Thanksgiving is a week away and with that comes plenty of sports. College basketball has basically just kicked off and the season is still very young. Around this time we continue to see a bigger influx of… yes the dreaded neutral court and tropical tourneys. It can be a big time bugaboo and here’s why…
UNDERSTAND WHERE THE GAME IS, IS IT A TRUE NEUTRAL COURT OR MAYBE JUST DOWN THE ROAD FROM A SCHOOL? Neutrals are fickle, the game could be truly somewhere neutral or a it could be the good ol we’re going to have a game here because of historical meaning or maybe just to grow the game or something. For instance Houston University might host Northern Kentucky at Texas Southern University, while its not Houston’s home gym its literally 10 minutes away. It’s a significant advantage to that team, so be careful and do some research, it can make a world of difference. Also make sure you know the locales of a possible tournament, there are smaller ones maybe in Conway SC or a big one at MSG.
TROPICAL ATMOSPHERES… Now for the teams these are awesome, student athletes get to hang in paradise for up to a week.. what could be better? But the things that go along with it for bettors can keep you up at night. Many of these kids like a lot of us, maybe have never been to one of these places and are spending more time with beaches and bikini’s than basketball. Or maybe in the case of several tournaments last year the locations simply aren’t equipped to handle the tournaments. Some are glorified ballrooms that are better for home and garden conferences then basketball tournaments. You’re dealing with young people in tropical locations trying to play basketball in sometime dimly lit, poorly equipped locations. it’s a long season, skip them or just focus on late games in said tournament, your sleep at night will be better for it.
IF YOU’RE GOING TO BET TROPICAL LOCATIONS, STICK WITH ONE… The Maui Invitational is one tourney that’s always very good. The teams involved minus Chaminade of course are well equipped and won’t be bothered by the bright lights in a faraway place, its a meaningful tournament and is really a badge to rep that you have all season. It’s also some of the best basketball the early season has to offer. Plus it’s really a gym that regularly hosts basketball (Hawaii plays there) This year you have teams featured like Kansas and Michigan State. But do keep in mind, this years tourney features team likes Georgia, UCLA and VA Tech, its somewhat star studded, but still some question marks of rosters with a lot of uncertainty.
STICK WITH LOW VOLUME AND TRUE HOME/ROAD GAMES… It’s fun to be like everyone else and try your hand at a random game in Puerto Rico or the Caymans, but this is your money at the end of the day. Take advice from someone that’s been there, its tough to do. Find the multitude of match ups with true home road angles, and other stuff. Situations, trends and all you look for because I mean if you don’t have a way you handicap and are just spit balling and throwing darts, why are you even betting.? These kind of games are out there, but as usual you just have to do a little leg work. Always remember “A man who does not plan long ahead will find trouble at his door.”
You can find BMOC on Twitter @jeffnadu