How Sharps Bet Conference Tourneys

With Oddsmaker Nick Bogdanovich


You longtime readers know that college basketball is my favorite sport to handicap and bet. I think it's easy to find vulnerable lines that smart bettors can attack.

Of course, as an oddsmaker at Cal-Neva, that puts me on red alert because it's my job to protect my employer as best as possible. I need to post lines that don't put them in a losing position. I need to shade the numbers against what the sharps (professional wagerers) are likely to the sharps bet somewhere else!

To do that, I've developed an understanding of how the sharps bet conference tournaments. I've applied their strategies to my own as well, which I think creates a very potent package for anyone who signs up for service.

You get MY strongest opinions from watching the teams all year. You get games that are shaped by the successful strategies I've created myself or learned from OTHERS during my time in the industry. And, as the week unfolds, you get additional STEAM plays from SYNDICATES as they make their moves on or against certain teams or coaches.

I won't discuss my personal strategies today, because I need to protect some parts of my attack for my employer and my clients. I will list a few things I've learned from sharps over the years.

*Focus on teams who can win their games. The lines are so short in neutral site events that most of the games are virtual pick-em's anyway. You want to bet on teams who know how to win...who have experience at point guard or in the paint...and who have coaches who can design the right play in the final moments when the game is on the line.

*Don't lay chalk unless a favorite is playing GREAT. Typically, sharps bet against the big name teams this week because so many get caught looking ahead to the Big Dance. But, if a team is obviously focused on the task at hand this week, then sharps will lay short numbers with them. Otherwise, they fade the big name teams and look for upsets. It's pretty common to hear squares (the general public) say something like 'I can't believe the #1 seed is so cheap,' just before the #1 seed loses outright. Sharps are usually on the right side of those.

*Don't be afraid to ride a hot hand. The major conferences in particular will see somebody from off the radar get hot and run the table. Squares will go against an off-the-radar team figuring the 'due theory' is going to jump up and bite them. If sharps see a #5 or #7 seed playing with confidence (particularly one that's well coached or has experience at point guard), they'll back that team through the weekend. If that team wins the conference's automatic bid, THEN sharps will fade them in the first round of the Dance once a few days off has killed their momentum.

*Use the schedule to your bankroll advantage. Sharps play every session if they can find a reasonable bet, and will press up their legal bet sizes if things are going well. If you're smart, you can turn the busy days into four or five different sessions that really allow you to magnify your advantage.

Earliest Starts
Mid Afternoon Starts
Early Evening Starts
Mid Evening Starts
Late West Coast Starts

Now, I'm not telling you to force plays in a session if you don't like anything. If you DO like something, have the courage to press up a little if things are going well. Sharps are better than squares at picking games. But, they're A LOT BETTER at managing their money!

*Make your lines before oddsmakers post theirs. You should have a projected line ready for every possible matchup so you can jump on the openers if a bad number goes up. I'll post some 'market ratings' Tuesday and Thursday that should help you with that. Be thinking about what YOU would make the line though. Don't 'see the line, bet the line.' ANTICIPATE the line and bet soft openers. That's another key area where sharps are so much better than squares. Sharps make the line move, while squares don't bet until after the line has moved. Lotsa luck with that!

*Watch the games you're NOT betting on rather than the games you're betting on. Why is that? Sharps scoreboard watch like anyone else, but they're always thinking about their next bet. They watch the big screens at sportsbooks to look for edges that they can apply in the next round. Squares root for their bet, high five themselves if they win, then start from square one without having done much analysis for the next session or next day. Stop putting yourself behind the eight ball.

I'll be running Tuesday and Thursday reports this week so I can get you 'market ratings' on a timely basis just as events are about to begin. If you're a do-it-yourselfer, I believe these will be of assistance to you. If you just want to win without doing all the work, sign up for my personal service here at the website. My BEST BETS can be purchased every game day a few hours before tipoff (which means very early sessions this week when there are weekday games). You can also sign up for all of MARCH MADNESS at a great rate. If you have any questions, call the office at 1-877-822-2276.

This article is part of the VSM MASTERS SERIES presented by For more information on NICK BOGDANOVICH'S handicapping packages, call 1-877-822-2276.


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