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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Tuesday, December 22, 2015 at 4:00 PM

Here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping, we always emphasize the importance of PLAYMAKERS and GAMEBREAKERS when trying to pick winners. Smart gamblers focus on which key athletes will be winning (or losing) bets for them. Even though I’ve been preaching this for many years now here at this website, the market STILL hasn’t figured out how to combat those edges. That’s as clear as day in my current hot streak. It was one of the defining marks of us catching the Seattle Seahawks wave at just the right time.

In the NBA right now, I think it’s best to add in a new word and concept. Ball movement is so important in differentiating the best from the worst that you should be thinking about PASSMAKERS in addition to PLAYMAKERS. Look for offenses that move the ball around and get great looks.

The franchise most associated with this over the last decade is the San Antonio Spurs. Guess who’s been a big moneymaker for bettors! The market and far too many pundits have consistently underestimated this team. Plus, they’ve been assuming the players had gotten too old to win. Let KELSO STURGEON be the man standing at the front of the line telling you not to make that mistake! Nobody’s too old to win if they know how to play the game.

Once again this season…San Antonio was supposed to be a declining has-been. Tim Duncan was ready for the wheelchair. Tony Parker supposedly had lost 2-3 steps and any semblance of a jump shot. The dynasty was over.

Well…right now…the Spurs are an amazing 20-9 against the pointspread and have a point differential and efficiency differential right up there with the powerful Golden State Warriors. Because of ball movement and smart shot taking, the Spurs are just as great as ever.

Speaking of Golden State, the defending champions are 17-9 against the pointspread themselves, even though they’re typically priced to perfection because everyone knew they’d be great. Skeptics thinking they’d fall back to earth this season have been made to look like idiots. Did you hear all the studio pundits saying they were “lucky” to win the title last year? The Warriors players sure heard that nonsense! That cranked THE MOTIVATION FACTOR up another notch or two.

What do the Warriors and Spurs have in common? Great ball movement. Steph Curry doesn’t make a lot of treys because he’s a ball hog. He gets his points within a beautiful offensive flow. The ball is constantly searching for an open man and finding it in that offense. It’s an amazing thing to watch. Really, if you like “team” basketball, both the Spurs and Warriors are a joy to watch. This is so much better than the not-so-distant past when teams just through the ball into the post and watched their center try to back in for a close shot.

The best teams in the NBA have learned:

*Open shots earn you more points than guarded shots

*Three-pointers are worth more than two-pointers

*Three-point specialists can be worth their weight in gold if you can get them open looks

If you’re just now getting into the NBA as football winds down, do some homework that will get you up to speed with PASSMAKER offenses in the NBA. Look at these stats:

*Assisted basket percentage

*Made three-pointers per game

*Three-point shooting percentages

*How many players per team are scoring at least 10 points (team versatility)

And, frankly, something simple like team ATS records provide you a great clue. The market isn’t responding well in either direction. Good ball movement covers spreads! Poor ball movement and poor shooting doesn’t.

 

Best ATS Records Today

Orlando 19-8

San Antonio 20-9

Golden State 17-9

Toronto 17-12

Orlando is a nice developing story you should be paying attention to.

 

Worst ATS Records Today

LA Lakers 9-18

Chicago 9-17

New Orleans 10-17

Philadelphia 11-17-1

Houston 12-17

On the other end of the spectrum, the Lakers are still a joke…Chicago is learning that college coaches don’t know how to run NBA offenses, New Orleans has horrible chemistry…and Houston’s spacing took a big hit with ill-advised offseason roster moves.

Sometimes winning really is this simple. The market has been ridiculously slow to realize that good ball movement beats bad ball movement.

I know many of you are still focused very intently on football. I’ll be talking NFL the next time we’re together later this week. In the meantime, let’s keep building our bankrolls with basketball and college football bowl action. KELSO STURGEON’S best bets can always be purchased right here at the website with your credit card. Questions about extended service and combination packages can be answered in the Vegas Sports Masters’ office during normal business hours at 1-888-777-4155.

The Dean of Sports Handicapping greatly appreciates your attendance and hard work. I have a special place in my heart for those of you trying to learn in ALL sports. That’s how you’ll become a professional wagerer out here in Las Vegas. Pro bettors win YEAR-round because they don’t back down from any challenges! See you next time.

 

Be sure to follow:

Kelso Sturgeon on twitter @vsm_sturgeon

Vegas-Sports-Masters on twitter @vsmasters

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