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Cover Story

Posted by Brian Mulligan on 12/6/2010 2:13:17 PM

Growing up, most kids got scared at one time or another generally about meaningless things like a noise or a bark but in the business of betting basketball, under the covers is not the place to be.

Having a feel of when to take a stance against what on paper and reality is a stronger team is an art that must be cultivated.

To get a feel, a bettor has to be able to read situations, stay on top of current team news, follow the little things that happen on and possibly off the court and keep an open mind throughout the long season because that is mandatory.

In an 82-game regular schedule, even the elite teams will go into a funk. It could be because two or more of the key players on a team are having some difficulty or it may be an internal situation within the confines of the team itself.

One way to attempt to project performance of a team that will be playing on any given night is to devour the schedule, where the astute player will find tons of clues to help him make winning bets.

When a team is on an extended road trip, the pitfalls of that situation are often adopted right into the line so the value may not be quite what one would presume. Logically, a team playing it’s fourth road game in 6 nights would be on borrowed air, but the point spread will likely already had that figured into the tip-off number.

On the other hand, teams playing their first game back after an extended Western or Eastern trip can feel a bit too comfortable in their first home game back after sleeping in their own bed for the first time in well over a week.

A 20-20 view of this kind of a situation happened just the other day when the Chicago Bulls returned from their Barnum and Bailey circus road run.

The circus was in town so Chicago hit the road for 7 straight room service games. It was a good trip as they went 4-3 straight up, one of their best road runs since the Michael Jordan days.

The bad news is they could have gotten a little too happy with themselves.

They had 4 days to rest from the trip before hosting the Orlando Magic on December 1 and what do you think happened?

Bulls were favored by 2 points but came out flat losing the first quarter by a half dozen. Fatigue starting setting in during the second stanza when they were out gunned by 18.

They beat the Magic by a point in the third quarter, were on fumes in the 4th and lost the game by 29.

As it turned out, the Windy City hangover continued 48 hours later in Boston when they were crushed on the glass, turned the ball over more often and could only muster 2 blocks in the game.

Okay, it’s hindsight, but these kinds of situations will present themselves throughout the season and hoop bettors have to have them marked and circled in red on the biggest calendar in the house.

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