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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Wednesday, February 1, 2012 at 11:53 AM

For years and years, you’ve heard that the “best” betting value is associated with underdogs. I’ve always thought that this particular approach was overrated. And, in current-day sports betting, it can be dangerous to your bankroll.

As I’ve proven repeatedly over the last several months, and the last several years, sometimes the very best bets on the board are double digit favorites. This flies in the face of conventional wisdom. But, “Advanced Handicapping” often does. What’s “conventional” comes from a large group of people who don’t do enough research. What’s “advanced” comes from the handful of people who are able to reach the highest levels of analysis

And, I can assure you that the highest levels of analysis were behind my 50-unit NBA winner Tuesday Night on the Los Angeles Lakers (-13) over the Charlotte Bobcats 106-73, and my 25-unit College winner Tuesday Night on Kentucky (-15) over Tennessee 69-44. Even though those spreads seemed high to many pundits…and far too many bet the dog as a result…your old friend KELSO STURGEON got the money by 20 and 10 points respectively in absolute blowouts.

The most important thing for you to realize right now in basketball is that Vegas lines AREN’T stacked against the favorites. When the public is betting heavily, lines ARE stacked against the favorites. This is still true during the NFL regular season…when squares come out in droves to bet favorites. And, it’s still true in college football if you’re talking about the marquee TV games in the biggest conferences. We’re in basketball season now, and the public just doesn’t bet much basketball until March Madness gets here.

*No public action

*No need to stack the line against favorites

*No need to avoid betting big favorites if you have solid edges

We certainly had solid edges Tuesday Night. You regulars know I base many of my blowout selections on playmakers and gamebreakers. Kobe Bryant, the ultimate scoring threat in the NBA, is having a great season thanks to some offseason treatment for his knee and the extended rest break. Charlotte’s one of the worst pro teams of the past 10 years, and had nobody who could stop him (Kobe scored 24 points in less than 28 minutes). Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum have gotten more aggressive in the paint lately. If they continued to do that (which was very likely), Charlotte was going to get pounded in the paint. They were!

The Lakers won the first quarter 30-18, then also won the second quarter 30-18. I was up 60-36 at halftime!

Kentucky also jumped to a big early lead and coasted, expending a 13-point halftime lead to a 25-point rout.

In addition to playmakers, I focus very strongly on DEFENSE when I’m backing a big favorite. It’s not enough to score points in basketball. Blowouts come when you keep the other team from getting anything on the board. Obviously with scoring totals of 73 for Charlotte, and 44 for Tennessee, I was getting stellar defensive efforts from teams who greatly emphasize that side of the ball. New Lakers coach Mike Brown is a great defensive coach, and John Calipari’s Kentucky teams are very aggressive defensively.

Sorry…those were just plain horrible lines! Both favorites were in position to name the score…and they had the talent to name very big scores. It also didn’t hurt that demoralized Charlotte had just dropped five straight games against the spread…and they were visiting a Lakers team who’s been great at home this year. Or, that Tennessee had dropped recent road games to Vandy and Memphis by 18 points, two teams who aren’t nearly as good as Kentucky.

Now, I’m not suggesting that all of you should go out and bet big favorites willy nilly. That’s the exact opposite of “Advanced Handicapping.” What I’m telling you is that the old-time advice about avoiding big favorites doesn’t apply to current basketball in Las Vegas. The lines aren’t stacked against big favorites because the public isn’t betting much. That means solid gradings on big favorites can be bet. Do your advanced work to get those solid gradings. Then, don’t be afraid of chalk if your numbers suggest a blowout is at hand.  

If you’re concerned that you’re not qualified to do high levels of analysis at this point in your personal betting, you can purchase my college and pro basketball selections here at the website every single day with your credit card. I also have great seasonal rates.

I’ll be back again for another installment from my College of Advanced Handicapping late this week to talk about the Super Bowl. I’ll also have a video installment this week about the NY Giants/New England Patriots showdown. Thanks to everyone who’s been attending my “College of Advanced Handicapping.” I hope you’ve been showing better personal results since the coursework began.

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