Winning With Power Of Basketball Bounce Element

There Are Just Five Basic Rules To Being A Successful College And NBA Basketball Handicapper

Understanding And Winning With Bounce Factor

By Kelso Sturgeon

I have spent so much time handicapping over the past two months I have neglected the one thing I love to do and that is to write articles and columns that teach others how to be better/sharper handicappers. That is what I will be doing over the rest of the basketball season.

It goes without saying I am very opinionated about how to successfully handicap and win money and make no apology for it. My closed mind offends many when I reject their advice - as their thoughts are to me are so far removed from what this game is all about - they belong in a book of fairy tales. Sorry but that is how I feel.

I do not always win but over time I consistently win far more than I lose

The lessons will begin next week with a detailed explanation with five sessions of what I believe are the basics of successful basketball handicapping. To me, this is where it all begins

1.You need to know what you are doing.

2.You can do everything right and still be wrong.

3.There is an exception to every rule.

4.Unreasonable expectations will destroy you.

5.If you can't stand losing, you cannot win.

Understanding The Bounce-Back Factor

This past Wednesday my clients made a major score when I won my 50-unit Bounce-Back Game of the Week as Loyola-Chicago (-6.5) crushed Indiana State by 18 points, 64-46. While the betting line was a mere 6.5, the formula I use - and it includes the bounce-back factor that is missing from the bookmaker's line - predicted a 14-15-point Loyola win.

While I use the bounce factor several times each week, I have never really explained how I use it and when I know the time is right to score. There is only one requirement that qualifies a game for consideration - the team in bounce-back form must have the ability to bounce-back and win. That is all there is to it.

In the case of the Loyola Ramblers, they more than qualified, having lost four consecutive games - two of them as a home favorite - and in their last outing had played their worst game of the season in a 81-64 home loss to Wichita State. The Ramblers were never close after half and were simply embarrassed.

That set the stage for the 50-unit bounce-back 18-point home win over Indiana State.

There are two elements to the "bounce", betting on a team that has played a terrible game in its last outing. Call that bouncing back and up off a negative performance. Or betting against a team that played a giant winning game against a dramatically super opponent in its last game. Call that bouncing downward off a positive performance.

The Ramblers met the only requirement - it had the ability to bounce back.

Keep in mind I accept as 100% valid the power of the bounce-back off a negative performance but have many questions about, and seldom go against a team off a powerful upset win. It has been my experience teams coming off a negative game win and cover the number four times as often as the team playing off the positive factor.

Recent examples of bouncing back off a terrible loss would include:

BYU losing at Pepperdine, 99-83, as a 9-point favorite and then coming back in its next game as a 2.5-point underdog at San Francisco, 68-52.
Kansas losing at West Virginia, 85-69, as a 3-5-point underdog and then coming right back in its next game and winning 79-73 at Kentucky, 79-73, as a 76-point 'dog.

One must remember not all teams in bounce-back form gain much benefit from that situation. One of those games is Saturday and finds Kansas (23-3) at Baylor (22-4). Kansas comes into this game off three consecutive wins while Baylor is in bounce-back form off a 84-78 loss at Texas Tech.

The bounce-back for Baylor may appear to be in play but it looses out to reality against a Kansas team that beat Baylor in Lawrence, 73-68, and which stands 11-2 on the road. The winner of this one in this game of equally-talented players will simply be the team that turns the ball over fewer times.

This is one case where the bounce goes right out the window.

The Bounce-Back Proved Itself In Stunning Fashion In The NBA

This past Wednesday night I used the bounce-back factor - and only the bounce-back element - in the NBA, putting all my faith in it completely to win one for me. The Utah Jazz had lost three straight games, with the last one coming in embarrassing fashion.

On Sunday the Jazz hosted the Los Angeles Clippers, were 8-point favorites, and were buried 88-72 while hitting 32.2% (28-of-87) of their field goals and 17.5% (4-of-23) of their 3-point tries. Utah could not have played worse even if it tried and certainly moved into bounce-back mode.

After reviewing that game, I decided the Jazz would be a 25-unit bounce-back play in their next game, regardless of what they betting line would be in Salt Lake City against the Portland Trail Blazers. Thus I automatically gave the -9 two nights later and waited to collect.

Utah bounced back in a major way, burying the Trail Blazers, 111-88, while  hitting 51.9% (42-of-81) of its field goals and 50% (11-of-22) of its three pointers.

A basic premise behind the bounce factor is that a team coming off a big loss will in its next game will do all the things it failed to do in its previous game. As for teams coming off a big upset win, the premise is they will regress to the mean and play as their regular performance profile.

As an added thought, players also are subject to the bounce. When a player who averages 22.0 points per game and scores just 6 is a strong candidate to play far over his head in his next game and score 30. But more on the application of this factor in a later column.