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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 10:18 PM

Conference play is underway now in most every college basketball league across the nation. This is a natural time for you to apply some of my principals of Advanced Handicapping and chart each team’s schedule for emotional peaks and valleys.

A little bit of common sense, and a lot of time spent right now circling great possibilities, will make finding big money opportunities down the road very easy. All you need to know up front are:

*Each team’s status within the conference (power or patsy)

*Each team’s top priority games (TV appearances and “true” rivals)

*Each team’s travel challenges

With those in mind, you can then go game by game through each team’s schedule to look for likely emotional peaks and valleys. We start with these assumptions.

*Most teams get sky high for their biggest opponents

*Most teams are flat just before, or just after playing their biggest opponents


*Most teams get excited about national TV games on ESPN

*Teams can have trouble getting their juices flowing for non-TV games in front of small crowd


*Most teams prefer playing at home to playing on the road

*This makes home underdogs most dangerous, and road favorites most vulnerable


*Most teams have trouble stringing together great road performances

*Most ranked teams have a little lull in the weeks before March Madness

Find each team’s schedule online and print it out. Then, run a highlighter over the most exciting matchups on their schedule based on what you know about the teams and the assumptions we’ve just made. These are your spots where you’ll want to think about betting on that team when game day arrives. These aren’t “automatic” bets by any means. But, they’re reminders you should honor amidst the hustle and bustle of day-to-day handicapping. The players know their schedules, and have games that they’re looking forward to. You should be trying to match that train of thought.

*Then use a different color highlighter, or some other method of highlighting the “down” games just before or just after the big games. Maybe you put a big red circle around the opponent. Whatever. These are the games where you want to fade the team in question because they’re not likely to be at peak intensity. You’ll be looking to bet the opponent, that’s why you circled them.

College basketball is a game of ebb and flow. Teams are very inconsistent…but are typically inconsistent in LOGICAL ways. Advanced Handicapping in this sport is all about making that inconsistency work for you and your bankroll. Bet teams at their best, fade them at their worst.

This exercise will allow you to:

*Bet on good teams when they’re fired up to play their biggest games of the year

*Bet against any team that will be distracted in a look-ahead or letdown situation.

And, ideally,

*Bet on good teams in great spots when they’re facing vulnerable teams in down spots!

That’s where it all comes together. Many of my 100-unit or 200-unit plays in this sport will involve teams who have a talent advantage to begin with but are also fired up for a peak outing against an opponent that just played its big game, or has one on deck. One team’s highlight game runs into another team’s lowlight game.

Maybe I’m taking the 3rd best team in the ACC at a great price against the 9th best team who just got fired up for Duke the last time out.

Maybe I’m taking a Big 10 contender at home at a cheap price against another contender who just played Ohio State and Indiana in succession.

Maybe I’m going against Texas A&M right before or right after they play Texas.

With so many conferences, the possibilities are almost endless. There are well over a dozen conferences on the board…and every league has its own stories, rivalries, and national TV contracts. Therefore, every team has easily recognizable peaks and valleys on their schedule.

You might be thinking this is too tall a task for a casual handicapper or bettor. “Sure, pro’s like KELSO STURGEON have time to do all of this work for every college board team, but what about me?” Fine, you work for a living, and you’re trying to learn Advanced Handicapping on the side. Then follow today’s advice in your local conference of interest as a starting point. If you live on the East Coast, use the Big East or the ACC. If you live in California, use the Pac 12. If you like watching TV games, do your local conference and your favorite TV conference from ESPN’s schedule.

The work will pay off! And, with conference play in the very early stages at the moment…NOW is the time to get busy with this approach.

I’ll be back again for another installment from my College of Advanced Handicapping late this week to discuss Wildcard Weekend in the NFL playoffs. I won’t provide my official selections during the coursework. But, I will discuss strategies you should be using when you consider the four games set for this weekend.

Be sure to check the homepage of this website for video updates throughout the week and weekend about the many big plays available in basketball and football for credit card purchase. And, thanks again for spending some time in my College of Advanced Handicapping

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