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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Friday, April 27, 2012 at 11:52 AM

Handicapping the NBA Playoffs is one of the great money making opportunities each calendar year in the world of sports. There are several reasons why this is true, both from the aspect of analyzing games, and from the perspective of slow reactions from oddsmakers.

First, let me talk about analyzing games:

*Playoff basketball is ruled by MATCHUPS rather than raw talent. Sometimes, the team with the most raw talent does win the series, which we saw last year in the East with Chicago and Miami, and could well see again this year. But, sometimes it’s the team that’s best built for “playoff basketball” that matches up well against a team that’s better suited to the regular season grind. We saw that last year with Memphis when the Grizzlies upset San Antonio in the first round and nearly took out Oklahoma City in the second round. Chicago and Miami match up well against most anybody. Just be aware that inferior seeds sometimes have the better matchups in a series.

*Playoff basketball is ruled by defensive and rebounding intensity. You still have to follow playmakers and gamebreakers, as I always suggest. But, the best scorers are now trying to make late baskets in low scoring games. Some defenses have so many stoppers that they can either mostly or completely take away the other team’s main threat. In most sports, and even in this sport during the regular season, I want you focused on who the playmakers and gamebreakers are. In the NBA playoffs, I want you focused on how opponents can neutralize those playmakers. If a team doesn’t have anyone who can guard LeBron or Kobe, forget about it. If they DO, then things get interesting.

*Playoff basketball is ruled by spreading out offensive responsibilities rather than hoping one or two guys can do all the work. That was the secret of the Dallas championship last year. They spread everyone out and made it hard to double team. Dirk Nowitzki was able to get off his jumpers. If anyone double-teamed, there would be an open look on a trey or a back-door cut for a dunk. Chicago tried to ask Derrick Rose to do everything last year and he was worn down by the Eastern finals. Miami tried to ask LeBron James and Dwyane Wade to do everything last year and LeBron disappeared at the worst possible time. Bet your money on teams who do a good job of sharing scoring responsibilities. That’s going to be very important this year because all the teams are so tired from this year’s intense regular season sprint.

Now, let’s move on to exploiting the market…

*Oddsmakers are notoriously slow to react to developments in the NBA playoffs. They thought the Lakers were better than the Mavericks throughout their playoff series last year even though Dallas was beating LA like a drum. Oddsmakers didn’t take Memphis as seriously as they should have in the first two rounds. Oddsmakers kept thinking Miami was going to take care of business in the Finals. If you find an edge in your handicapping, you can exploit that edge all the way through a series for profits. You won’t win every single bet probably, but you’ll win more than you lose.

*The public doesn’t bet much regular season basketball any more. Hopefully the economy is picking up and that will change next season. The so-called “squares” do bet the playoffs though, particularly with locals betting games involving the Los Angeles teams and the big city teams from the East. This helps soften the line up, sometimes dramatically, when any of those teams are overrated. If pro football, you’re often betting against dumb money. You also get to do that in the NBA Playoffs.

What we’ve talked about today sets up a harmonic convergence of edges that allow you to earn big profits. If you analyze the games and series properly with the fundamentals of Advanced Handicapping, you’re going to have an edge over the markets. Because the markets are slow to change, that edge will last more than one game! You don’t have to worry about the lines catching up to you. They either move slowly or not at all, even in one-sided series like Dallas-LA last year where a market mistake was clear very early on.

I’ll talk more about the NBA playoffs the next time we’re together on Tuesday. We’ll have a few games under our belts by then that will help outline expectations for the 2012 storyline. I’ll also have some specific real-time examples I can show you regarding Advanced Principals.

If you’d like some help finding the best playoff games on the card Saturday, Sunday, and all through the postseason, you can purchase those right here at the website with your credit card. Full playoff packages are also available. If you just want to jump in for my 50-unit, 100-unit, and 200-unit bombshells, keep an eye out for the ad boxes on the home page of this website.

I’ve been beating the NBA playoffs out here in Las Vegas since before the Magic-Bird era. By using the principals of Advanced Handicapping, in 2012 we’ll all be winning together.

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