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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Monday, February 19, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Because we’re in the second half of conference schedules in college basketball, the opportunity to bet “revenge” as a handicapping angle is prominent every single day. You probably noticed this past weekend that it often doesn’t work! JIM HURLEY wants you to know that smart handicappers must pick their spots with this “intangible.” Only occasionally is it really a special factor that ignites a blowout cover.

First, the main reasons that “revenge” is overused by bettors...

*Usually the inferior team lost the first game, and doesn’t have the means to “lift” its level of play in a rematch. A team must be able to extract revenge with its own skills.

*The first meeting was often won by a team with a matchup advantage (perhaps with talented bigs inside against a shorter team, or with more depth in an up-tempo game). Matchup advantages like that don’t disappear in a second encounter. If anything, they’re telling you to bet on the first game winner to repeat!

*Players themselves, at most schools, don’t really care about revenge. Maybe a few elite teams do, in special circumstances. But, anyone in the bottom half of its league isn’t breathing fire about an earlier loss. If that team was capable of playing with emotion, it wouldn’t have such a bad record now.

*Oddsmakers know which team has revenge, and will often shade the line against the public’s preference for betting revenge. That takes away potential value. If such anger about an earlier loss is worth 1-2 points, but the point spread is 1-2 points higher than it would normally be, then there’s no reason to place a bet. Don’t ever forget that it’s “you against the market” when betting.

Here are situations where you can at least consider revenge…

*If a VERY GOOD team lost a first meeting, and was embarrassed about the result.

*If that VERY GOOD team lost because of something fluky, like a horrible night of three-point shooting from their own players, or a great night from their opponents. You don’t want to fly in the face of a matchup disadvantage, but you DO want to put any “regression toward the mean” from outliers in your back pocket.

*If that VERY GOOD team is the SUPERIOR of the two teams. West Virginia is a Dance-bound contender, but the Mountaineers weren’t “better” than Kansas. It’s much easier to bully a lesser team that got lucky against you than a good team that didn’t (particularly when home refs might be blowing whistles against you!).

*An average or better team has a VERY GOOD COACH with a proven ability to make adjustments in rematches. We’ve done the research. There’s only a handful of men with this capability. But, if you know who they are, you’ll pick up 5-7 extra winners a year.

*If ODDSMAKERS haven’t made enough of an adjustment for this power spot for a truly motivated avenger. Again, there must be line value for you to place a bet.

With all of this in mind, you should take the following steps when considering a revenge-based bet…

*Study the boxscore of the first meeting. Were there any extremes in long-range shooting? Was there a weakness on the loser that was consistently exploited in a way that will likely repeat itself? Have the lineups changed…so that maybe a key player who missed the opener with an injury has returned for the rematch? You can’t handicap based on final scores alone.

*Be aware of the overall approaches of each team (hopefully you can do this for the bulk of major conference contenders just from watching so many games on TV). Who emphasizes inside play? Who prefers to pass the ball around the arc to open up a trey? Which teams push tempo? Which teams are slow and steady to make sure they get off a good shot? Revenge can be a big boost to matchup advantages that are already in play…but it can be irrelevant if the stars aren’t aligned. 

*Check this week’s schedules to see if any look-ahead or letdown situations are also in your favor. Revenge can be a great multiplying factor when coupled with other angles. If a VERY GOOD team in a bounce-back spot from a lost the last time out also has revenge…that can be worth 5-8 points. Same story if the opponent is in a letdown spot off a big win, or is in a look-ahead spot against a big rival. Revenge alone is worth 0-2 points. A “cocktail” of edges that includes revenge can be worth a few buckets.

JIM HURLEY will definitely have some releases through the week where that “cocktail” of advantages comes into play. It’s always a major theme of late February analysis for NETWORK. This is a great time to sign up for service, because every dollar you win now will multiply itself over a few times by the end of MARCH MADNESS.

You can purchase our BEST BETS right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions, call us in the office at 1-888-777-4155 during normal business hours. Be sure to ask about packages that take you through the Big Dance or the NBA Finals. It’s never too early to ask about Major League Baseball, which is just over a month away. Ask about combination packages that will include all hoops and baseball through the NBA Championships.

Maybe the only revenge on your mind right now is the revenge YOU need to get against the bookmaker! We can help you with that too. Make sure you GET ALL THE MONEY with JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK!

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