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One of College Basketball's Toughest Encores

   by Tom Stryker - 01/07/2008

Emotion plays a big part in sports. It doesn't matter if it's football, basketball or baseball, one team is usually "getting up" for another. Thankfully, this emotional part of the game exists because it leads sports handicappers and investors to an array of profitable opportunities. This specific technical situation is one of my favorites. It assembled from criteria that flat out works in the three major sports that I handicap. Here's a peek at a system that I call, "One of College Basketball's Toughest Encore's."

System: PLAY AGAINST any college basketball conference home favorite of -14 or more coming off a straight up road underdog win provided they are matched up against an opponent that owns a won/loss percentage of .500 or less.

Record Since 1990 = 103-63 ATS for 62.0 percent

This hardwood system preys on a letdown theory that has been making money in football, basketball and baseball over the years. Here we have a team installed as a high-priced home favorite that returns home off an emotional upset victory and finds itself matched up against an opponent it could probably beat in its sleep. If you simply look at the parameters that make up this technical situation, it's easy to understand why it makes money. Why would a team show an interest in pummeling an inferior opponent especially after pulling off a dramatic upset on the road? This emotional letdown makes perfect sense.

There are a few additional tighteners to this general situation that really make it pop. First, if our host smashed the pointspread in its last game and beat the line nine points or more, this system dips to a stiff 40-67 ATS. Obviously, if a team was undervalued before the linemaker will compensate for his mistake and could place too much value this time around. Also, with our 40-67 ATS in hand and our home team carrying a won/loss percentage of .590 or better, this unique situation crashes to a shocking 27-53 ATS. Obviously, the better teams have more trouble rebounding emotionally off that upset victory.

There is one additional parameter that really makes this system pop. Out of our 26-51 ATS set, this technical situation crashes to a woeful 17-39 ATS provided our "play on" team enters off a straight up loss. This makes perfect sense too. One team is off an emotional high and suffers a letdown while the other enters off a blemish and is locked into a rebound mode.

On Saturday's basketball card, there are two home favorites that could fit this technical situation and a couple of the tightener's involved: Drake and Utah State. Make sure the Bulldogs and Aggies are favored by at least -14 points or more! I'll be back next week with another awesome angle for you to use on your weekly assault with "the man". TS

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