Hopefully all of you gamblers followed my college basketball picks yesterday. EVERY bet except for the Oregon first half cashed. Now for future reference, going 6-1 is an exceptional day. Although I’d love to say I’m good enough to consistently put those numbers up, remember the winning recipe for being a successful gambler is being correct 55% of the time.
Seeing as I just gave the “don’t expect 6-1 every night” disclaimer, can I get get a round of applause for that absolute dominant display of gambling prowess I displayed?……Okay, okay, enough. You’re all too kind.
Today sets up conference semis and championships, which usually are much tighter spots to find value in bets. Part of my articles are aimed at explaining processing lines to newer gamblers, so you experienced know-it-alls just skip ahead a little so I can explain how certain days dictate line aggressiveness for gamblers. (This is how I personally go about my process).
Find the Weak Link on Busy Days
Let’s dive into how I perceive certain gambling days. Imagine yourself in a busy factory, and your job is to check the quality of every single part that is made during that day. You have 100 parts to check on some days, and others you have maybe 20 or less. It’s obvious that the risk for you missing a bad part is going to rise on days where you have a larger quantity to check correct? Well imagine odds makers the same way.
This is one industry that still has a crucial part related to human input, even with computer models doing the bulk work in calculating lines and odds. I can say from personal experience that the more games on a given day, the higher the chance you have at finding great value on the board from games who were miss marked at a point, or two points off where logic tells us they should be.
A giant part of being a successful gambler is valuing your process, and trusting your decision making process. If you bet with you heart, odds are you will be depositing money every other day to your account. Start off by figuring out what kind of gambler you want to be. If you want to bet on your favorite teams to win, and that’s it, great! But if you want to make bets to make a profit consistently, leave your heart at the door. The biggest advice I can ever give to someone is to pick your spots. Don’t just bet on blue bloods to win, instead find value on the board and jump all over it. Quality over quantity mindset is crucial in gambling.
Down to Business
Well now that we’ve got the first lesson of gambling 101 done, let’s turn our heads to the games I’ll be looking at today. I’ll start off by saying I’m writing this at about 1 am central time and will be going off the early lines, but will do my best to express how much I like certain lines if they move one way or the other.
This game is for you if you like points. Arkansas and LSU both come into this game averaging over 80 points per game. Although both being high scoring teams, Arkansas has a distinct advantage defensively with a roughly 13 point plus advantage per game, versus LSU and their 7 point plus advantage. These two teams met up in the last week of February and Arkansas edged out the win by 7. I watched every minute of that game and I personally think that was a perfect game plan by LSU, so barring foul trouble for Arkansas I don’t foresee this game ending any closer than that.
This time of year momentum is everything, and with the run that Arkansas is on, and their ability to create offensively and get crucial stops defensively (still allow 70 ppg but that’s not the point) I can’t get off the muss bus. Take Arkansas and sit back and watch a high scoring game. (1 unit)
Michigan has been a force all year, and if you watched last night they actually looked mortal for the first 15 minutes, before turning on the jets and running away with that game. I actually liked Ohio State with the points until word came out that Kyle Young, who got injured during the Purdue game, might not play today. Young is one of those do it all kind of players for Ohio State and with him out of the lineup I just don’t see them hanging in and making this a tight game.
Look, we all know these two teams at this point, and it’s kind of meaningless to toss out statistics on well known teams like this. They are both extremely talented and capable of winning against anyone, but when one team is missing a key roll player, I’ve got to lean to the healthier team who’s coach will also fight the opposing coach if he needs to. With all of that being said, I don’t like this at all if the line goes up more than 6. Also would pivot to Ohio State +6 if Young plays. (1 unit)
Western Kentucky: +1.5
This line jumped off the page for me. Western Kentucky comes into the game 20-6 (12-14 ATS) and has a player by the name of Charles Bassey, who if you haven’t seen him, is absolutely one of the top 7 or 8 big men in the entire country. North Texas enters 16-9(14-9-1 ATS) overall but haven’t exactly been on a hot streak since they’ve lost 3 out of their last 6. Both teams are great defensively and are not afraid to slow the game down offensively and rely on their defense.
This game gets more interesting by mentioning that this will be the first matchup of the two teams this season since their prior two games were cancelled. Statistics tell us these two teams are virtually identical, with North Texas having a tiny advantage in ppg vs ppga. I still lean heavily to Western Kentucky here, though. They have been playing extremely well as of late, and have by far the best player on the court. Look for the experience, and just overall talent of Charles Bassey to take over here. I’d be on this all the way to Western Kentucky -1.5 (1 unit)
Wichita State: -4
Wichita comes into the game 16-4 and are just the superior team against Cincinnati 11-10 (7-14 ATS). Judging by Cincinnati’s record ATS, it’s easy to determine they have been overvalued by oddsmakers. I don’t see anything that makes me think this game is any different. Wichita State is the much hotter team right now. Even if you look at basic statistics you can see they not only average more ppg, but allow less ppg. Wichita has a +6 difference per game, where as Cincinnati is sporting a terrible -2 difference per game. I get that this is March, and games undoubtedly will be more competitive usually. However, this just doesn’t make sense from an odds perspective. My personal model has this line more realistically at Wichita State -6 and I tend to agree. (2 units)
That raps up today’s main college basketball picks for me, and hopefully the hot streak continues. Feel free to tweet at me on Twitter @TCollins1012 if by chance lines start to drastically move, or if you are interested in a separate game and would like to ask my opinion at that moment. I’ll do my best to help you out before tip offs. Good luck all, let’s win some money and retire early.
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