College Basketball Keys

The "X" Factor Put Alabama In The Winner's Circle In Its 100-Unit 42-14 Win Over Irish

By Kelso Sturgeon

One hidden element - let's call it the "X" factor - gave Alabama its stunning 42-14 blowout win over a talented but shocked and dazed Notre Dame team in the BCS champion game last night and it is something bettors need to embrace, whether the sport is football or basketball. Alabama coach Nick Saban teaches it, Oregon's Chip Kelly teaches it, New England's Bill Belichick teaches it.

It is the reason Alabama has gone 61-7 under Saban's guidance and won three national championships the past four years. It is the reason Oregon has gone 46-7 since Kelly arrived and two seasons ago made it to the championship game. It is the reason Belichick is 167-63 straight up (SU) and 130-94-6 against the spread (ATS) and has won two Super Bowls and been to four in the past 10 seasons.

There are dozens of excellent football coaches who have teams loaded with blue-chip talent but just a handful of them have the rare ability to do what Saban, Kelly and Belichick can do and that is to put a team on the razor's edge and have them ready to fire their best shot in the first seconds of every game. Most teams kind of feel their way early, testing their opponent for weaknesses and playing cautiously before opening up.

Play Alabama, Oregon, New England and a handful of other teams and they are ready to go full-blast with the opening kickoff and their performances are like watching an avalanche come down a mountain - shocking, stunning, overwhelming and at lightning-fast speed. If you are a cautious feel-your-way team meeting one of these teams, more often than not you will find yourself out of the game before the first quarter ends - and that is just what happened to Notre Dame last night - shocked, stunned, overwhelmed and wondering, "what the hell was that".

The Fighting Irish came into the BCS championship game 12-0 and well-deserving of their number one national ranking. They had been tested by fire and had the talent, backed up by 12 games of impressive statistical data, to battle Alabama to the wire.

Yet, the game was over almost as soon as it started as Alabama was up 7-0 in the first three minutes of play, up 14-0 eight minutes in and 21-0 with four seconds gone in the second period. It was over at the half, when the Crimson Tide led 28-0.

The "X" factor is in play in many football and basketball games and the edge will always go to the team that is ready to fire its best shot in the opening seconds of a game. The let's-feel-our-way-before-we-fire-our-best-shot works only when the two teams in the same game have the same philosophy.

Play teams such as Alabama, Oregon and New England and they have you in their rearview mirrors before you know what hit you.

Whether it is football or basketball, the bottom line is quite clear: slow starting teams, however talented, set themselves up to lose. Handicappers need to make a list of them and use it as an added edge.

On 18-5 Run And Going For 2 More Tonight

My Best Bets Basketball Investment Club , has won 8 of 9 games, has gone 18-5 in its last 23 and is going for three more tonight. Last night it was a winning 15-unit play on Missouri (-8.5) as they dispathed Alabama 84-68, and lost 5 units on DePaul vs. Connecticut.

Tonight's basketball schedule has 55 college games that should keep the winning streak going and I am releasing 3 of them. Win again with me tonight with these knockout plays for just $20, charged to your major credit card. Better yet sign up for the entire college and NBA season for just $199, charged to your major credit card.

My Current 18-5 Run

1/8...15 Units...Missouri (-8.5) 84, Alabama 68 (W)
1/8...5 Units...DePaul (+9) 78, Connecticut 99 (L)
1/7...10 Units...Notre Dame (+4.5) 66, Cincinnati 60 (W)
1/6...15 Units...Temple (+14.5) 62, Kansas 69 (W)
1/6...5 Units...Oregon (-2) 79, Oregon State 66 (W)
1/5...15 Units...Illinois (+3) 74, Ohio State 55 (W)
1/5...10 Units...Towson State (+9.5) 69, Drexel 66 (W)
1/5...10 Units...Evansville (-8) 85, Southern Illinois 68 (W)
1/4...15 Units...Tennessee (-2) 80, Memphis 85 (L)
1/4...5 Units...Mississippi (-19) 95, Fordham 68 (W)
1/3...15 Units...Utah State (-13.5) 75, Seattle 66 (L)
1/3...10 Units...Colorado (+12.5) 83, Arizona 92 (OT) (W)
1/2...15 Units...Villanova (-6.5) 98, St. John's 86 (OT) (W)
1/2...10 Units...Texas-El Paso (+10 .5) 58, Colorado State 62 (W)
1/1...15 Units...Maryland (-22.5) 81, IUPUI 63 (L)
12/31...15 Units...Minnesota (-5.5) 76, Michigan State 63 (W)
12/31...10 Units...Boston College (-12) 79, Dartmouth 58 (W)
12/30...10 Units...Dayton (+3) 61, USC 63 (OT) (W)
12/29...15 Units...Louisville (-8) 80, Kentucky 77 (L)
12/29...10 Units...Western Kentucky (-4) 70, North Texas 64 (W)
12/29...10 Units...Cal-Santa Barbara (+8) 79, CS-Fullerton 86 (W)
12/28...15 Units...Missouri (+4) 94, UCLA 97 (OT) (W)
12/28...5 Units...Iona (+8) 91, St. Joseph's 96 (W)

Next 100-Unit College Blowout Wins Tonight
6-1 In First Seven

I have released seven 100-unit college basketball blowout plays this season - all over the past five weeks - and have won six of them, and I intend to again get the big money with another 100-unit play Wednesday night. The schedule is loaded with opportunities to make a score but there is but one team that grades out with a 90% chance to win and cover and I am releasing that team as my 100-unit College Mid-Week Blowout Game of the Week. This is another opportunity to make a major score and you can win this game for just $50, charged to your major credit card.

My 6-1 Record With 100-Unit Blowouts

1/5...Colorado State (-10.5) 85, St. Bonaventure 64 (W)
12/29 - Illinois (-12.5) 81, Auburn 79 (L)
12/22 - Louisville (-22) 78, Western Kentucky 55 (W)
12/18 - N. C. State (-7) 88, Stanford 79 (W)
12/15 - Arizona State (-16.5) 61, Dartmouth 42 (W)
12/8 - Villanova (-5.5) 68, Penn 55 (W)
12/1 - Mississippi (-9) 80, Rutgers 67 (W)

Do not miss this opportunity to make another big score.

25-Unit NBA Power Play Wins Again Tonight

My Chairman's Club knocked down another 25-unit NBA winner again last night with the Rockets (-8) over the Lakers 125-112, and I intend to do it again tonight with another NBA power play. The team I am releasing grades out as a 25-unit play, is a modest favorite, and should cover the number by 9-10 points. Win this 25-unit play with me tonight for just $25, charged to your major credit card.


Kelso's Advanced Sports Betting: College Basketball Keys

College football has come to an end, which means it's time for sports bettors to get serious about college basketball. I'll be talking with you on a regular basis about college hoops on these pages and in my website videos from now through March Madness. I hope you're as excited as I am about the money-making opportunities ahead.

In today's first 2013 basketball coursework in my College of Advanced Sports Betting, let's review the basics for handicapping and betting college basketball...

You regulars know that I will always emphasize PLAYMAKERS and GAMEBREAKERS when handicapping a sport. You need to invest in impact players who are going to control what happens on a football field or on a basketball court. Here in hoops, that means:

  • Proven scorers, no matter the position

  • Star point guards who can score and dish to open shooters

  • Defensive forces in the paint

Once you really dig into college basketball, you'll realize how scarce those three elements are across the sport as a whole. There are plenty of kids who love to shoot. Most aren't very good at it! There's a stunning number of point guards who don't even understand the basics of running an offense. And, defensively, too many teams leave a lot to be desired.

Teams with a clear edge in just one of those categories will be in position to win games and cover spreads. Teams with two of the three will be national championship contenders. Teams with all three will be untouchable against most of their schedules (granting that it's become hard in modern college hoops for head coaches to have all three in place at the exact same time).

College basketball is a coach's sport. Even though coaching is important in all competition, this is where coaches have the most influence on the scoreboard and on the Las Vegas board. It's not much of an exaggeration to say that handicapping college basketball means handicapping college coaches. They recruit the PLAYMAKERS and GAMEBREAKERS. They teach them how to play. They make tactical decisions late in close games that often make the difference in who covers the spread.

I strongly encourage you to start keeping notes on every coach. This seems hard at first. But, since many coaches stay in their jobs for years, or stay in the sport even if they change jobs, the notes you take this year will serve you well for seasons to come. I'm STILL winning by taking or fading coaches based on tendencies I noticed more than a decade ago. At the very least, pick your favorite conference and start analyzing the coaches in that league. This is vital if you're serious about truly being an ADVANCED handicapper and bettor.

More than in any other sport, the dynamics of a team's schedule influences peak or valley performances that Advanced Handicappers must learn how to anticipate. Who thrives at home but can't shoot on the road? Who thrives vs. the worst teams in their league but gets exposed vs. the best? Or, conversely, who gets fired up to play the best teams but comes in flat when the juices aren't flowing? Who is jet lagged because they just played two games far from home in a geographically spread out conference? Who is fresh and laying a value number at home against a worn down visitor?

Be sure you know what each team has had to deal with in their last few games...and if they have a "game of the year"type opponent on deck. You've probably heard many longtimers refer to college basketball as "a rhythm sport"for handicappers. You're trying to get in rhythm with the ups and downs of the teams you study.

If you have difficulty getting started, help is always a few clicks away. My Best Bets Club is now on an 18-5 run, and Chairman's Club (where you get one game per day plus my Best Bets Club selections) is winning at 70% for the season. My nightly top plays can be purchased at the website with your major credit card. There are just a few football days left, so it's imperative that you get up to speed in basketball as quickly as possible.

We'll be talking football again the next time we get together later this week, with keys for handicapping round two of NFL playoff action. I look forward to seeing you again at that time.


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