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Submitted by Richie Baccellieri on Friday, March 23, 2018 at 4:00 PM

A growing trend among square bettors (the general public) is to put favorites into money line parlays to make them seem less expensive. These bettors think they’re gaming the system…but they’re actually setting themselves up for disasters.

Thursday night’s Sweet 16 action was just the latest example, as prominent public teams like Kentucky and Gonzaga both lost outright. That after a Sunday where five of eight underdogs won outright, with prominent victims like Michigan State, North Carolina, Cincinnati, and Xavier falling by the wayside (Auburn was the other upset).

My main goal in writing these articles for you the past few years was to make sure you started thinking like a sharp and betting like a sharp. In this case, I have to make sure you DON’T think like a square and bet like a square! Taking favorites in moneyline parlays is a fool’s errand that will give you a false sense of confidence after winning days, and bludgeon your bankroll when upsets happen.

First, let’s look at the mistakes in the thinking process from bettors trying this option.

*Many now know that “it’s square to lay points with favorites,” so they’ve decided to cut down on that. They’ve heard (from this article and other sources) that if you’re laying -7 in a game, the “right” line is probably -6 or -6.5 and they’re taking the worst of it. That’s finally sunk in.

*Many can’t bring themselves to lay a plain money line on a game because they seem so expense. Too many squares have a lottery mentality. Betting on the moneyline is the opposite of that. They don’t want to bet $25 to win $10 just to be all nervous if the game is close. They REALLY don’t want to bet $250 to win $100 even though it’s the same ratio because that’s such a big chunk of pocket change.

What’s left to do if you’ psychology forces you to bet favorites because you’re too afraid of underdogs? Put a group of favorites together in money line parlays. That brings the coast down (sometimes close to break even on your bet…risking $100 to win $100 or something more reasonable). And, as long as the teams “who are supposed to win” get the job done, you’re going to cash your ticket and celebrate.

The problems are still the same though. They’re not gaming the system. They’re just losing in a new way because…

*Favorites are still overpriced, even in parlays

*Favorites lose outright much more often than squares realize

Worse, there’s a tendency for squares to risk MORE because they play a lot of money line parlays. You won’t believe how many people in Las Vegas already had Kentucky penciled into the Final Four. It was a LOCK that Kentucky would beat Kansas State, then beat the winner of Nevada/Loyola. Guys in survivor pools were deciding whether to use Kentucky Thursday, or “save” them until Saturday because there’s no way Kentucky could lose.

That mind set led to all of these parlays:

Kentucky/Michigan

Kentucky/Gonzaga

Kentucky/Duke

Kentucky/Villanova

Kentucky/Kansas

Guys who did that went 0-5 even though Michigan won and Duke, Villanova, and Kansas didn’t even take the floor until the next day!

Of course, those same guys also had Gonzaga/Duke, Gonzaga/Villanova, and Gonzaga/Kansas. You see, there’s no way Gonzaga was going to lose to Florida State either.

Carnage! Bettors who might have gone 1-3 by just taking the favorites laying the points are now laying at the bottom of a hole they can’t possibly get out of without taking dangerous risks to their financial well-being. When you “imagine” going 10-0 you also have to imagine going 0-10. And, disastrous days like that are more likely with moneyline parlays because casual bettors don’t understand the reality of sports betting and real risk.

I know how some of you think. Right now you’re idea is “Hey, there’s no way this can keep happening. Dogs won last Sunday. Dogs won Thursday. Favorites are DUE! I’m going to go with moneyline parlays Friday night and all weekend!”

Hey, that might work. But, it’s also an idiotic strategy long term. Particularly in a sport rife with parity like college basketball is right now. Do REAL handicapping and market analysis. Stop trying to game the system with ideas that can’t possibly work over the long haul.

My personal plays were dog heavy last night, losing with Texas A&M (a lot of sharps ran into the Michigan buzzsaw), but winning with Kansas State and Florida State. Both of those last two were outright. That doesn’t mean I’ll only be betting dogs this weekend. College basketball is my favorite sport to handicap and bet because the market is vulnerable to smart “matchup” analysis, which can favor short favorites in tournament games.

You can purchase my daily BEST BETS right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions call the VSM office at 1-888-777-4155. Be sure to ask about long term packages that go through the NBA Playoffs when you call. Major League Baseball starts soon as well. That sport continues to gain in betting popularity.

See you again next week to talk more sports betting. A week from now, we’ll study how sharps have been betting the Final Four. Thanks for reading, and for working hard on betting more like a sharp than like a square. Winning is a lot more fun than losing!

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