Betting lame-duck games 

March, 5, 2010

This Week's Winning Thought From Alan Boston: Find the lame-duck games.

Straight from Boston: "The easy thing in handicapping is looking for teams that need to win. But everyone does that and the line maker knows it. So there are really no bargains to be found there. On the flip side, it's smart to look for teams that are just as likely to lose. These are lame-duck games. Back in the early '90s, finding this was a 100 percent, automatic win. Take a team on the road in its last game of the year when it has nothing to play for. It wouldn't have the energy or the focus to play the game.

"That's changed the past few years. Lame-duck games are harder to find, because it seems everyone gives max effort no matter what the situation. That's not a bad thing. But I think the reasons it's happened are. If you've been reading, you know I miss the old days when college basketball was less corrupted by money and AAU programs and shoe companies. At heart I'm a fan -- it's why I got into this to begin with. The need to win, to me, is not what college athletics should only be about. The need to play is. And the play part seems to have gotten lost. It's become more about money and not about the kids these days. I think you can have fun without winning a basketball game, but by playing hard and learning.