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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Thursday, February 26, 2015 at 1:00 PM

Earlier this week I talked about the importance of exploiting college basketball teams with dramatic home road splits. Today, I want to talk about the importance of finding good road teams. This is paramount in terms of projecting how teams will perform next month in neutral site tournaments. Teams who can win anywhere are best suited for success in conference tournaments and the Big Dance. Teams who are only scary at home are upset fodder in the brackets.

Here’s some homework for you…

*Gather straight up and ATS records just in ROAD or NEUTRAL COURT games for all the teams you follow. If you focus on just a few conferences, be sure you get the data for all of those teams. If you’re planning on betting the NCAA Tournament aggressively, get the data for teams from elsewhere who will likely play in the Dance. You want to know who can win games…and who’s been performing better than expectations away from their home floor. History says you’ll be greatly rewarded for this effort.

*Isolate the toughest “challenge” games on the road for each of those teams, and evaluate their performances in those matchups. That could be road dog scenarios when stepping up in class. That could be rivalry games. Whenever you see a spot where the team “should” have had peak intensity because the result really mattered…evaluate their scoreboard and ATS performance. You’ll find postseason chokers from regular season duds. You’ll find postseason darkhorses from teams who rose to the occasion when called upon to do so. If a team is 6-3 ATS on the road…but blew out six patsies while losing their three challenge games…you may be better off fading them in the Dance despite that 67% cover rate. Focus on the games that matter!

*If you have the time to do so, research past seasons for the head coaches. There are certain programs that historically do well or poorly away from home because of the quality or priorities of their head coach. This is one of the great hidden secrets about college basketball handicapping. Coaches don’t change their stripes! The names of the players change from year to year. The benefits or drawbacks of coaching approaches don’t. Study the past five years for each head coach to see if you can spot something the market is missing. Hint: this is particularly valuable for finding great live dog and upset scenarios with well-coached teams.

*Finally, redouble your efforts to evaluate team defense. Offense can blow hot and cold, but defense travels well. And, perhaps more importantly…BAD defense travels BADLY! Also, BAD defense can get tired when playing back-to-back days in conference tournaments. I can already tell you now that many of my biggest conference tournament releases next month will involve going against vulnerable defenses who are likely to get run out of the gym. Oddsmakers can’t possibly put the right number on a game where a bad defense gives up hope and throws in the towel.

In the coming weeks…many of your best picks will involve backing good road teams who play strong defense…and/or fading bad road teams who play weak defense. I can’t imagine anyone trying to pick tournament games without having that information! Far too many do, and they lose money as a result.

If you’re a serious student of my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping, then you already embrace the challenge of my homework assignments. Please get to work on this one today and tonight so you can start taking advantage on the busy Saturday schedule…and then in some of the mid-major tournaments that start next week. The information you uncover will help you time and time again all the way through the Dance.

If you prefer taking the easy way out, you can 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. I know many of you who embrace this coursework are do-it-yourselfers who want to succeed on your own. I respect and celebrate that. I accomplished what I did on my own! For those who need assistance, it’s very easy to get the same games that KELSO STURGEON is personally betting here in Las Vegas.

Back with you again early next week for our first class get-together of March. We will soon be discussing more specifically how to handicap tournament action. I’ll let this weekend’s results determine our next coursework. We will most likely be discussing handicapping major conferences. But, I am aware that the Horizon League tournament begins Tuesday, with the Ohio Valley Conference tournament beginning Wednesday. Let’s see what happens in this weekend’s showcase showdowns.

The Dean of Sports Handicapping greatly appreciates your attendance and hard work. I strongly encourage you to review today’s lesson and the other college hoops discussions that were posted in February and January. March is imminent. You need to be ready!


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Kelso Sturgeon on twitter @vsm_sturgeon

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