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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Monday, March 11, 2019 at 1:00 PM

Major Conference Tournament action begins Tuesday with the ACC. The other power conferences get underway Wednesday. Though, some of these leagues are so big now that most of the top teams in the nation won’t be on the floor until Thursday.

The single best tip I can give students here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping for analyzing major tournaments is to focus on THE MOTIVATION FACTOR. This is a great equalizer on neutral floors because…

*Many of the best teams really don’t have anything to play for this week. They’re already locks to get in the Dance. You’ve been watching lackluster performances in recent days from teams destined to be #1 or #2 seeds come Selection Sunday. Many teams below that looked like they didn’t even belong in the tournament. (How about Villanova and Marquette playing hot potato with the Big East title?!) More upsets are on the way.

*Many of “the rest” must have big weeks to get into the NCAA’s. Bubble teams have to improve their resume. Teams outside of that either sweep the week or go home. Now, admittedly, the vast majority of “the rest” have little chance to do so. But, there are usually two or three teams in major conferences that put together strong runs with an “us against the world” mentality. Of course, that’s actually easier to do when so many favorites are looking ahead to next week!

If you use Power Ratings, FOR THIS WEEK ONLY, I’d suggest knocking at least two points off every team that’s already locked into the Dance. If you focus more on computer rankings, dock those teams about 5-10 spots on the ladder. Top 10 teams are going to perform more like teams in the #15 to #30 range on a day-to-day basis (some great outings, but some lethargic ones too).

If you’ve always followed my advice about the impact of PLAYMAKERS AND GAMEBREAKERS, only use that for bubble teams or worse. Assume that superstar talent on the best teams will be pacing itself this week, particularly for smart head coaches who are trying to deal with three-game-in-three-day challenges (or worse).

The quirks of motivation are a great equalizer in these events. That plus neutral court action creates a deep level of parity that you won’t see at any other time. You’ve probably noticed through the years that a lot of major conference tournament games go right down to the buzzer. Think PARITY this week, then go back to usual next week.

Now, I’ve already talked in recent coursework about other factors you need to keep in mind. Those still apply. Depth is an issue because of all the back-to-backs. You really want to fade any “Dance lock” that lacks depth this week the day after a victgory. And, you want to look to ride “must-win” teams who have deep rotations. They’re perfectly suited to get multiple results in a row.

I’ll give you some additional homework. In the conferences that you follow most closely, spend some time today and in the hours before first tip off refreshing your memories of coaching performances in recent seasons. If you love the ACC, study the past several conference tournaments to evaluate the straight up and ATS performances of veteran coaches. If you live out West and follow the Pac 12, do the same for that league. (That event will be right here in Las Vegas once again. Too bad it’s such a down year for the league. That’s a great event to attend in person when both Arizona and UCLA are good!)

If there are any up-and-comer head coaches that have impressed you while watching games this season, consider backing them in games with short spreads. Smart coaching can be worth a bucket or two in major conference tournaments…and that those buckets are typically scored in the final minute when teams have to manufacture points out of sets.

You regulars know I don’t post official service selections here in our coursework. That wouldn’t be fair to paying customers. And, you’re already getting so much great advice for free in these lectures! I can tell you that it’s very likely I’ll be having some 100-unit and possibly even 200-unit selections this week. How can I “know” that when later round matchups aren’t even set yet? History. Opportunities always present themselves on a day-by-day basis as results come in. Smart bettors know how to recognize those opportunities and attack.

KELSO STURGEON’S top plays can always be purchased at this website by credit card. Questions about extended service and combination packages can be answered in the Vegas Sports Masters office by calling my office at 1-888-777-4155 during normal business hours. Don’t forget that Major League Baseball is now just a couple of weeks away. The NBA Playoffs are shaping up to be very interesting. Those begin before mid-April.

The Dean of Sports Handicapping greatly appreciates your attendance and hard work. Everything you’ve done all season has helped prepare you for the challenges ahead. You just have to make a few temporary tweaks this week because of nuances surrounding THE MOTIVATION FACTOR. That will help you build bankroll for the games that matter to everybody next week.

I’ll see you again Friday with what will likely be a “read and react” lecture on early round results from the major conferences. Here in Las Vegas, many long time bettors consider this to be the most exciting week of action all year. There are more games this week than in the first week of March Madness. Games go from morning to midnight here in Vegas (the earliest tips out East are REALLY early here!). I’m confident you’re prepare to make the most of it. See you next time.

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