Sunday, February 26, 2006

Four Corners

Every Monday-Thursday (and occasional weekend games) renowned college basketball expert, Money, will be handicapping the games for you. Picks and thoughts will be posted prior to tip-off, typically by 3:30 pm pst.

Senior day. What does that mean to a gambler? It is the last home game for the seniors. Typically the crowd could be a little more excited before tipoff, but from a gambling point of view, I think it benefits the road team. The fans may be a bit more excited, but they are not the ones making the shots. Vegas is aware of this and gives the home team a slight advantage. What if the seniors are the guys that have been on the team for 5 years and don’t play that much? The coach will want to win the game, not cover the spread, and would love to get some of these “Rudys” into the game.

Case in point, listen to this starting team for UCLA today on senior day. Seniors Cedric Bozeman, Ryan Hollins, Michael Fey and Janou Rubin are all expected to start in their final home game at UCLA, along with Farmar. These guys will not play much, but it tells me that the coach is determined to get them in the game.

Alternatively, you could have a team made up of seniors like Dee Brown and James Augustine of Illinois, or J.J. Redick and Sheldon Williams of Duke. In this situation, I might argue that senior day might mean a bit more to the home team. But these are All-Americans.

Bottom line: Don’t base your gambling decisions on senior day, but it if you are looking for an advantage one side or another, take the road team, unless they have a bunch of "really good old players".

Money's trip to the Bank: (Money's Cash cow to date - 42 wins, 28 losses, 2 pushes). The team in ALL CAPS is my pick.

OREGON +9 @ Ucla
I am not taking this game because of senior day (although I think it does help a bit). I am taking this game because 9 points is way too many points for two teams that are playing at a high level.

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