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Conference Tourney Money-Maker

   by Tom Stryker - 03/11/2008

On Wednesday, March 12th, college basketball's major conferences will tip off their annual post season tournaments. This is the perfect appetizer to the Big Dance and this five-day hardwood run can provide all of us with excellent wagering opportunities.

Thanks to my powerful hoops database, I've been able to grind out a nice profit in March Madness over the years. A great deal of my winnings has come in the first round (or donkey round) of the tournament. Some of the conference's worst teams can be found at this stage of the game and, under the right set of circumstances, fading these bottom feeders can lead us to the cash.

Let's take a look at one specific system that goes against these conference losers. Since the 1990-91 season, sub .500 first round (or donkey round) teams are a dismal 35-55 ATS provided they're matched up against an opponent that enters off back-to-back straight up wins. Remember, momentum in college basketball can be an effective handicapping tool. In this situation, our "play against" bottom-feeder struggles to meet the emotional and physical challenge that their opponent provides. At press time, there are two potential teams stuck in this dismal situation: Bowling Green and Rice.

There are a couple of ways to tighten this system up and make it even more lucrative. With our 33-55 ATS set in hand and our "play against" side off a straight up loss and priced as an underdog or pick, this system crashes to a horrendous 16-39 ATS! We already have a bad team on the court. Things get even worse when our "loser" enters without momentum off a straight up loss. Both the Falcons and the Owls apply to this important tightener.

There is one additional parameter that can be added to this system that really makes it pop. With our 16-39 ATS tally on the board and our "play against" side is facing an opponent that is seeded at No. 5 or lower, this system dips to a dismal 5-25 ATS! Rice is the only team that fits this nearly perfect tightener.

Good luck with Southern Mississippi on Wednesday night and be sure to check back next week for an inside look at the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament. Thank you and best of luck, Tom Stryker.

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