Mid Major Tourney Tips

With handicapping legend Tony Salinas


Many mid major tournaments start this week, including conferences like the Horizon, Missouri Valley, and Colonial who have been dangerous in the Big Dance for many years. Butler of the Horizon made it all the way to the finals last year. George Mason of the Colonial reached the Final Four five years ago, and has a team again this year that could certainly go deep.

The mid major tournaments are different than the majors in ways that are meaningful for handicappers. Most importantly, hardly ANYONE is looking ahead to the NCAA Tournament! Whether it's the Big East, the ACC, or the Big 10...many teams know for certain that they'll be Dancing. There's nothing truly at stake for them in their conference tournament. They'll say the right things in terms of the 'prestige' of winning a conference tournament. But, deep down inside, the kids and coaches know that it's not this tournament that matters. It's the next one.

In the mid majors, it's THIS tournament that matters to almost everyone. Yes, the top seeds are locks to get into the Big Dance this year. Everyone else will either sweat Selection Sunday, or they already know they must win their conference tournament to get a bid.

So, in the major conferences, you can confidently fade many of the big name favorites knowing you'll get flat performances. Some top teams will play well, But, you'll GET THE BEST OF IT by fading tourney bound favorites as a general rule. That means your slates in the majors should be dog-heavy. In the mid-majors, a lot of the best teams in the events have to play at their best if they want to extend their seasons. Nobody gets rich fading good teams who are motivated!

Some other tips:

*A lot of the worst teams in this week's mid-majors are just garbage teams. They're not worth risking your money on because they don't have the talent to compete in games that matter. There may be a few upsets along the way. But, for every upset there's an ugly blowout, and the profits just aren't there.

*Veteran teams can be very smart bets as underdogs or small favorites. The older a team gets, the more they understand the importance of tournament basketball. And, if you're talking about a team with a lot of key seniors, it's their college CAREERS that are about to end rather than just the season. You'll get great efforts from veteran teams in these mid major tourneys.

*Patient teams have a very good record in the mid majors because their style is ideally suited to playoff basketball. Tempos usually slow way down. And, late in close games, every possession matters. Teams who play all season like that don't get nervous. They just execute their plays and give themselves good looks. Opponents who are used to faster paces tend to panic and fall apart. Look to invest in patient, smart teams at value prices. Be wary of undisciplined up tempo teams.

*Once you get past the first round, depth becomes important. Bet on teams that have depth. If teams don't have depth, either bet against them or bet the Under. Some of the patient teams I talked about above don't have depth, but they can find success because the tempos are so slow. These teams get SLOWER in later rounds believe it or not, creating very smart Under plays. That's actually a good general overall rule if you're into totals. Play Unders in the later rounds if you want to GET THE BEST OF IT. The public usually bets Overs, and that will give you a few free points too. If you like a deep team, bet them. If you like a patient team that lacks depth, bet the Under in later rounds. Most of the slowdown teams, by the way, tend to play in the mid majors. It's tough to recruit great athletes to play that style, so the majors are more wide open (and sloppier).

Next Monday I'll provide handicapping tips for all the major tourneys coming up next week. Of course, I'll be providing my very strongest plays for clients this week, next week, and all the way through March Madness here at the website. Personally, I'm an action-heavy Vegas bettor. I don't recommend that for many. My clients get ONLY the exact same plays I'm betting THE BIGGEST myself. The very best plays. The cream of the crop where line value is the greatest. You can sign up online with your credit card. Or, call my office at 1-888-536-8880 to get on board.

Selections always go up a few hours before first tip. That's going to be EARLY on weekdays starting Friday with the Colonial and Missouri Valley full day slates.

We're about to enter the most exciting month of Las Vegas betting on the entire calendar. Be sure you're GETTING THE BEST OF IT with TONY SALINAS!

'GETTING THE BEST OF IT' is an ongoing series presented by VegasSportsMasters.com and legendary high roller TONY SALINAS. For more information on TONY'S handicapping packages, call 1-888-536-8880.


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