Saturday, March 20, 2010

Nurse the Hate: Hate the Stone Cold Lock

Saturday of opening weekend of the NCAA Tourney is when we separate the wheat from the chaff so to speak. The illusion that anyone can win the tournament is still alive, but most dreams will die today and tomorrow. If you listen real close you can hear some asshole walk up to the window at the Desert Inn and place money on Ohio University or Murray State. They figure that since the school they had never heard of 48 hours ago won with an exciting buzzer beater shot over a school they were familiar with, this will happen again today. This, in my opinion, is the key to betting the next two days.

The great sales job that the media has done on the NCAA Tournament is that it's wide open and anything can happen. This shaky premise is built on games like OU's unlikely win over Georgetown. However, if we can all be honest here, Georgetown had as much chance of winning the whole thing as most of the rest of the field, and that's none. At the beginning of every season you can make a logical guess at which 10 teams will be part of the Final Four or Elite Eight. Kansas? Check. Duke? Check. Kentucky? Check. Will one of those three teams lose? Maybe. But remember, just because you saw a bunch of guys from Northern Iowa go crazy on Thursday afternoon after a dramatic shot, doesn't mean they suddenly became athletic enough to beat Kansas two days later.

The Public loves the Cinderella story. Here's how their thought process will go: "Hmm... I remember when George Mason made that run a few years back. Who reminds me of them? I think I'll bet on Murray State, Northern Iowa, and Ohio University!". The next day one of those three teams will actually win. They will then strut around and tell anyone within earshot, "Yeah... I had Murray State. Their senior guard play and transition game really stood out to me." or some such nonsense. They will also forget to tell you they took two other losses. I am not betting on teams per se. I am betting against public perception. This is the key to victory. With that in mind, get ready to lose your ass on these:

Get on Butler -4.5. Every single sports publication has anointed Murray State as the Cinderella in March Madness 2010. I must have looked at 10-12 resources I check for info on, and they all have Murray State as the lead story. Murray State will want to speed the game up. Butler will want to slow it down. It's easier to slow it down. Butler has won 21 games in a row for a reason. These guys are strong on fundamentals. That will be a problem for Murray State. Love Butler.

I implore you to take St Mary's over Villanova. This is a game that has slipped right under the radar. For some reason, the popular opinion is that Villanova survived a scare and now has had their wake up call. I have no idea why anyone would think that. Villanova has lost 7 of their last 9 against the spread, and I think they might lose this game outright. I am going to take St Mary's on the money line and hedge with the +5.5.

I like Baylor on the money line over Old Dominion. Baylor is a legitimate basketball team that earned that #3 seed. Old Dominion beat a pretty mediocre Notre Dame in a close game, and is 14-17 against the spread. Old Dominion is exactly the kind of team people like to bet on. It sounds Old South like there are guys in white suits sitting around drinking lemonade on rocking chairs all around campus. "I say there Miss Kitty, can you see if the boys are winning that there basketball game?" On the other hand, when you think of Baylor, you think of them losing 44-6 to Texas in football on national TV.

Tennessee is going to beat Ohio today. This is as certain as nightfall, death, and nude photos of that heavily tattooed chick Jesse James was banging appearing in my email box. Ohio University beat Georgetown because they shot lights out from the outside, and John Thompson's kid may be the worst basketball coach in Division 1 basketball. I have seen Ohio play 3 times, and I have to tell you, they kinda suck. Sure, they are playing the best they have played all year right now, but they also went 7-9 in the MAC. It's not that hard to play better than that. Tennessee is no great shakes, but they will convincingly end OU's little run. I'm going money line as I have no great confidence in Tennessee either.

I went 6-3 yesterday and 5-1 on Thursday. That can only mean one thing. I have the ability to look into the future and can tell you with about 70% accuracy what is going to happen.


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