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by Ben Burns - 02/17/2009
If times werenâ€™t tough enough, does it feel like our little hobby, betting college hoops, is becoming more and more difficult?
Thatâ€™s because it is.
Does it feel like youâ€™re suffering more bad beats? Youâ€™re not. Youâ€™re just choosing the wrong games to bet.
On Saturday, there were 35 college basketball games decided by three points or less of the spread.
On January 10, one of the earliest Saturdays in conference play, there were only 27 games decided by three points or less of the line.
Thatâ€™s nearly a 30-percent increase in a month of in games that bettors would be wise to avoid.
Those sweaters might as well be decided by coin flips. The slightest bad call, missed free throw or Tim Floyd temper-tantrum can cost you at any time.
To be blunt, if you win one, it was luck; if you lose one, you shouldnâ€™t have been betting on that game to begin win.
But things arenâ€™t all gloom and doom for gamblers.
There are still plenty of winnable wagers out there. Weâ€™ve just got to find them.
On Saturday, there were 31 games decided by 10 points or more of the line. Those are safe covers, locks if you must. A bad call, missed lay-up or something fluky isnâ€™t going to cost you in that situation. If one does, that is the definition of a bad beat.
But how do we go about pinpointing the safe covers and avoiding the nail-biters?
Certainly, thatâ€™s the magic question with no absolute answer.
Letâ€™s take a look at Saturdayâ€™s card and breakdown the 35 games that were decided by three points or less and the 31 games that were decided by 10 or more points of the game.
Hopefully, this will show us a few things of how to avoid the sweaters and how to pounce on the blowouts.
If you have any suggestions, feel free to help the Covers Community out by posting your thoughts in the comments.
Breakdown: Easy Winners
Saturdayâ€™s 31 games decided by more than 10 points of the line.
â€¢Donâ€™t touch road favorites. There were 24 road favorites on Saturdayâ€™s card, only threeâ€”Kentucky, Creighton and Memphisâ€”posted double-digit covers.
â€¢Road underdogs produced the most double-digit covers with 12. Home favorites followed with nine, and home dogs covered by double digits seven times.
â€¢Play double-digit dogs, and avoid double-digit favorites. Ten of the 31 games involved double-digit favorites. Underdogs covered in seven of those 10.
Breakdown: Bad Beat Possibilities
Saturdayâ€™s 35 games decided by three points or less of the spread.
â€¢Donâ€™t be scared of big spreads. There were 35 double-digit favorites Saturday. Only nine of those games finished within three points or less of the spread.
â€¢Small point spreads donâ€™t always result in close games. There were 22 games on Saturdayâ€™s card with lines of less than four. Only nine of them were decided by three points or less.