Whew, what a day, folks. I knew from the start of the day that nothing was going to go right. I pulled the ultimate NCAA gambling no-no right away Saturday. Knowing full and well that there were injury concerns for the Ohio State-Michigan game, I still let my guard down and didn’t pay attention to the news until 10 minutes before tipoff when I finally went inside and sat down to watch the game and saw the news. As bad as I wanted to swap to Ohio State, I thought of the two readers who followed my advice. The only option I had was to go down with the ship. (Congrats, me, for being a stand up guy)
All I saw throughout the day was the smoke coming from my wallet, where my money once was. Every Arkansas turnover and terrible defensive possession by Wichita State just amplified the smoke. At one point not even my dog wanted to sit next to me because of the stench of losing bets. Nothing hurts more as a gambler than coming off a red hot day, just to go cold the follow day. But if it were easy, everyone would be rich, amirite? Still, plus money on the weekend, so suck it haters.
Expectations for Today
As we all know, the NCAA slate today is small. The majority of teams already having been eliminated or have played their conference championship games. The few games left are all showing competitive lines set early on, so finding value is extremely hard. Today is going be a small list of bets as. We should all preparing for the NCAA tournament so that when it starts, we’re ready to dominate.
The buisness part of the blog
I’ve seen this line shopped around up to 5.5, but at this moment my book has it listed as 4.5. That is what we’re rolling with. Ask yourself a question real quick. Is there a hotter team in college basketball than Illinois right now? I don’t think so. Illinois coming in here is firing on all cylinders and are coming off a huge double digits win over Iowa. I mentioned this last article for Ohio State, but the Young injury leaves a big hole for them. Although Liddell has been an animal each of the two games these teams have met up, the defense, and rebounds, Young brought to the team is something that is going to be greatly missed in a game against that mutant of a man Kofi Cockburn.
The Illini have a walking bucket in Ayo who should, and likely does, terrify every opponent they will face. I see the Illini putting even more of a focus on Liddell, and Washington Jr. than previously, because outside of those two, bulk scoring is hard to come by for OSU. The over powering Illini offense is rolling right now, and I don’t see Ohio State stopping them. Look for Illinois to dominate on the boards, and score bunches. I’m going heavy on this game and will be taking Illinois 1h (up to -3.5), and game (up to 6). 3 units on game spread, and 2 units on 1h spread.
I was extremely bullish on LSU yesterday against Arkansas, but this matchup against Alabama is much more favorable for the Tigers. It does not take an analytical mind to figure out that LSU is horrific at defensive rebounding but the part that gives me confidence in this game is the perimeter defense that LSU is capable of. The Tigers come into this game inside the top 15 in the NCAA at perimeter defense, which when going up against a primarily perimeter centric offense gives me optimism.
Now some of you may look back to the multiple double digits losses Alabama handed LSU this year in conference play. That factor, albeit important, is not something to get hung up on. With the loss of the Crimson Tides Josh Primo the already small rotation has gotten smaller. Both teams have potent offenses, but when a piece of the puzzle is missing, you aren’t going to get the full picture, and we saw that from Bama Saturday.
I see LSU containing the Bama backcourt, and not allowing many wide open threes, and then taking advantage of turnover opportunities. LSU defense will be the key to this game, and as long as LSU can be competitive rebounding, they have a good chance of toppling Alabama. I don’t see this game being a run away for either side, and wouldn’t hate playing a small amount on the LSU moneyline if the odds are right, but my official pick is LSU and the points.
Things to come
In the future I’d really like to dive into the process of all things gambling. Too many times I see guys have a bad day, just like I did today, and it makes a bigger dent financially than it should because they over bet, mismanage their bankroll, and destroy the profit made the previous day. Sure, my main goal here is to give out winning bets for all two of you readers to use, but I’d be in the wrong if I didn’t at least attempt to make you better gamblers overall. So feel free to send me questions on Twitter @TCollins1012, and I’ll happily answer every question I can.
For reference, I’m not positive if my blog will be up the same night as the brackets are released, or the following day. The next blog will yet again focus on my favorite first round bets, but I also will touch on my favorite NCAA future bets based off of brackets. I’m also a giant bracket guy, so if you two readers left don’t invite me to a bracket pool, you’re no longer welcome to read my blog. Good luck going forward, let’s make some money and retire early.