Read the Boxscores!
Kelso's Advanced Handicapping: Read the Boxscores!
We've reached the point in the college tournament schedule where it's very easy for you to keep track of what's happening in every single game that's being played. This isn't like a regular season Wednesday or Saturday where there are so many games on the card that research would bury you.
There are 10 day games in the tourneys Friday, followed by 24 night games from the official Vegas board. If you simply run through each boxscore online when the game ends (many websites have these on a timely basis, and ESPN's website even runs live boxscores through each game), you'll be able to monitor all the important developments that will help you win more money Saturday, Sunday, and next week in the Big Dance and other tournaments.
Here's what I want you to look for in the boxscores. They reflect many of the fundamentals of Advanced Handicapping that we've been discussing this week and this year.
As I mentioned in my video that you see on the homepage of this website, it's very difficult to win three games in three days. Deep teams have a chance. Those on shorter rotations are going to be in trouble, particularly if they had to deal with overtime somewhere along the way. Be sure you're counting up bench minutes, and double-checking to see if the playmakers and gamebreakers are getting some rest. You'd rather enter the finals with a star who's averaging 30-32 minutes than one who's had to go all 40 per game (more in OT's).
This will also help you NEXT week. Shallow teams have a chance to rise up and play great in their first game in the Big Dance. But, they typically fall back to earth when taking the court two days later. Deep teams have a much better chance of playing well twice (and covering over the weekend). You need to know who the deep teams are.
As I mentioned in my article yesterday, you want to make sure the team you're betting on in the postseason is the same team you saw in the regular season. That's not always the case because of injuries. Several teams were dealing with adjusted rotations because of late-season injuries. Indiana sadly lost a player in the Penn State game who is now out for the season. Advanced Handicapping means adjusting on the fly when developments warrant. See who's picking up the new minutes. Evaluate how the new rotations are faring on both offense and defense.
Basketball officials do their best. But, there just aren't enough truly good referees to go around when so many events are being played in different parts of the country. As a result, inconsistent officiating can lead to varied results. If a team underachieved but won their last game despite being in foul trouble, they're actually very likely to play GREAT their next game because the top players will get more minutes. If a team won big thanks to a huge free throw advantage, that's likely to disappear in the next game because referees rarely smile on the same teams two games in a row. Be sure you know how the foul situation impacted the game that just happened so you can make a proper assessment of the games still yet to be played.
A lot of tournament games come down simply to who wants it more at the very end of the game. That's why I place a high emphasis on stats like rebounding (particularly offensive rebounding since so many tournament games are won on putbacks), turnovers (particularly those forced by a defense), and blocked shots. If I'm investing my money on a team, I want to know that they're going to give me 40 hard minutes on both sides of the floor. Far too many college teams...even the powers...get too high on themselves and don't play with enough intensity. This is one reason you see so many upsets in the Big Dance. The underdog goes hard for 40 minutes and wins the hustle stats. The favorite assumes they can get by on pure talent, and they end up going home much earlier than expected.
Again, you have time to do this in EVERY GAME Friday, and then easily Saturday when you're just dealing with semifinals and finals. I assure you what you learn from this effort will pay off before the brackets are announced, and then several times after they're announced!
Hey...consider this a hustle stat. Are you ready to go all out to make sure you're a winner through March Madness? Do the work. Reap the rewards.
I am available to provide day-to-day guidance through this week's conference tournaments and the rest of the college postseason by way of my website selections. You can purchase those right here with your credit card. I have a great price that will take you full the postseason. More details are on the video that went up Friday morning..I'll be back again for another installment from my College of Advanced Handicapping early next week, to discuss handicapping the NIT, CBI, and Insider Tournaments. Then I'll have a bonus report before the first big day of the Big Dance. It's a great time to be a basketball fan and a legal sports wagerer. Are YOU ready to give a championship effort?
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