Friday, February 02, 2007

Super thoughts

Alas, another Superbowl is upon us. It feels like yesterday that I predicted the Steelers to win and cover versus the Seahawks. This year the Indianapolis Colts are 7 point favorites over the Chicago Bears. I really want to the Colts to win. How could you not? They have a great offense and should score a lot. That is what fans want to see. Peyton Manning has done everything right his entire career. He has stayed out of trouble and is extremely modest given his stature of one of the main faces of the NFL. Tony Dungy is a soft spoken coach who tragically lost one of his sons prior to the playoffs last year. Marvin Harrison is perhaps the best WR in the game now, but he never opens his mouth to preach this fact. Their kicker is a stud (sorry Doug). The list goes on and on.

But, this is not a good week to be a Colt. Complications with multiple infections led to the euthanization of Barbaro and the relentless defense and the enormous chip on the shoulders of the Bears will lead to the downfall of hopefully the first of many Superbowls for Peyton Manning and the Colts.

This Bears team is ugly and not fun to watch. There is not one person on this team that I like. But, they have been doubted all year long, but have consistently proven their critics wrong each week. If you take away the stinker game against the Packers (which meant nothing to them), their last five games the Bears totaled 42, 34, 26, 27 and 39. Now granted, not all of these points are scored by the offense, but who cares? This is a very good team in all aspects of the game, and it would not surprise me to see the defense and the special team each score a touchdown.

The media and vegas are slobbering all over the Colts. Money does not like the obvious picks. I am going with the Bears and I am going down in flames. Care to join me?

BEARS +7 vs. Colts
Moneyline Bears +225
MVP Devin Hester +1650
Player to score the first TD Desmond Clark +700
Longest TD Bears +130
Will the Bears score in every quarter? Yes +215
No rushing TD by Colts +145
More catches Muhammad or Grammy wins Red Hot Chili Peppers: - Muhammad -120

If you do find some time where you are not stuffing your face with chips and clam dip, then bet on these college hoops game as well.

ARKANSAS -1 vs. Kentucky
Let’s start off with a couple of picks of teams that Money touted earlier this week. This is an easy pick.

VILLANOVA -5.5 vs. Louisville
Louisville has been playing better but they have not played anyone. Alternatively, Villanova has had one of the toughest schedules in the league.

MICHIGAN STATE +2.5 vs. Ohio state
Gutsy call, but I like this one. MSU has the bodies to hang with Oden.

BOSTON COLLEGE -2.5 vs. Virginia Tech
The Golden Eagles will come into this game hungry and well rested after an easy match up on Wednesday night.

NORTH CAROLINA STATE +15 vs. North Carolina
Rivalry game. Look ahead game to Duke. You name it, this game will have it.

Preparing for the Weekend, and Big Dance

There are only a few rules that Susan B. will always follow: one is that I won't bet the Ivy league, so Friday's are usually light.

In light of Friday being off, I will give you some NCAA tourney predictions on the top 4 seeds in each bracket. Hopefully, by 2pm pacific time, the lines for Saturday will be out and I can give you some money making knowledge!

When you read these, remember that the committee always give the seeds to the big conferences, so even if Butler finishes #11, they may not get a top 4 seed. By the way, Duke will be dropping out of the top 10 soon and I will likely have to give them a #4 seed, but they won't deserve it, and may lose in the first round!!!!!

Also, you will see Oregon omitted. They will lose to USC this weekend and this will mark the beginning of their fall. They are #9 now, and will fall out of the top 20.

# 1 Seeds

East- North Carolina- Winning the ACC will give this to them
South- Florida- Obvious, they are good
Midwest- Kanas- Like Memphis, they will beat up the rest of their competition
West- Memphis- As earlier stated will roll through the schedule and move up the rankings, overtaking UCLA (See #2 seed)

# 2 Seeds
East- Pittsburgh- Overrated and will be upset early
South- Ohio State- Tough draw but everyone wants to see the Oden Rematch
Midwest- Wisconsin- This would be a great match up of 1 v 2, but one of them won't make it
West- UCLA- Also a great rematch, but don't count on it, this tournament is going to be NUTS!!!

#3 Seeds
East-Virginia Tech
South-Oklahoma State- They are tough minded and physical, they will fight their way to a #3.
West- Texas A&M- I have them here with the hope that they come out ahead, this bracket will not be top heavy, but will be very deep

#4 Seeds (much more speculative here)
East-Vanderbilt ( Silent assassins, they won't get this, but I don't want to give it to an ACC team)
South-Duke ( Duke has to beat Florida and Ohio State to get to the final four, so they have that going for them, which is nice)
Midwest-Butler, ( I had to give it them)
West-Washington State ( as Oregon folds, WSU will earn this spot with 2nd in Pac-10 and a good tourney showing)

Lets check the lines, and make some pics for Saturday. I am seeing a million games, but I will show some discipline and try to keep it to 5-6 games!( There was just too many, I had to have at least 7)

Blowout Specials-

Memphis-19. They will prove me right as they march towards a top seed. As long as SMU doesn't have Eric Dickerson scoring 3 touchdowns this will be over early. 93-64

VCU-19. A good team looking to bounce back from its first league loss plays the last place team at home. A good sign. 92-67.

Wisconsin- 20. Same thing. Northwestern is going to wish they didn't make this trip. Let's hope the weather is not too bad. 81-50.

NC State +15. North Carolina is due to have a bad outing, especially since they play Duke on Wednesday. UNC 84-77

USC -2. Plain and simple, Oregon and USC are the same team. Playing in LA, I will take USC

Texas-8. Kansas State is terrible on the road, and Durant's confidence is through the roof. He will get 32 & 15 bds. 87-70

Washington +7 at Arizona. Washington really needs to fight for their life. This is a big stretch for me, but I will stick with the fact that Arizona really is not a cohesive unit and Washington is hungry. Arizona in a buzzer beater 85-81.

Local twist with a story
Dick Davey is on his way out at Santa Clara, alumni love him, his teams play hard, but deep down, his current players don't give a $hit that he was pushed out.

St. Mary's -4 at home in a big rivalry game for 2nd place. 69-61.

Have fun. There are many games out there, try to keep these in mind as you game all day in preparation for the Superbowl.

You can tell that I don't play football, but for the Superbowl, take the following:

Colts First quarter, first half, game,
Manning over in yards and completions

Good Luck
Susan B.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Don't Back Down Now!

Ok, so we picked too many games and didn't capitalize on the easy winners, that happens!!

Many of us now know that we should dislike Stanford and Gonzaga, they both have some pretty glaring holes. Stanford can't shoot and Gonzaga can't score in the paint! But there will be times to bet on or against these teams again. I have never been to a double Overtime game and left thinking what a lousy game, until last night!

On to today's picks!

St. Louis +7 vs St. Joes. I wanted to play St. Joes, but this line is too high. St. Louis wants to prove they belong in this league, and I think they will compete down the stretch.

Arizona -7. Washington State is ready for a fall and AZ needs to play a complete game

Virginia +1.5 vs Duke. How can the Duke scoreboard operator work a game in Virginia, he can't. Singletary will get 27pts to lead a Virginia victory.

UCLA -8 vs Oregon. This line is all over the place. Oregon is wayyyyy overated and this will be the start of a major slide as they get swept this weekend.

Good Luck,

Susan B.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Strength of Schedule

I was checking out the strength of schedule and it was pretty eye opening. There are some teams that are having an OK year, in terms of record, but their schedule has been brutal. On the flip side, there are other teams ranked high and garnering praise from the talking heads, but they have not played anyone.

My east coast correspondent, Bubba Franc, wondered why Villanova was not getting any attention. They have one of the best coaches in the game, a big man in Sumpter, a point guard in Nardi and an up and comer in Reynolds. The answer is simple. They have played a very tough schedule, number 7 in the country to this point. With the abundance of mediocrity in the NCCA this year, teams like Villanova, Arkansas and Illinois (teams ranked in the top 10 SOS) could make a serious run come tournament time. Don’t sleep on these guys!

Who else caught my attention? Marshall (Susan’s team – nice pick today) is 23. Washington (72) and Washington State (122) are headed for huge falls. Their upcoming schedule includes Arizona, Cal, Stanfurd, Washington, Oregon, UCLA and USC. Yikes! Notre Dame is 113 and they suspended their point guard pot. “Thanks for the dope Carl.” Nevada is 120.

The biggest jaw-dropper; Florida is 100. Are they really that good?

INDIANA pk vs. Wisconsin
A true sign of a quality team is beating a good opponent on the road. This is a big test for the Badgers. I will give them an F.

VANDERBILT +14.5 @ Florida
Vanderbilt has been beating up on the top 25 teams, both home and away.

GEORGIA +2.5 @ Tennessee
Susan mentioned “look ahead games”. Tennessee will most likely be without their top player, Chris Lofton, and their next game is at Florida.

Its Awesome (not) Baby!

Let me be the first to say, I HATE DICK VITALE! He can single handedly ruin a great game. My mute button is the most used button on my remote control, and he has forced me to watch more games in silence than I care to admit!

Susan B. may be hitting her stride, but will be cautiously optimistic again today. There is a huge board of games, and following a 3-0 night, we don't want to give it back, but this is a chance to get healthy.

As we are watching games, it is common to bet a look ahead game when a favorite is not focused, we will have one of those on Saturday when UNC visits NC state. If we don't get to it on Saturday, look to play the Wolf Pack probably at +9.5 against a UNC team preparing for Duke. For tonight I am going to play some of my "favorite" teams, as well as some of the high profile matchups.

High Profile games-

#1 Florida, will beat a pesky, go back door all day, knock down some 3's, Vanderbilt team, but not by 15 points. Take Vanderbilt +14.5. This line will likely move to 15, so you can wait to make this play. 3***

#2 Wisconsin, needs to just win baby, and I think they can. This is a very tough pick, but I have liked them all year, and Tucker will make the difference. Wisconsin in a pick!2**

#3 UNC- I have never known another high profile coach who leaves his starters in when he is up by 22 with 2 minutes to play. But the UNC boosters love Roy Williams because that is exactly what he does. UNC -25, will push the lead to 30 in the last 2 minutes! 3***

My Favorite or least favorite teams.

VCU-2. They will battle Hofstra, but VCU is the "pride" of this league, not Hofstra. This win will push them to a 3 game lead in conference at 12-0. A good team like this, makes free throws down the stretch. 3***

Stanford -4.5 vs Gonzaga. I don't like either one of these teams, but Stanford is playing great (I will be there to witness it) and Gonzaga cannot defend. Take Stanford and the over 146.5. Stanford 2** Over 3***. Final will be 80-71, Stanford

We are Marshall-10. I do track these teams and they are playing a terrible East Carolina squad. Lay the 10 pts. Marshall 3***

Final games to watch, but maybe not play.( One star if you are a junkie)

UConn is very bad this year and I think this continues. Take Depaul -4 at home. They are a good home team.

Ohio State, one of my favorite teams, is due for a little let down. Take Purdue +3 at home.

I know I got excited, but that is what a gambler needs to do when you have the house's money. Play the 3* plays and make some money!

Out, Susan B.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Defend a 10 point Lead!

Gonzaga can no longer be expected to cover double digit spreads! The have no interest in getting a stop in the last 2 minutes and winning by 15+ points. They just give up lay-ups and look for the highlight. This team is a victim of their own success. Players like Micah Downs, and Josh Heyvelt have come to Gonzaga because of the hype. I saw a team rebound last night like the ball was a disease. They simply have no desire to do the dirty work. Only one player on the team truly hustles, and that is a shaggy haired freshman, and I don't even care to look up or remember his name. I liked this play early, but when the gooch, AKA Emslie, was on it as well, I should have known better. If you have to bet Gonzaga, just play the over in all their games. Worst defensive team in the country, expect them to bow out early. The only good news for the WCC is they are so bad, they will likely lose in their own tourney, and might force the NCAA to invite two teams.

Money put out some final four ideas, so I will echo some of his sentiments and add a few of my own.

Florida and North Carolina will make a very strong push to get their on talent alone. Both will be top seeds, so I am not really going out on a limb here, put you can pencil them in.

Kansas, is the most talented team in the country, and has stretches when they absolutely dominate, I would not include them 4 years ago, but Bill Self will continue to make this team better, and Brandon Rush is the best rebounding guard in the country, he will make the big plays. ( Marquette would be the possible upset in this bracket if Dominic James gets 25-30 a game)

The West will have few truly elite teams, but the schedule points towards Memphis moving up the rankings and getting a top 2 seed and then blitzing their way into the final four. If they meet UCLA again, it won't be so ugly, and the game will go to Memphis 86-83.

I will publish the top 4 seeds in each bracket later this week. Before we know it, it will be March and we will be talking Bubble teams. Right now, Washington is still on the bubble, but that may burst for these youngsters soon!

Susan B. Anthony is about 16-9 for the season thus far, I will go back and check the numbers. Not bad, but she is about to hit her stride. See the following games for some winners tonight.

Wichita State +3.5 in a nail biter, always take the points

Illinois -3 at home. Michigan State is counting on Neitzel too much. He shot his wad at Columbus last week.

UNLV + 1.5 This team is quietly moving up the rankings and could be a sleeper sweet 16 team!

Good luck.
Susan B

Monday, January 29, 2007

Let’s start making some predictions!

I was just reviewing Money’s preseason projections. Click here if you would like to see them. My national champ, Arizona, is not doing so well, neither is my last final four team, Georgetown. I still like both of these teams, but if I were doing it all over again, I would not pick Arizona to win it all or for Georgetown or Wisconsin to make the final four. I think that both the Hoyas and Badgers are capable of making deep runs, but I have my doubts about both of them today. There is still plenty of time for these teams to prove me right, or now in this case, wrong. With roughly two months to go, here is my revised final four omitting all of my preseason picks:

1) Kansas – The more I think about Kansas and their past failures, I start ignoring them and think this could be their year.
2) Texas A&M – No longer a sleeper team. They are, in Money’s eyes’ the real deal.
3) UCLA – They have their flaws; free throw shooting, brain lapses, height, but their defense can carry them again.
4) Florida – You have to include this team. I still think they will find a way to lose, but they have the best talent.

Darkhorse Final Four teams
Georgetown; Can I call these guys a darkhorse if I had them in my original final four? Hibbert and Green may be able to carry these guys.
Oregon; Great guards, no big guys. Villanova from last year?
VCU; Seth Davis’ pronounced VCU this year’s “George Mason”
Arkansas; Well balanced team
Indiana; Putting it all together

Not a believer:
North Carolina and Texas; They are so talented but so young. In a close tournament game, they will collapse.
Ohio State; Greg Oden will be the first player taken in the draft, but the Buckeyes have not figured out how to play him yet, and time is running out.
Wisconsin – Is this a one trick pony team? Alondo Tucker and dominant at home? I guess that is two tricks.
Duke; Their lack of a scorer and their last second luck will doom them come tourney time.
Pitt; Aaron Gray is not the type of guy that can carry a team.
Alabama; This team is crazy bad.

Add to the bank for Super Bowl

Susan B. Anthony is back. I took a break after one good night and one bad night to end the week. The weekend was tough on Money, but it would have been tough for most. One thing you can count on, UNC is playing well and will finish the season #1, and Stanford is very tough to beat at home. Check the foul count in the 2nd half and just assume you cannot pressure Stanford unless you want to send them to the free-throw line all half.

There are only a few games tonight, and I am leaning towards two major mismatches.

Virginia Commonwealth is 18-3 and playing a William and Mary team that I have been watching. All indications are that this spread should be -19. However, we find it at -13.5 or -14. Take the points and watch for a 23 point victory. 3***

Gonzaga -12.5 at home vs Portland. According to Sagerin's ratings this should be closer to 23 point spread. I like Gonzaga by 17, but that is enough to cover the 12.5. Bank it! 3***

The plan this week is to work up a good pot so that you can blow it on the super bowl. Money and I will take a look at the prop bets so you can have some fun. One thing to be sure is that you will see some skin in a few of the commercials.

Out, Susan B.