Basketball Strategies

Kelso's Advanced Handicapping: Basketball Strategies

You're probably aware that I've won seven straight 50-unit bombshells in college and pro basketball heading into Wednesday Night action. It's mostly been college games earning the big-unit label, though we did have one NBA blowout in the mix last Friday when the college schedule was light. Here's a brief rundown of the streak:

Tuesday Jan. 10: Evansville (+8) covered in an 80-78 loss to Indiana State
Wednesday Jan. 11: Marquette (-13.5) beat St. John's 83-64
Thursday Jan. 12: North Texas (-7) beat Western Kentucky 84-67
Friday Jan. 13: Philadelphia 76ers (-8.5) beat Washington 120-89
Saturday Jan. 14: North Texas (-6) beat Louisiana Monroe 68-55
Sunday Jan. 15: UCLA (-3) beat USC 66-47
Tuesday Jan. 17: Colorado State (-7.5) beat Boise State 66-55

A few things jump out from that list as themes for my "College of Advanced Handicapping," so let's move right into those for today's coursework.

  • First, note how the list has national balance. I'm truly looking ALL over the card for betting advantages rather than focusing on just one or two teams. Yes, North Texas shows up there twice because I think Vegas has been slow to notice how good that team has gotten (and how bad Louisiana-Monroe is too for that matter). But, the college list features the Missouri Valley, the Big East, the Sun Belt, the Pac 12, and the Mountain West in order. That's coast-to-coast and Canada-to-Mexico (from Idaho to Texas). One of the most basic fundamentals of sports handicapping is that oddsmakers have to put on a number on every game. You can pass as many times as you want, and only get involved when you believe you have an edge. "Advanced" handicapping means really, AGGRESSIVELY, putting that fundamental in your favor by looking everywhere for winners.

  • Secondly, the victory margins show these games are right in might sweet spot. As I've made clear to you here at this website in my articles and videos, I believe the most powerful way to dominate the line is to find superior teams who aren't getting enough respect in the number. I do sometimes play live underdogs (typically when I think they're the superior team!) But, it's no surprise that the bulk of my big-unit games come on affordably priced favorites who are in position to win in dominant style. The victory margins for my favorites were 19, 17, 31, 13, 19, and 11 even though I only released one double digit chalk. The edges in talent I had found on the floor made a mockery of the Vegas numbers. You'll often read in these articles that isolating playmakers and gamebreakers is the first step in a winning handicapping process. The list of winners above makes it very clear why this is true. Talent wins games. When oddsmakers don't recognize talent, you take their money.

  • The third point I want to make from that list involves defense. It's easy to get caught up in only looking at offense when you're studying playmakers. I don't mean to suggest in any way that you can safely ignore defense when making your picks. Ideally, you want playmakers on offense, AND a defense that's going to shut down an opponent that lacks playmakers. It's the COMBINATION that's so lethal in whatever sport you're dealing with that day. You'll note above that three of my teams allowed 55 points or less, two more allowed in the mid 60's, and my NBA team allowed only 87 points.

I wish I could tell you that the fates smile this brightly on my big picks every single day. It's impossible to hit 100% of your best games, or even 80% or 70%. The randomness of bad luck missed us in these games in terms of injuries, or a random opposing player having the game of his life or something. We weren't robbed by the officials. That stuff does happen, which is why "Advanced Handicappers" shoot for realistic goals, and accept the hot streaks like this when they come.

I've had winning streaks of much longer than seven games in my handicapping career, so I wouldn't suggest stopping at the moment. It should go without saying that you should ride a hot handicapper! You can purchase my top plays every day right here at this website with your credit card. We have very big schedules to attack Wednesday and Thursday Night. There are also options for longer term packages.

I'll be back again for another installment from my College of Advanced Handicapping late this week to talk about the Championship games in the NFL Playoffs. Then, we'll be all basketball through March Madness except for one Super Bowl edition in a couple of weeks.

Thanks again to all of you regular students for attending my "College of Advanced Handicapping." Be sure to look for video updates on the home page of this website for additional news and notes.

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