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March Madness Handicapping: The Play-In Game HangoverIn 2011, Clemson found its ways into the NCAA Tournament. The Tigers had been pretty good all season long, but they could not avoid the play-in game as a 12-seed. As that 12-seed, they had to play a decent UAB team in the opening round. That game took place on Tuesday night, very late, in Dayton. When they dispatched of UAB, they earned a trip to take on West Virginia in Florida 36 hours later. In that game, Clemson came out and dominated for 30 minutes before wilting away. They did not have the legs to make up for the travel and the tough playing schedule.

When you are making your March Madness picks you need to think about this hangover. Some teams have been affected by it. Others have not. VCU, for instance, went from the play-in game to the Final Four in 2011. The difference between those two teams was the overall time frame. Clemson had a much quicker turn-around, and it made a major difference in how things shook out for them. Read More…

March Madness Handicapping: Three March Madness MythsAs you try to make March Madness picks, you will undoubtedly encounter certain myths. After all, most people have opinions on sports betting, and most people are simply wrong when they spout off with these opinions. With that in mind, here are some of the myths that you need to know about as you make your March Madness picks.

Slow-down teams win in March

While it is true that some slow teams have played well in March, you do not have to play slow to win in the tournament. In fact, there are often many instances where fast-paced teams have had success in March. The tournament shows that almost any style can win as long as a team plays that style well. Think about pace, but do not discount a team because it plays faster.

Good guard play wins in the tournament

Sure, good guards will always help, but there is something to be said for good inside play, too. The biggest problem for bettors is that we tend to remember the big things that happened rather than all of the things that happened. When the game is on the line, the guard typically makes or breaks things. What you don’t think about, though, is how the play of an inside man helped to get the team in the position to win or lose. Read More…

March Madness Handicapping: When Lower Seeds are Favored

Each year, as people are making their March Madness picks, they look at their bracket and compare it to the betting lines. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, they see something that is wholly surprising. What is that thing? They see a lower seed that is favored over a higher seed. How is that ten-seed giving up three points to the seven seed? This just does not seem right, but it happens all the time.

 

When you see this kind of situation, you can guarantee that a few different things are going to happen. First, people are going to immediately look at the situation and think that the underdog is the right bet. After all, betting the underdog means that you get the better team and the points. What is not to love about that? This is a foolish approach, though. The sportsbooks know that people will likely jump on these underdogs, so they price them accordingly.

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March Madness Handicapping: On the Effects of Travel

A few years ago, the NCAA Tournament committee went to a new system of assigning teams to various brackets. The goal was to make sure that some teams – especially high seeds – were given preference by being stuck in spots closer to home. The committee developed something that they called “pods.” With the pods, different regionals play their opening round games in the same place. The San Diego host site might have two teams from the East regional, for instance.

How will this new reality impact your handicapping? You should know when making March Madness picks that travel has traditionally had a huge impact on the success of various teams. Teams that have to go long distances are normally road-weary when the tournament rolls around. Those who play close to home, on the other hand, experience tremendous boosts from getting the support of the semi-home crowd.

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download-2As an NFL handicapper, you should always be willing to listen when someone offers to give a money-making tip. While not all people are capable of giving good advice, there is no reason to not consider a new opinion. With that in mind, here are three things that you should probably know going forward.

1. Eye the Public

You should almost always keep your eye on the public. What is the public doing with its betting trend? Is 90-percent on the favorite? Are most people backing a road underdog? Is someone saying that the under is a “stone cold lock?” When you start hearing these things, you should think about going the other way. When the public is sure of itself, the books start to drool over the possibility of big profits.

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NFL Handicapping: Three Teams Bound to Bounce BackHouston Texans

The Texans seem likely to take a QB early in the draft, but they have a lot of good pieces. The injury bug struck hard last year, so you can’t expect that to happen again. With JJ Watt and others on that defense, it will be serviceable once again. The running game should get back on track, too, and you should expect better play through the air under Bill O’Brien. Things are looking up for Houston.

Buffalo Bills

The Bills improved a good bit last season, and they even struggled with a rookie QB. You can expect EJ Manuel to be improved this year. This should mean good things for people who make NFL picks on the Bills. The Bills have a strong fleet of skilled position players, and Doug Marrone appears to know what it takes to build the offensive line. You can make good money on the Bills next year.

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NFL Handicapping: Three Money-Making TipsSo you want to make March Madness picks and you’re looking for a prototype of a team that can win in March? Just know that lots of different teams have shown the capacity to take home a title. Still, there are a few things to look for if you want an angle on a team that is going to have a chance to get to the Final Four. Here are some characteristics.

 Good Balance

Over the last decade, teams that have won titles have had a good mixture of offense and defense. Good teams are able to do many things right. You will want to look for clubs that know how to get it done on both ends. This does not mean that they must be the best at offense and defense, as this combination rarely happens. Rather, you will want to look for those teams that do one thing extremely well and the other well.

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NBA Handicapping: Understanding Substitution PatternsAs you make NBA picks, you need to understand some things about the dynamics of the game of basketball. For instance, teams make substitutions at distinct times during games. A starter will often sit for four or five minutes at a time, and you may be confused by this if you are not prepared. This is not a reason to fret. Rather, it is just the team’s attempt to get that player some rest during the game. Often, the NBA runs like hockey, with teams running out their second line to face the second line of another team.

The bigger question is about how you can use this information to your benefit in making NBA picks. You need to first understand that there are opportunities in the betting world to make in-game picks. If you have a site that allows you to make these picks, then the natural ebbs and flows of a game can provide great opportunities. Chris Paul elevates the level of play of Los Angeles. When he goes out, they often struggle, but they will pick things up when he is back in. With that in mind, you might make NBA picks on the Clippers after they drop some points with Paul on the bench.

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download (11)If you are trying to put together your NBA picks, then you probably have some vague idea that each player is worth a certain amount. Take Paul George, for instance. He is worth a distinct amount to his team, and that amount should be reflected, at least in part, by the line that you get at your sportsbook. But how much does one player matter? Is one player enough to shift the line a few points? The answer is that it depends.

In general, one player is only worth a few points at most. Even though LeBron James is probably the best player alive, his absence will only cost the Heat a few points according to the line. With that knowledge in tow, your job as a person making NBA picks is to figure out those times when the line might be off.

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College Basketball Betting: On OverreactionsAs a person making college basketball picks, you will undoubtedly run into lots of situations where you will be tempted to overreact to one win or loss. Early in the 2013-2014 season, Wisconsin ran out to 16 straight wins. People predicted a national title for the Badgers, and after Wisconsin lost back to back games to Indiana and Michigan, people wondered whether the Badgers had been a fraud. The truth was somewhere in the middle as it usually is. If you overreact to various situations, then you will fail with your college basketball picks. The Badgers were and are a good team that will go far, and no individual result changes that.

Whenever you go to make your college basketball picks, you need to think hard about all of the data that you have on a team. If a team wins a big game, there are other games to consider. The same goes for a loss. Try to take into account all of the various data points that could help you make better decisions on point spreads. People naturally tend to give too much credit to things that have just happened. If you are a smart college hoops handicapper, then you will allow all of the data to inform your decisions.

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