Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Thursday, January 12, 2012 at 10:28 AM
There are reasons college basketball teams are supposed to win and reasons why they will most likely lose. The elements that determine the outcome of games are seldom obvious and that means successful bettors have to dig deep and troll for the edges that make a rock-hard betting line a soft number. Never an easy task, for certain, but the edges are there to be found.
Two excellent examples of the value of moving beyond the statistical data and obvious facts to isolate winners came on the last two nights-Tuesday and Wednesday-when I scored with two 50-unit college plays. Last night it was a 50-unit win by Marquette, 83-64, over St. John's in a game ruled by the bounce factor.
On Tuesday it was taking a giant edge with an Evansville team loaded with talent and much better than its record indicated. Getting the +8 with an under-rated team was heaven sent and the Purple Aces got the money as my 50-unit Missouri Valley Conference Game of the year in an 80-78 loss at Indiana State.
Marquette's 50-unit win last night was particularly pleasing because it showed the power of the bounce theory (I consider it more fact that theory)-in this case the double-bounce theory that all but insures a winning bet.
For those who have not been exposed to the bounce theory, it simply says (1) a team that plays far above its performance profile on one night will in its next game play far below it and (2) a team that plays far below its performance profile in a game will play far over it the next time out. Both elements were in play last night.
Marquette was coming off back-to-back road losses in games it could have won-both against Top Ten teams-and was thus in a bounce-upward mode, and playing at home in that position is extremely powerful. As for St. John's, which starts four freshmen, the Red Storm were coming off a giant upset, 57-55, win at Cincinnati and were in a bounce-downward mode.
While all games played with teams in this situation do not win, most do, especially if the team set to bounce upward is playing at home.
Additional insight can be found in reading the write-ups I gave these two 50-unit winners. Make it part of your handicapping education to read what I had to say pre-game to my clients.
Last Night's Winner
Personal Best Club
50 Units: MARQUETTE (12-4) -13½ over St. John's (8-7)
Prediction: Marquette by 19-20
Final Score: Marquette 83, St. John's 64 - Winner
Comments: This game is the perfect storm for handicappers. Marquette-one of the best teams in the country-is in deadly double bounce-back form coming off two road losses to two nationally-ranked teams, number one-ranked Syracuse (17-0), 73-66, at to Georgetown (13-3), 73-70. As for St. John's, it is in major bounce-downward form off its only road win of the season-a 57-55 victory at Cincinnati (13-3) in a game in which the Bearcats hit but 26.3% of their field goals. Marquette is 7-1 at home this season with its only loss in Milwaukee coming at the hands of Vanderbilt on a night it could hit but 32.2% of its field goals.
So, what happened? Marquette was on fire from the get-go, hitting 55.9% (33-of-59) of its shots in the game, including putting down 67.7% in the second half. St. Louis stayed close for a while but suddenly ran out of gas-drained by that win at Cincinnati-and was blown away.
Tuesday Night's Winner
Personal Best Club
Missouri Valley Conference Game Of Year
50 Units: Evansville (7-7) +8 over INDIANA STATE (10-5)
Prediction: Evansville by 3-4
Final Score: Indiana State 80, Evansville 78 - Winner
Comments: Evansville is far better than its record and, after a slow start, is playing the kind of basketball most predicted it would at the beginning of the season. The Purple Aces did not play up to snuff earlier in the season and lately have just been unlucky. They lost their last two games by a total of 3-points, missing a last second free throw in a 67-66 home loss to Wichita State (12-3) and getting beat at Illinois State (11-4), 75-73, on a three-pointer at the buzzer. Indiana State also has lost its last two games and is but 1-3 in its last four. This game is one of two teams headed in the opposite direction-Evansville up and Indiana State on a downer-and the figures say the win in this one belongs to the underdog.
So, what happened? Evansville was in the game all the way, even though Indiana State was a blazing hot from the floor, hitting 55.3% of its field goal attempts. The game was still in doubt with 23 seconds to play and it is obvious by the final score Evansville just missed in pulling off a major upset.
Going For Another 50-Unit Winner Tonight
There are 50 college games on the schedule tonight and I have found another team that grades out with better than an 80% chance to cover the number and I will be releasing it as a 50-unit blowout play. You can get it on this site or toll free at 1-800-755-2255 for just $50, charged to your major credit card.
My Best Bets Basketball Club will be going for two more winners tonight, with the highlight of the evening being a 10-unit play on the Wisconsin (12-5) at Purdue (13-4) game that will be televised nationally on ESPN2. You can win this one, plus get an additional 5-unit play, for just $15, charged to your major credit card. Available on this site and toll free at 1-800-755-2255. Better yet, get on board for the entire college and NBA season for just $229-the bargain of the year.
College Basketball Handicapping Insights
Duke (13-2) is a 9 ½-point home favorite over Virginia (14-1) tonight is a game that should offer some insight into the role the strength of schedule element plays in games. According to the NCAA's RPI ratings Duke has played the 7th toughest schedule in the country while Virginia checks in at the 231st spot among the 344 teams in the ratings. Virginia's only loss came on a neutral floor to TCU, 57-55, in its third game of the season. Duke's two losses came on the road on nights in which they ran into a pair of buzz-saws. Two games back the Blue Devils lost at Temple, 78-73, on a night the Owls hit 56.4% of their shots. On November 29 they lost at Ohio State, 85-63, as the Buckeyes hit 58.3% from the floor, including 57.1% from 3-point range.
Murray State (16-0), ranked 15th in the country and one of three unbeaten teams (Syracuse (18-0) and Baylor (16-0) are the other two) is a 19 ½-point home favorite over Jacksonville State (6-12) tonight. For the record, these teams have met 15 times since Jacksonville joined the Ohio Valley Conference and Murray State stands 15-0 in those games. Murray State is going for its 25th consecutive winning season.
Pittsburgh (11-6) has fallen off the edge over the college basketball world after being ranked in almost everyone's Top 10 to begin the season. The Panthers opened the season 11-1, with their only loss coming at home to Long Beach State, 86-76-one of the most under-rated teams in the country. Last night in Pittsburgh the Panthers lost their fifth straight game and looked 40 degrees the other side of awful in doing it. Pittsburgh fell to Rutgers, 62-39, in a game in which they hit 21.1% (12-of 57) of their field goals and were outrebounded, 45-26, and that's the good news for the Panthers. They scored just four field goals in the first half, hitting 4-of-32 from the floor. Put Pitt on Red Alert until further notice. Something is terribly wrong there.
Syracuse (18-0) is more than an undefeated team with a great starting five. When the #1 ranked Orange won at Villanova, 79-66, Wednesday night, their bench outscored the starters 47-32. The only deeper bench in college basketball belongs to UNLV (16-2).