It's Obvious Bookmakers Are Scared To Death Of The Early College Conference Tournaments

It's Obvious Bookmakers Are Scared To Death Of The Early College Conference Tournaments

  • Winning 50-Unit Play On Campbell Officially Opens The New Season Of March Madness

  • 4-0 Night In College Basketball A Learning Moment for Handicappers 

By Kelso Sturgeon

I am one of those battle-tested old, if not ancient curmudgeons, who long ago stopped listening to what people say and instead focusing on what they do. Cynical? No. Skeptical?  No. I am a mere mortal--just a man in love with reality and the truth.

When one has battled for more than four decades in the area of laying $11 to win $10 one learns if the handicapping process says the answer is in the north then you know for certain it is in the house. When it comes to betting lines, the illogical is quite often the logical.

And you thought you were nuts.

The opportunity to address reality and the truth came this morning when bookmakers throughout the world stalled, stalled and stalled in putting up betting lines on games in post-season tournaments in the Atlantic Sun Conference, the Northeast Conference and even the Patriot League.

Calls to various bookmakers brought the same answer - "there's a lot of games today and we're working as fast as we can." Translated: "we don't have any idea what we're doing and we're waiting for somebody else to post numbers so we can follow them".

To its credit, the big offshore book 5Dimes stepped up and posted the first numbers and shortly there every other book posted almost all the same betting lines in games from the three aforementioned conferences. Sports books are a bit lost on teams from the lesser-known conferences and that means soft numbers and an open door of opportunity for handicappers who work overtime digging for facts and figures about these teams.

The bottom line to all successful college basketball handicapping is simple:

  • Do the work that makes you more knowledgeable on each game than your bookmaker.

  • Understand the relationship between teams and the betting line being offered on them.

  • Focus most of your attention on games your handicapping reveals you have a power team playing a weak opponent.

  • When you have the edges, have the confidence to take a stand.

50-Unit Win By Campbell Launches March Madness

It is easy to understand the frustration of bookmakers at tournament time. There were seven games on the schedule last night and in the better-known Horizon League, and with teams playing on an established home court, all three favorites won and two covered.

In the lesser-known Big South Conference, there were four games and the favorites lost in three of them and went 1-3 against the number. Favorites losing included NC-Asheville, a 12.5-point favorite, that lost to Longwood, by 15 points, 87-72, and Coastal Carolina (-10) getting rolled by 17 points, 78-61. The neutral floor was in play in this tournament but it is of note Coastal Carolina, the host team, lost on its own home court.

The Big South games served as a wake-up call for bookmakers and that is why they were extremely cautious in posting today's lines. It will be the same story tomorrow as other conferences begin their tournaments.

I officially opened March Madness last night with a single game, a 50-unit winning play on Campbell (-3) in its 81-73 overtime win over Presbyterian.

Here is exactly how I released the game, with all the details and comments:

March Madness Package
50 Units
Campbell University (12-19) -3 over Presbyterian College (8-23)
Prediction: Campbell by 14-15
Opening Round Big South Conference Tournament
Played on neutral floor at HTC Center (3,212) in Conway, South Carolina
RPI Ranking: Presbyterian 338th of 347 teams, Campbell 295th of 347.
Strength of Schedule Ranking: Presbyterian 308th of 347, Campbell 297th of 347.
Home/Road Record: Not applicable because of neutral floor.
Enrollment: Campbell (6,892), Presbyterian (1,200)
Starting Time: 6:00
No TV
Results: Campbell 81, Presbyterian 73

Comments: Tiny Presbyterian College has had a difficult time moving up to NCAA Division I basketball and looks like the proverbial sitting duck in this opening-round game of the Big South Conference Tournament. When these teams played during the regular season, on Presbyterian's home floor in Clinton, South Carolina, Campbell crushed the Blue Hose, 62-46, and did not play very well in doing it. Campbell simply outmans Presbyterian and should have little trouble duplicating that regular season win.

Toledo Perfect Example Of Power Vs. Weakness

I work hard trying to find "power" teams in games with weak teams and last night, I released a perfect example of that when I gave my Chairman's Club members Toledo (-10.5) over Northern Illinois and cashed the 25-unit ticket when the Rockets crushed the Huskies, 70-46. Here is exactly how I released the game, with all the details and comments:

Chairman's Investment Club Basketball
25 Units
TOLEDO (13-13) -10 ½ over Northern Illinois (5-22)
Prediction: Toledo by 19-20
Played at Savage Arena (7,300) in Toledo, Ohio
RPI Ranking: Northern Illinois 328th of 347 teams, Toledo 197th of 347.
Strength of Schedule Ranking: Northern Illinois 247th of 347, Toledo 244th of 347.
Home/Road Record: Toledo is 7-4 at home, Northern Illinois is 2-11 on road.
Enrollment: Toledo (17844), Northern Illinois (22,000)
Starting Time: 7:00
No TV
Results: Toledo 70, Northern Illinois 46

Comments: I do not want to kick any team when it is down but there is no place for mercy when one keeps the score with money, and we bettors do just that. The Northern Illinois program has been in decline for quite some time, standing 10-48 over the past two seasons and has not had a winning season since it went 17-11 in 2005-06.  In my book, the Huskies are so bad they would be a pick'em against 0-27 Grambling State, the only winless team in college basketball. The arrive in Toledo without their best player, guard/forward Abdel Nader (13.5 points, 5.58 rebounds per game) and will field a starting lineup without a single player scoring in double figures and that starting lineup is made up of three freshmen, a sophomore and a junior. Toledo is no world-beater and just slipped by the Huskies, 69-64, earlier in the season, but the stage is set for the Rockets to go out in style on their senior night.

Tonight's Betting Menu

50-Unit NBA 2-Team Parlay - Go 3-0 Wednesday 
Tonight's NBA schedule is loaded with golden opportunities for bettors to cash multiple tickets and my Chairman's Basketball Investment Club will be going for broke tonight with another of its 50-unit 2-team parlays. There are 14 NBA games on the schedule tonight and teams in two of them grade out with an 85% chance to cover the number---a very high figure for an NBA game. I will be releasing both teams at the 20-unit level and then tie them up in a 10-unit parlay just to put the icing on the cake. Click here to get all the cash tonight for just $35, charged to your major credit card

25-Unit March Madness Platinum Power Play Tops 2-0 Tournament Night
March Madness is underway as the mid-major conferences conduct their post-season tournaments to determine who will represent them in the coming NCAA Tournament and it is providing some of the most competitive play of the season. There are several tournament games tonight and I am releasing two of them to my March Madness clients--one at the 25-unit level, the second at 10 units. You can win both these games for just $25, charged to your major credit card.

Better yet, get on board for my entire big-game packed March Madness Package that includes a 200-unit play this coming Saturday, at least six 100-unit plays, at least four 50-unit games, and best bets games rated from 5 units to 15 units every single day. You can get all this and more for just $249, charged to your major credit card. I have been winning for you all season and I do not intend to slowdown one bit. Click here to get on board and start your March Madness winning today.

3-0 Marquee TV Night
Georgetown (23-4) at Villanova (18-12)
North Carolina (21-8) at Maryland (20-9)
Stanford (17-13) at California (20-9)

My Best Bets Basketball Investment Club keeps winning and rolling up major profits and tonight is going for the money with three marquee TV games in which I have found the edges that should get it done. Here are the games I am releasing and I do expect to win them all. The first game is on ESPN, the next two on ESPN2, and you can win them all for just $20

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