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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Thursday, February 15, 2018 at 4:00 PM

As we transition into the latter stages of the college basketball season, it’s important for serious bettors to remember that all the work you do now should not only be designed to pick daily winners…but to help you pick even more winners as you travel down the road to March Madness. Forward thinking is vital!

With that in mind:

*Pay attention to how many offenses work to get good looks on three-pointers, compared to those who are getting lazy and just launching out of semi-desperation. I’m seeing this more and more the past few days. A team falls behind and just starts hoping some bombs go in. Frankly, I’m surprised by how many tournament-bound teams are already doing this. They just don’t have any fight in them right now given the grind of the season. Sure, they’ll catch a second wind in a couple of weeks. But…when they run into a rough stretch in the Big Dance, the teams that don’t have the stomach to battle back now will be the first upset victims.

You’re already watching a lot of games because football is over. Even you NBA fans will be watching a lot of college hoops during the All-Star Break. Pay attention to the smart offenses that get themselves good looks even if they’ve fallen behind in the early going. Look to back them down the stretch and next month. Make a list of the towel-tossers to you can pick your spots against them in these last few weeks of the regular season, and then fade them in their first Dance test.

*Pay attention to how many defenses still defend the rim with a passion. This is the other side of the coin. Teams who get tired of battling start standing around in the paint as opponents drive past them for layups and dunks. What happened to guts and intestinal fortitude?! You fall behind you’re supposed to be mad about it! I see teams fall behind…and all their bigs back off to avoid foul trouble rather than sending a message about who’s the boss.

Many of you fall into the bad habit of watching the ball move around on offense. That’s what the public does…and it’s a big part of why they lose so much money betting basketball. YOU should pay more attention to defense. Watch the rotations. Watch who hustles and who doesn’t. Watch how teams with size position themselves to protect the rim (or don’t because they figure incorrectly that their size will bail them out).

*My final point of emphasize today involves depth. Take some time each morning or afternoon to read the boxscores from the prior night. Notice how many teams are getting contributions from their bench. Notice how many coaches are spreading minutes around to help alleviate the grind of the season. RIGHT NOW is when teams on a short rotation get tired. RIGHT NOW is when deep teams start to maximize the benefits of sharing the workload. That’s only going to become more important in the next few weeks. Then, it’s going to matter again in the latter stages of the conference tournaments when having depth makes it easier to win three games in three days or four games in four days.

Think, for a second, about how much that’s going to benefit you in early March. If you know now which teams have depth, and have that information internalized in advance of the postseason, you can anticipate your moves in advance and pound bad opening lines. You’re going to find deep dogs who should actually be the chalk over short-rotation favorites. DAILY!

I’ve been handicapping the NCAA Tournament since before it was a big deal. I’ve always had great success in the event because I learned very early on that what happens in mid-February foreshadows the challenges of tournament play. If you know how to read the tea leaves, many teams are telling you already how their March is going to go.

My College of Advanced Sports Betting was designed to help interested and energetic bettors work smarter and make better decisions. Your homework this week is just a matter of making better use of the time you’re already devoted to handicapping. You’re watching a lot of games already. Focus on smart, discipled offense and passionate defense. Bet on teams that give you that, fade teams who won’t. Read those boxscores. I can’t emphasize this enough. Depth is so important now that many teams are pushing tempo…and many defenses have to chase down larger areas of the court to defend the arc. (Oklahoma basically has a one-man team…how have the Sooners been performing against the spread the past several weeks?!)

If you’d like some help finding nightly winners, 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.

The Dean of Sports Handicapping greatly appreciates your time and attendance. I apologize about the slight delay in getting this week’s coursework too you. Some unforeseen web complications pushed us back a bit. We should be on the regular schedule through the rest of basketball. I expect I’ll be keeping the coursework focused on college basketball through the Big Dance, before we transition to the NBA for the playoffs.

I wish you the best of luck this week. See you again next time.

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