional assistance finding BEST BETS is available to you. Purchase my top nightly plays right here at this very website with your major credit card. Questions about extended service can be answered personally by one of my representatives in the Vegas-Sports-Masters office at 1-888-777-4155.

The Dean of Sports Handicapping greatly appreciates your attendance and hard work. It’s very important that you bear down now because the end of the regular season is fast approaching. A few mid majors already begin their post-season tournaments next week (the Horizon League begins a week from Tuesday for example, with the Ohio Valley hitting the floor the next night Wednesday march 4, and the Missouri Valley and Metro-Atlanta beginning Thursday March 5). The majors play out their schedules this week and next before starting tournament play soon afterward.

I know…it seems like the Super Bowl just ended…and now March Madness is about to start. Winning sports bettors are ready for every challenge. They don’t want until the last second then start to wing it. Prepared bettors are winning bettors. Do the work and reap the rewards!


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Kelso Sturgeon on twitter @vsm_sturgeon

Vegas-Sports-Masters on twitter @vsmasters

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