25-Unit Blindside Your Bookmaker Game Gets Cash As George Washington (-6?) Knocks Off La Salle 81-72
25-Unit Blindside Your Bookmaker Game Gets Cash As George Washington (-6½) Knocks Off La Salle 81-72
Tonight It's My 50-Unit PAC-10 Blowout Game Of Week
Chairman's Club Knocks Down 2nd Straight 15-Unit
Winner As Suns (-7½) Handle Philadelphia 106-95
25-Unit NBA TV Parlay Set To Score Tonight
New Mexico State (-5) Insures Winning Night In TV
Games As 10-Unit 17-Point Winner Over Idaho
South Carolina-Kentucky Highlights Tonight's TV Plays
By Kelso Sturgeon
When I handicap college basketball I worry about everything before I pull the trigger and release my games. If I'm laying big wood, what are the chances I will get back-doored? How much talent is on the bench if a key player gets hurt during the game and has to be replaced? What's the game plan for both teams in each game? Do the teams have the talent to pull it off? Is it really as good a play as it looks? What detail have I overlooked?
Questions, questions and more questions, and the answers are not always forthcoming. Eventually I complete my handicapping and pull the trigger, release my selections, then head for my local Las Vegas sports book to bet my own money and then I forget about those games until later in the evening.
Once I am in action, it is all out of my hands and I long ago learned it is a waste of time to worry about the outcomes. There is nothing more I can do. It's up to the players.
Win or lose I am no longer in charge.
This is not to suggest I graciously accept losing. In fact I hate to lose more than anybody, period, but I never consider it the end of the world. I know what I am doing and have proved over the past two decades that if I keep doing the same proven things each day the money always finds it way home.
I bring these things up because it is crunch time in college basketball-serious betting time-and I am going to be taking some big stands on several games over the next few weeks and intend to make a small fortune for my clients and for myself.
I never want to be misunderstood. Basketball betting is a risk vs. reward business and I win and I lose, but have a long history of winning enough of the time to produce five and six-figure profits for my players each season. No one in the history of the game wins more double-down bets during the showdown part of the season than do I.
We are heading into the final weeks of the regular college season, with some of the minor conference tournaments beginning next week and with them come additional challenges to picking winners, especially since most of these post-season games are played on neutral floors.
Over the next few days I am going to revisit some of the elements of the handicapping process and today I want to say a few things about basketball betting lines.
Bettors Need To Respect Betting Lines
When I am handicapping I look at the betting line and, using that line, begin to see if I can make a case for each team to cover. It might surprise you but one can make a strong case for both teams in about 75% of all the games that appear on the betting board.
Of the remaining 25%, one can make a modest case for some teams, a strong case for some others and a knockout case for a few. It is for this reason I release my games rated from 3 units to 200 units. The bottom line is simple. The more edges one can find for a team the higher its unit rating.
It is these edges and little else that make a number soft.
As a reminder of how hard it is to beat betting lines, one need only look at Wednesday night's college card. There were 46 games on the board and here is how close just 14 of them finished.
Ohio State was a 7½ -point favorite at Penn State and won by 8.
George Mason was a 3-point favorite at Delaware and won by 2.
SMU was a 5-point favorite at East Carolina and won by 5.
Kent State was a 4-point favorite at Bowling Green and won by 6.
UAB was a 4-point favorite at Central Florida and won by 4.
Marquette was a 2-point favorite at St. John's and won by 2.
Iowa Sate was a 4½-point home favorite over Nebraska and won by 4.
VCU was a 16-point home favorite over James Madison and won by 14.
Mississippi was a 9-point home favorite over Auburn and won by 10.
Central Michigan was a 1-point favorite at Northern Illinois and lost by 2.
Texas-El Paso was a 4-point favorite at Southern Miss and won by 3.
Purdue was a 2½-point favorite at Minnesota and won by 1.
CS-Fullerton was a 1½-point favorite over Cal Poly-SLO and won by 2.
UNLV was a 15-point home favorite over TCU and won by 16.
When a handicapper begins the process of analysis, he must assume betting lines accurately reflect the outcome of the game, and begin the search for the edges that supply the reasons one can back one team in a game.
The bottom line on a betting line is that giving it respect is the beginning of wisdom in the world of 11-to-10.
Wednesday Night's Winners And Losers
Here is a complete listing of all the college and NBA basketball teams I released to my various services last night. This gives you the opportunity to keep track of my winners and losers and hopefully to learn a bit about handicapping by reading and studying the commentary that accompanied each game when it was released. This is exactly how the games were released and the commentary is word-for-word with nothing changed.
If you are interested in viewing my perfect 8-0 night on Tuesday, those games and commentary are listed on the College Basketball page of this website.
Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2010
Home Team In CAPS
All Starting Times Eastern
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BEST BETS CLUB
New Orleans Hornets (30-27) +6 over MILWAUKEE BUCKS (27-28)
Prediction: Milwaukee by 1-2
New Orleans 95, Milwaukee 115 (L)
Comments: Both these teams are playing good basketball right now but the nod has to go to the Milwaukee Bucks in this one. The Bucks are dead-locked in a battle with the Charlotte Bobcats for the 8th and final sport in the Eastern Conference plays, have won their last three, standing 7-3 in their last 10, are 17-9 at home and must continue to win there. Covering is another matter. New Orleans will come to play and I do believe they will get the cover.
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BEST BETS CLUB
IOWA STATE (13-14) -4½ over Nebraska (13-14)
Iowa State 78, Nebraska 74 (L)
Comments: This is a match-up of two very frustrated teams. Iowa State is 0-6 in its last six outings and 1-9 in its last 10. Nebraska is 0-6 in its last six and 1-11 in its last 12. Despite those dreadful records, Iowa State grades out as a solid winner in this Big 12 game and gets an added boost because Nebraska, which is 2-9 on the road this season will be without two key reserves that have been suspended for academic reasons. Iowa Sate won earlier 56-53 in Lincoln when the Cornhuskers were at full strength and how gets them when they are short-handed.
Indiana State (16-12) +10 over ILLINOIS STATE (20-8)
Prediction: Illinois State by 3-4
Indiana State 58, Illinois State 75 (L)
Comments: The only thing amazing about Indiana State is the fact it is 16-12 despite playing much of the season without three starts, including its two starting guards. It has to be uplifting for the Sycamores to take the floor tonight at Illinois State with the starting guards-leading scorer Harry Marshall and his side-kick Dwayne Latham-again ready to play. I don't know whether these gentlemen will be p to speed but if they make the slightest contribution this game will go right to the money.
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PHOENIX SUNS (35-23) -7½ over Philadelphia 76ers (22-34)
Prediction: Phoenix by 12-13
Phoenix 106, Philadelphia 95 (W)
Comments: The Phoenix Suns get superstar guard Steve Nash back for this game, and go for their fourth consecutive win coming off a powerful, 104-102 win at Oklahoma City last night. There is no edge the Suns do not have in this game. They have stepped up their play tremendously of late, are 8-2 in their last 10 games and stand 20-7 at home. The 76ers started this road trip with a 110-102 win at Golden State but do not have the firepower to slug it out with a team that is as talented and plays as well as are the focused Suns right now.
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PERSONAL BEST CLUB
GEORGE WASHINGTON (14-11) -6½ over La Salle (11-15)
Prediction: George Washington by 13-14
George Washington 81, La Salle 72 (W)
Comments: When I saw the betting line on this game I thought I had missed something, and then I realized it was those who make the numbers that were asleep on the job. It seems to have been lost on everyone that La Salle has lost its last six games-three of them at home-and is but 2-8 in its last start. There is a reason for this: the Explorers are playing without three starters, all out with injuries. Sidelined are senior forward Yves Mekongo (11.1 ppg, 5.5 rpg), senior guard Kimmani Barrett (13.3 ppg, 3.8 rpg) and senior guard Ruben Guillandeaux (9.5 ppg, 3.3 apg). For the record, these guys have a combined career total of 2,839 points scored. In other words this is a very crippled La Salle team just trying to survive. The situation should hand George Washington, which lost at LaSalle, 65-64, earlier in the season, a rather easy win. There is no way the Explorers can last the distance with just eight players available.
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TODAY'S MARQUEE TV PACKAGE
NEW MEXICO STATE (17-9) -5 over Idaho (12-13)
Prediction: New Mexico State by 10-11
New Mexico State 74, Idaho 57 (W)
Comments: This is show-time in Las Cruces, with the Aggies getting a rare national television spot in which to showcase their team. If that were not incentive enough to come to play an outstanding game, New Mexico State has most of the other edges too. They have won four of their last five, eight of their last 10 and those victories included serious wins at Pacific and Louisiana Tech. In the first meeting between these two teams, New Mexico State won, 75-72, in Moscow and there is no reason to expect a different outcome here.
Pittsburgh (21-6) -1 over NOTRE DAME (17-10)
Prediction: Pittsburgh by 6-7
Pittsburgh 53, Notre Dame 68 (L)
Comments: Few teams in the country are playing better right now than is Pittsburgh. The Panthers have won their last five, including power wins over Villanova, West Virginia and Marquette and would seem to have enough edges in this one to get the cash, especially since Notre Dame will be without the services of front-line superstar, Luke Harongody (knee injury) who averages 24.1 points and 10.0 rebounds per game.
Oklahoma State (19-7) +9 over TEXAS (21-6)
Prediction: Texas by 3-4
Oklahoma State 59, Texas 69 (L)
Comments: In analyzing this game, there is but one conclusion-that the number is far too high, especially against a team that has talent, is on the bubble and knows it needs a quality win to keep its NCAA hopes alive. I don't think the Aggies can win in Austin but I do expect them to fire their best shot.
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DALLAS MAVERICKS (36-21) -2 over Los Angeles Lakers (43-14)
Prediction: Dallas by 5-6
Dallas 101, Los Angeles 96 (W)
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