Syracuse, Kansas Remain 1-2 In My College Top 25 Just As They Have For Past Two Weeks

I Just Might Be On To Something In Handicapping College Basketball Now That Conference Play Has Begun

Syracuse, Kansas Remain 1-2 In My College Top 25 Just As They Have For Past Two Weeks

I'm 7-2 On Sides, 9-0 On Totals In Last Nine Super Bowls And Have Put Together A Great 9-Day Package That Begins This Saturday The Price Is Right-Details Below

 

By Kelso Sturgeon

The next handicapping book I write is going to be entitled "Sports Betting-The Things I Learned After I Knew Everything". Sports handicapping is not the unsolvable mysterious world some would have you believe but is simply an activity of putting in the time to learn what it is all about, stepping up to the plate to bet real money and having the good sense to make major changes and small adjustments when things are not going as they were supposed to.
           
There is always something to learn-a new element that just might increase one's winning percentage a point or two.
           
The biggest challenge is the learning process.

It took me almost 20 years to shockingly figure out books written on the subject were worthless and filled with misinformation, that the experts to whom we listened were self-promoting spotlight-seeking bozos from the zoot-suit-blue-suede-shoe set who talked a good game but couldn't out-perform a dart board or Koko the gorilla when it came to picking winners and that elements submerged deeply in the numbers were really the key to beating a betting line.

I cannot point to the exact day more than 15 years ago I realized I had been duped by the fools but I do know on that day, I became my own man-a loner in a world of promise. It was back to a drawing board that began with the basic foundation of handicapping-i.e. the relationship between a betting line and a team's ability to beat/not beat it.

Thus began a life of continuous study, looking for a new and better way to handicap, whether the sport was football, basketball or baseball. For certain I conquered college and NFL football last season after a five-year study that revealed the five things that determine the winners of games.

As noted, the learning continues and it led me to an unusual discovery in handicapping college basketball-a discovery that just might permit us to cover more of the toughest college basketball betting lines in history now that conference play has begun.

Please don't be misled by the following. Thus study is just in its infancy and its value is yet to be determined, but it shows promise and it all has to do with the strength of schedule each of the 345 NCAA 1-A basketball teams.

It Went 12-2 SU, 9-5 ATS Tuesday

About 10 days ago, when I felt I was out of rhythm with college basketball teams and went into a short losing streak, I began reviewing everything I was doing, toying with my handicapping program, and decided I would give more importance to the fact the conference season had begun, that betting lines had become tighter than ever-and I mean ever-and that I had in the past given little attention to the element of strength of schedule.

I added strength of schedule to my handicapping equation and the results were eye-opening. It took a few days to have it down pat and on this past Tuesday it had been fine-tuned the point it could be used, for better or worse.
           
The results were interesting.
           
On that night, there were 14 college board games-all of them conference contests. When the evening was over teams that had played the stronger schedule went 12-2 straight up and 9-5 against the number. The 14 with a higher rating than their opponent included four underdogs that won outright.
           
I used the strength of schedule element on just one game-Miami at Maryland-because I was in unproven waters. The situation looked promising but I needed more facts.
           
I released Maryland (-8) as a 25-unit Personal Best Club play over Miami and won it easily as the Terrapins took over from the get-go and coasted to a 22-point, 81-59 win. Maryland's strength of schedule was 46th of 345 while Miami's was 244th. Here is exactly what I told my Internet clients when I released the game:

MARYLAND (13-5) -8 over Miami (15-4)
Prediction: Maryland by 13-14

Comments: There can be little question Maryland is doing just as it has done several times in the last decade-starting in so-so fashion (an 83-77 home loss to William & Mary, for instance)-and then suddenly surfacing as a force. They are a powerful 3-0 in their last three games, crushing North Carolina State, 88-64, in College Park, pistol-whipping outmanned Longwood, 106-55, on that same court and winning at Boston College in blowout fashion, 73-57. In other words, this is not the same Maryland team that lost at home to W&M. Miami has the better record but the Hurricanes have found that playing the 244th toughest schedule in college (there are 345 teams in he NCAA rankings) may give one an inflated opinion. When Miami stepped out into legitimate competition, it has struggled and stands 1-3 in those four games and has lost the last three. Four games back the Hurricanes beat Wake Forest in Miami, 67-66, and then lost at Virginia Tech, 81-66, at Virginia, 75-57, and at home to Boston College, 79-75. The reality check continues tonight.

Please remember this is just one game in a study that is going to continue right through the end of the season. I am carefully using strength of schedule as an added handicapping factor in all conference games-and it does look promising.
           
I will report back on this next week when I have a little more data with which to work but it is something for you to possibly consider in your handicapping. For certain, it is going to give a number with which to compare and analyze a team's won-lost record.

Syracuse, Kansas Remain 1-2 In My Top 25

Here is  Top 25 college basketball rankings, with the team's record as of Tuesday, Jan. 26, and with each team's strength-of-schedule rating from the NCAA. For the record, there are 345 NCAA 1-A basketball teams that are rated in the latter category.

Rank

Team

Record

Schedule Strength

1.

Syracuse

20-1

9th

2.

Kansas

19-1

30th

3.

Kentucky

19-1

149th

4.

Villanova

18-1

78th

5.

Duke

16-3

12th

6.

Texas

17-2

100th

7.

Northern Iowa

16-2

126th

8.

Michigan State

18-3

40th

9.

Georgetown

15-4

11th

10.

Kansas State

17-3

15th

11.

BYU

20-1

163rd

12.

Purdue

16-3

33rd

13.

Baylor

15-4

106th

14.

Pittsburgh

15-4

21st

15.

Mississippi

15-4

79th

16.

West Virginia

16-3

18th

17.

Oklahoma State

15-4

72nd

18.

Gonzaga

16-3

16th

19.

UNLV

17-4

87th

20.

Wisconsin

16-4

10th

21.

Maryland

14-5

27th

22.

Ohio State

14-6

99th

23.

New Mexico

18-3

42nd

24.

Temple

17-3

23rd

25.

Mississippi State

15-4

155th

           

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