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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Wednesday, February 7, 2018 at 1:00 PM

Being a winning sports bettor has always involved a tricky balance of mastering old things and learning new things. You have to be experienced, but you also have to be open to new ideas. You have to understand how games were won and lost in the past, while recognizing how strategic or schematic changes will influence how they’re won in the future.

In short, the sports world evolves, and you have to evolve with it.

My 200-unit winner on the Philadelphia Eagles in this past Sunday’s Super Bowl is a great example of that. Philadelphia’s evolved offensive approach to football is very tough to defend. Betting markets have been slow to adjust to this reality. Once the markets did finally give respect to Carson Wentz a few weeks into the 2017 season, they made the mistake of giving him too much credit for the team’s improvement. Wentz was injured, and oddsmakers immediately underpriced the Eagles under new quarterback Nick Foles.

You see, oddsmakers and too many bettors decided that Wentz was a PLAYMAKER, but Foles wasn’t. In fact, BOTH were PLAYMAKERS AND GAMEBREAKERS in this offensive schematic. Both are able to think on their feet and make accurate passes in a way that moves the chains. Philadelphia shouldn’t have been a home underdog to Atlanta, even though cold weather hampered the Eagles offense because Foles doesn’t have a strong arm and suffers accuracy issues in cold conditions. Once the weather warmed up, Foles and the Eagles were unstoppable…absolutely crushing the point spread vs. Minnesota (fantastic defense) in mild conditions for January in Philadelphia, and New England (elite point denial defense) in a dome.

I have to admit that I underestimated the explosiveness a bit for the Super Bowl. I liked the Under because I expected both offenses to run a lot of clock with their offensive styles. Instead, both ripped their way up and down the field. I had a much bigger play on the Eagles, so it worked out okay. I read the matchups correctly, just at a slightly slower pace than what actually transpired.

As you students here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting transition from football to basketball for the run to March Madness, it’s important to think about how basketball is evolving in recent years. Just as the NFL is seeing more teams spread out their offenses to challenge defenses, basketball teams are doing the same. As a result…

*PLAYMAKERS and GAMEBREAKERS are much more associated with schematics than they used to be. Three-point shooters are vital, though they must be part of an offensive system that creates open looks for those shooters. It can be hard to think of a “playmaker” as somebody who stands in one spot and waits for the ball. That’s becoming a reality on the hardwood. Really focus this week on how coaches are positioning their players to succeed (or how losing coaches are just throwing the ball out there and hoping something good happens).

*Analytics has created a wide gap between the have’s and have not’s for the time being. This is particularly true in the NBA, though the rest of the league is catching on. Smart beats dumb. In basketball, “dumb” has meant old and stubborn. Too many franchises were insisting on trying to win in the 2010’s with 1990 style basketball. They were getting left in the dust. Finally, most management braintrusts got tired of eating dust! In the colleges, something similar is going on. Though, it’s tougher to sustain excellence from season-to-season because elite stars leave programs so quickly.

Your homework this week is to watch as many basketball games as you can with a focus on what’s “changing” in the sport, and how you can exploit that. What are winners doing right? What are losers trying to force that they shouldn’t be? What’s causing disappointments to underachieve? What helped the pleasant surprises catch opponents and the betting markets napping?

I can’t get too specific here in the coursework because I have to protect my information for my paying clients. This is now more important than ever because strategies lose their value as soon as they’re publicly known. The mainstream media has increased its coverage of sports betting and sports handicapping. That’s only going to increase as the likelihood of legalized betting nationally becomes a certainty.

If I say “you must keep fading Team X,” in a public forum like this, the line will adjust within a week. Right now, there are team angles in both the NBA and college that have been working for several weeks because oddsmakers are so slow to adjust their Power Ratings. I’ll present big picture strategies for your consideration. Your commitment to study and homework will help you fill in the rest.

We’ll continue these weekly get-togethers through basketball. If you’d like some help with the nightly slates, my BEST BETS can 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, or on weekends before the first games get started. Now’s a great time to get on board, particularly if you haven’t been paying much attention to basketball until the past few weeks. Just knowing who I’m releasing each day will help you catch up.

The Dean of Sports Handicapping greatly appreciates your time and attendance. Congratulations to all of you who won with me on the Eagles last Sunday. I’m confident the winning ways will continue for those of you willing to make the commitment to excellence.

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