Monday, March 14, 2016

March Madness: Bad Brackets, Broadcasts and Betting.

In other words, just your typical March Madness kick-off.

A leak spoiled the NCAA selection show, the Internet rejoiced. New York Times

In a way, this was the perfect price that CBS was forced to pay for making their big bracket reveal show stretch to 2-hours. It took them almost an hour to reveal the 1st half of the bracket, and then approximately 20 minutes to reveal the 2nd half after the leak occurred.  They lost out on most of the reaction shots since the teams on the bubble, for the most part, already knew they were in by the time CBS announced.

In place of the old way we were treated to endless "analysis" frequently incorrect, by a group of people who, in many cases, don't even watch college ball.  Unfortunately, I'm sure the NCAA is going to find themselves a sacrificial lamb to be punished for threatening their revenue.

March Madness, who got screwed in the 2016 bracket. Bleacher Report

Kentucky, for one, who was seeded a 4 which ranked them lower than Texas A&M, who the Wildcats had beaten earlier that day. Michigan State won the B1G, and was widely considered to be a 1 seed, they got a 2 behind a Virginia team that had just lost to North Carolina.  Also, any mid-major who was not the American Athletic Conference.

There's no reasonable rationalization for Michigan, Tulsa, Syracuse and Vanderbilt being in, while Monmouth, St. Bonaventure, Valpo and South Carolina are NIT bound. I say this and I'm a Michigan fan.

Clearly the message sent by the committee this: Don't play your championship game on Sunday and choose a better conference. Unfortunately, the conference they decide to fall in love with changes every year and there's really no way to predict it.

Opening NCAA tournament lines. Las Vegas Sun

Most of these lines have already changed, some have changed a LOT. For example, Michigan has climbed to -3 over Tulsa (from -1.5) and I REALLY like the Wolverines at anything less than -5.

Some other picks:

UNC Wilmington (+10) - If you want to be brave, and I'm going to be, change this to a ML bet. You get +438 right now which would make for a hell of a payout.

Butler (-3.5) - Here's another line that is sliding toward the favorite so you better act fast. I put the cap at -5.5 before you hold off.  Tech is pretty much hot garbage from a March Madness perspective and should, IMO be a NIT team.

UConn (-4) - This line is about at the playable limit, but if it starts swinging toward Colorado I'd jump all over it.

Iona (+7.5) - This was in double digits earlier, and many took advantage of it then.  Right now I'd wait and see if there's a move back toward Iowa State.  Definitely one to keep an eye on.  Would buy in at +9 if it can get there.

Austin Peay (+26) - I always like betting against big lines in the first round.  The reason for this is because most coaches rest starters if they get up comfortably, in anticipation for the quick turnaround. That doesn't mean that this always happens, and some times you get burned.

Seton Hall (ML) - This is the classic case of name recognition. The public is betting on Gonzaga because they KNOW Gonzaga. In fact, Seton Hall is scorching hot right now and coming off a great run in the Big East tournament. I haven't filled out my bracket yet but I might have them as a Sweet 16 contender. Bet the ML as long as they remain the favorite, otherwise take the points up to around 4.  If it goes past that, pass obviously.

Dayton (-1) I like the Flyers up until about 3.  To be honest I don't think Syracuse belongs in the tournament and this game will show why.

Oregon State (+4.5) - Another "name" bet as people are leaning toward VCU because Shaka Smart used to coach them.  OSU is a good team and has a better than average chance of winning in my estimation.  If you're really brave take the ML.

Northern Iowa (+4.5) I think Northern Iowa upsets Texas and ruins everyone's planned UT/aTm dream 2nd round showdown.

South Dakota St. (ML) There's always a 12 over 5 upset, and this year I think this is the most likely candidate.  Maryland is very talented, but they have no basketball intelligence as a team. They make poor decisions and Melo Trimble has a knack for losing his head, and shot, from time to time. If bad Maryland shows up, they get run out in the first round. A win would pay +375 so it's worth it to shake a little bit of sugar that way.

Go get 'em.

Standard Disclaimer: Nothing in this post should be considered an offer to buy, sell, or otherwise engage in a financial transaction. The preceding our my own personal thoughts and are for entertainment purposes ONLY. Please remember to only gamble what you can comfortably lose and get help if you begin to feel the NEED to win. No guarantee of accuracy is given, or should be inferred from the information above, all gamblers wager at their own risk.

In other words, have fun but don't be surprised if I'm 100% wrong on these.

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