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College Basketball Handicapping: How Important is Free Throw Shooting?I have had a number of recent conversations with fellow college basketball bettors who have talked to me about how they use college basketball stats. In particular, they speak with me about free throw percentage and its place in their prospectus. To be clear, free throw shooting is a very important factor, but you need to know how to properly use it. Free throw shooting percentages will influence the outcome of games, but it is not as simple as just choosing the team that shoots it better. Your college basketball picks will thank you if you are able to use this data in the right way.

Free throw shooting is most important when you are taking a favorite in a game where the line falls between three and seven. In those cases, you can almost guarantee that the game will be close enough for your players to have to bang in some free throws. As you look at various teams, you do not need to simply look at the numbers of the best free throw shooter. In late-game situations, with rebounds and the like coming into play, the entire team will be tested. If you are relying on one good free throw shooter to pull you through, you may run into late-game problems.

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College Basketball Handicapping: Protecting Your Bankroll Over the Long RunOne of the unique challenges of betting on college basketball is that you have to manage your bankroll over the course of an entire season. It is very easy to do this in football. The betting opportunities are limited, and you can plan things on a weekly basis. Things are much different in basketball, as teams will play many times per week. If you want to, you can bet each day for the entirety of the season. What do you do when that is the case? You have to have a bankroll approach if you are going to have success with your college basketball picks.

A percentage approach

You might take a percentage approach to making your bets. For instance, it may make a lot of sense for you to bet three or four percent of your total bankroll on every game. The amount that you bet will largely depend on how many games you bet each day. On a college hoops Saturday, there will be more than 100 games to choose from. You have to choose carefully or you will find yourself spread far too thin.

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College Basketball Handicapping: Getting Over the Name Brand PhenomenonBettors like to take teams that they know. This is why Duke, North Carolina, and Kentucky are such popular public favorites. But what is in a name? You might think that betting on a Duke team gives you the ability to coast to lots of wins against the spread. This is not the case, though. In college hoops, you need to look beyond the name. There are lots of reasons for this. In college hoops, talent is spread uniformly from team to team, so you need to keep this in mind at all times.

Look to mid-majors for value. With the one-and-done rule, it can be very difficult for Kentucky or Duke to re-load each year. A team like Wichita State can allow talent to pile up for many years, with the team playing together over that period of time. Mid-majors are where the value is, and you might even look to some under-the-radar teams within conferences. There may be much more value in betting a Minnesota over having to have Michigan State each night.

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NFL Playoffs Handicapping: What Wins in the Playoffs?There is often much discussion on what wins in the playoffs. Bettors tend to want to find the perfect method for winning. They think that there is one kind of team that can give their NFL picks some sort of mythical power. The truth is that what wins in the playoffs is what wins any other time. There is no special rule for good playoff football.

In order to understand this better, one simply needs to look at the teams that have won recently. Last year, Baltimore won with a combination of good defense and an explosive passing game led by Joe Flacco. Before that, the Giants won with good balance and a strong pass rush. Green Bay has won a Super Bowl without running the ball very well, and Pittsburgh has won it with defense. If history is any indication, then winning a Super Bowl is about doing something very well, but there is no rule on what that thing must be.

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 NFL Playoffs: Three Playoff Betting Rules to Live By

NFL Playoffs: Three Playoff Betting Rules to Live By

 

Every bettor wants to know the secret to success with their NFL betting. The truth is that there is no secret, and there is no good way to guarantee that you will have a long-term profit. You can, however, give yourself the best possible chance if you are willing to follow a few easy rules. Here are three playoff betting rules to live by if you want to get the most out of your betting.

1. Respect the value of a few points

There is a temptation among bettors to simply dismiss a 2.5 point spread as being insignificant. If a team is going to win, they are going to win by a field goal or more, right? This is not always true. The way games go in the playoffs, teams can win by a point and be glad to get out. You need to respect the points in these kinds of situations if you want to have prolonged success.

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NBA Handicapping: Rules for the Road

NBA Handicapping: Rules for the Road

 

There is a general preference among sports bettors for favorites and home teams. Home favorites are especially popular, as these teams are considered safe by the average NBA bettor. As you make your picks this year, you need to keep in mind some rules for the road. There are lots of times when making NBA picks on a road team can make a lot of sense. Use these rules to spot those opportunities when you can cash a road winner.

 1. Thou shall not bet on a tired road team

The NBA season is a grind, and teams do get tired. If you see a team on the back-end of a four game in five night stretch, then you might want to avoid them. You might take particular heed if that stretch is on the road. NBA teams know that they have 82 games, and they have no problem mailing one in if they need to.

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NBA Handicapping: The Mid-Season Lull

NBA Handicapping: The Mid-Season LullDecember and January are about the time when most casual NBA fans tune out. The college bowls are on, college basketball season is getting warmed up, and many would just rather eat some turkey than watch a mid-season NBA game. This can be a good time to make NBA picks, though, if you know what to look for. During the early part of the year, teams can play very hard. They know that they still have a chance, and for the most part, all players are healthy. Late in the year, as teams push for the playoffs, you can also get good effort.

In the middle of the season, though, there exists a general malaise among NBA teams and players. Some are hurting, and others are just trying to rest their legs for the stretch run. Likewise, some teams have already figured out that this is not going to be their year. During the middle of the season, you can see a great disparity in the performance of various teams. Rather than complaining about this, the best approach is to embrace it. Read More…

NBA Handicapping: What Do We Make of the Thunder?

NBA Handicapping: What Do We Make of the Thunder?

 

One could make a very strong argument that over the last three years, the Oklahoma City Thunder has been the best team in the Western Conference. They have beaten the Spurs consistently, and they have the best player in the conference, too. But what do we make of them this year? The Thunder have been flying under the radar to some extent in the early part of 2013. They have not been attracting the kind of attention that one might expect of a team that sports a championship pedigree.

The Thunder still have young talent in their prime. This has not changed. Despite his injury, Russell Westbrook is still one of the most explosive players in the NBA. Kevin Durant remains a steady and spectacular scorer that can take over any game at any time. Serge Ibaka has even emerged as an offensive and defensive threat, giving the Thunder three guys who can win a game for them on a given night. So why are they not getting the attention that they deserve?

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NBA Handicapping: Can You Trust Indiana?

NBA Handicapping: Can You Trust Indiana?

 

Over the last couple of years, the Indiana Pacers have given bettors some reason to believe. The Pacers have shown life during the regular season, and they even pushed Miami to the limit during last year’s playoffs. If you were paying attention, then you knew that they would be a force to be reckoned with during the 2013-2014 campaign. With that said, there are still significant questions that you must ask if you are making NBA picks on the Pacers this year. Are they good enough to earn your trust?

The Pacers have some legitimate pieces in Paul George and Roy Hibbert. These are not players who are trying to find their way. Rather, in the case of George, they are legitimate stars, and in the case of Hibbert, they are budding superstars. In the NBA, it takes two really great players and a host of nice pieces to be competitive. Without that, teams have no chance of competing against some of the better clubs out there. It appears that Indiana has that. Read More…

NFL Handicapping: Three Playoff Mistakes to Avoid

NFL Handicapping: Three Playoff Mistakes to Avoid

 

As you go into the playoffs, you have a few final chances to pump up your bankroll a little bit more. If you’re going to be a successful NFL bettor, then you need to remember a few critical things. Here are three mistakes that you should try desperately to avoid this NFL playoff season.

1. Avoid Falling for Momentum

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that a team is “hot.” Yes, it is true that teams win many games in a row. This is usually not because they got “hot,” though. Remember that the NFL’s best teams will be sitting out week one with a bye. If you buy into the hype on hotness, then you might end up betting on teams that are about to run into a well-rested buzzsaw.

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