Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Money’s Tournament thoughts and predictions

This has been a unique year. At the beginning of the year UNC was the clear cut favorite. I acknowledged this, but picked against them. Halfway through the season I changed my tune again. One would think that after the brackets came out, I would have picked my final four and champion. It was not that easy. I can find fault in all of the top seeds and see all of them winning, but I can also see how they can fall down too.

UConn: All you need to know is that ever since Dyson went down with a season ending injury they are 4-3. That is not a resume of a champion.

UNC: Lawson has a bad toe and will likely miss the first game. If he is 100% healthy, these guys win it all. They have the best talent. But with a hobbled Lawson at 80% they are a different team; a half court team. A very beatable team. But, they should still be able to win 3 games without him being at full strength. After that, things change, and I can’t put UNC in the Final Four. If I knew Lawson was OK, they win it all.

Pitt: If Blair gets in foul trouble, they likely lose. That is a pretty simple game plan and the refs will be calling a tighter game than what they are used to in a physical Big East.

Louisville: Down by 1, 20 seconds to go. Who gets the ball? Who takes the big shot? They don’t have a player who can do this. Williams likely has the ball and his shot is running straight to the hoop. Earl Clark could be that guy, but this team is not a great shooting team.

Memphis: Too young at the point, and not good enough offensively to win it all.

Michigan State: The worst of the four #2 seeds.

Duke: Better now will Williams in, but not big or tough enough to get to the final four or beyond.

Oklahoma: They won’t make it to the sweet 16.

So who is my final four? I have to pick somebody. I am going with an all Big East Final Four.

Midwest: Louisville
West: UConn
East: Pitt
South: Syracuse

Champion: Pitt over Louisville

Opening round bets: Not picking them all, just my favorites
Duke -22 vs. Binghamton
Duke is playing well and these guys will not be a challenge to them.

VCU +7 vs. Ucla
I am really bothered by how this is everyone’s pick now. This will ensure UCLA is focused and not taking them likely. I have now changed my pick to UCLA to win the game, but I still think it will be close.

Memphis -19.5 vs. CS Northridge
Memphis will run these guys out of the gym

Morgan State +16.5 vs. Oklahoma
Played a nice out of conference schedule with wins at Maryland and over DePaul. They won’t be intimidated.

Michigan +5.5 vs. Clemson
Clemson coach is a loser and Michigan’s coach is not.

Washington -5.5 vs. Mississippi State
Washington is well rested and staying close to home and MSU is not.

Western Kentucky +4.5 vs. Illinois
No Frazier for Illinois. No chance. WKU wins.

Cleveland state +8 vs. Wake Forest
I like this Wake Forest team. They have a lot of stars, but they can’t shoot. Cleveland state loves to play defense.

Stephen Austin +12 vs. Syracuse
Typical Syracuse collapse here. They win though.

Siena +3 vs. Ohio State
This will be tough for Siena as this is virtually a home game for OSU. Siena is better though and beat Vanderbilt last year in the first round with the same starting five.

Pitt -20 vs. East Tennessee State

Robert Morris +16.5 vs. Michigan State
Very similar to MSU, but not as big or deep. Plays tough defense and a better shooting team.

USC -2 vs. Boston College
Derozan is playing himself into the lottery now and won’t slow down.

North Dakota State +10 vs. Kansas
Kansas won’t take these guys seriously and they should.

West Virginia -8.5 vs. Dayton
West Virginia may be the best team outside of the top 8.

Wisconsin +2.5 vs. Florida State
Getting off the FSU horse.

Portland state +10 vs. Xavier
Xavier is overrated and has no backcourt. Portland state will press the whole game.

Good luck!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Day 2- Friday's 16

I have not yet made a final analysis if Thursday or Friday as better options. But keep some of your bank available for Friday. Here are the predictions for Friday!

(all times are Vegas time, as that is what matters)
Morning Session 9:15-9:30am

9:15 Stephen F. Austin +13 vs Syracuse. I can't remember my last week long hangover, but Syracuse will have one. Their zone will be effective, but Austin can shoot the 3 well. This will be a game that Syracuse will win, but they will take a long time to get out of their funk, I like the points. (2*, mayb e 3* if line gets closer to 15)

9:25 Tennessee +2 vs Oklahoma St. I will not be playing this game, because I am never on the right side of Tennessee. That being said, once I am off them, they will play great and roll. I like the Over in this game, no matter how high it goes! (1*)

9:30 Kansas -10 vs North Dakota St. This is a nice story, and North Dakota has a "Paulson look-alike" named Woodside who will light it up early. Eventually Kansas will wear them down and win by double digits. May be a lean to ND St. in first half, but Kansas for the game. (2*)

9:30 Marquette -4 vs Utah St. This will be a good game for a while, but Marquette is still a much faster, stronger, and angrier team. They want to prove they can still win with out James. They did lose 5 of 6, but who would have done better vs Pitt, Uconn, Louiville, Syracuse, Nova. They still advance. McNeal is still one of my favorites. (3*)

11:45-12:00 Mid-day!

11:45- Temple +5 vs Arizona St. This Sun Devil team knows how to play close games. They have no problem going up by 15 and then letting their opponent back in. I think Harden is best player on the court, so ASU advances, but this will be a close game. (2*)

11:55 Pitt -20.5 vs East Tennessee St. Pit will flex their muscles early in this game, and when they create some space, Sam Young will look the part of a future NBA all-star. I see this as a good chance for them to get some swagger back. (3*)

12:00 Dayton +8.5 vs West Virginia. Two very solid teams. The Big East experience will give W. VA the win, but this is too many points. This game will seldom be in double digits. (2*)

12:00 Missouri -13 vs Cornell. The pressure that Missouri will bring will be too much for the Big Red. You just can't simulate this, and the turnovers will add up in the final 10 minutes. Missouri by 18-25 points. ( 3*)

Afternoon 4:00-4:25

4:10. Utah+1 vs Arizona. Arizona cannot play a complete game and execute when it counts. Utah wins this one. And the complaining goes on, why are they in the tournament? Why are they favored! (3*)

4:25-Portland St. +11.5 vs Xavier. Portland St. has beaten Gonzaga this year, and Xavier does not overwhelm athletically. This will be a good game, decided by Portland St. 's ability to clean up the defensive glass. I like the points a lot. This will be decided by less than 5. ( 3*)

4:20 USC +2.5 vs Boston College. USC is finally healthy and playing up to the potential they have. Many great athletes on the court, but Derozan if finally attacking the rim and scoring in mid-range. If he stays away from the 3-point line, Trojans win handily. (4*)

Louisville- No line as of now, I will take the Cards up to -27. Too much defense and too many weapons. Plus their bench will build on the lead!

Night Games- 6:40pm-6:55pm

6:40- Siena +3.5 vs Ohio St. Anti- Big ten play. Siena is experience and solid all around. They have a good chance to win this outright. (2*)

6:40pm Cleveland St. +8.5 vs Wake Forest. I like the defense and the experience of the Vikings vs the incredible athleticism and youth of Wake. If Cleveland St. can stay away from that one big spurt they may win this game. But they will cover even if the spurt comes! (3*)

6:50 Michigan St -17 vs Robert Morris. Spartans are due to blow someone out. They are slightly underrated going into this tourney and they know how win big when they are stronger athletically.

6:55 Florida St. -3 vs Wisconsin. Too much Tony Douglas. I see him going for 30 despite Wisconsin's best efforts. Another example of ACC dominating the Big Ten. (3*)

Good Luck,

B. Anthony

Monday, March 16, 2009

Round 1 Let the Games Begin!!

B. Anthony is working on breathing slowly and deeply. The hyper-ventilating began on Saturday and has not subsided. As previously noted, conference tourney time was a good place to make money. The kitty has grown significantly and now it is time to enjoy the fruits of our leisure!!!

By the way, Louisville in the 2nd Half vs Syracuse was probably the best play of the year. The famous gamer, Superman, took advantage big, and B. Anthony also won his biggest play of the day, but in reality, B. Anthony is small beans in his wagering amounts.

Ok, Let's get to the games and commentary: Thursday today, Friday Tomorrow

Key: 4 *- Bet this game and don't be afraid to double up! And Triple up if Half-time line value!
3*- Bet this game.
2*- Put this in parlays and don't kill yourself here, but it's March madness, so you are probably on it!
1*- Just an opinion, take it or leave it, Maybe even go Opposite!


9:20-10:00am PST Tips:

Butler +3 vs LSU. Butler has played better as a team and overachieved all year. They shoot the ball well, and will make the extra pass vs LSU. Mitchell will be a handful inside for Butler, but I take the points here. LSU was only successful because they are in a very watered down SEC. (2 *)

Memphis -19.5 vs Cal. St. Northridge: Northridge is most famous as the first home to Coach Rosie on the hill. Since then, they have been a solid program, but they are in for a long morning vs Memphis. Get this game before it goes over 20. Calipari again has ammunition to motivate his team, and their defense is smothering, fantastic, and simply just plain solid! 73-42 will be the final here, and I don't think there will be much doubt on the cover after the 1st 15 minutes of the game!. (4*)

Byu -2 vs Texas A&M. Really don't have a strong feel on this one. Rematch from last year. BYU has had a great year, and I see them pulling off one more victory before they bow out on Saturday. The Mormon experience will help them down the stretch. (1*) I will not bet on this game, out of respect for Joseph Smith & Lincoln Westcott.

11:3o-1:00 pm PST

Northern Iowa +8.5 vs Purdue. Missouri Valley conference got little respect this year, but Northern Iowa will open some eyes. They are a solid team defensively and shoot the ball well. This is a good match-up for them as they will not be overwhelmed physically. Purdue may pull it out down the stretch, but it will take some big shots from Hummell and some offensive rebounds to finally do it. Simply too many points for an even match up! (3*)

North Carolina -27 vs Radford. Heels will roll here, and likely they will have no guilt about running the score up! Lay the points and watch for an early cover. (3*) I have never liked the fact that Roy Williams plays his starters in the last 5 minutes of these games, except when I am on them !

California -1 vs Maryland: Guard play wins in the tournament. This game is really too close to call with Vasquez doing it all for Maryland, but I think the Trio of guards at Cal and Montgomery's experience will be the difference as Cal junks up their defense to slow down Vasquez. (1-2*)

Chattanooga +21 vs UConn. I really like Chattanooga! They are a 16 seed because of their record, 18-16, but they started the season, 0-7 while one of their better players was out with injury. UConn is the least powerful offensive team of the # 1 seeds, and when Chattanooga keeps this close, I will be laughing my way to the bank! (4*)

2:00pm PST

Washington -5.5 vs Mississippi: Huskies will pull this off, but I don't have a strong feeling on this one. Mississippi St. has too many unpredictable athletes. I like the Brockman and Thomas to make the difference. (1*)

4:00-4:30 pm PST

Clemson -5 vs Michigan: Clemson's pressure will be too much. This is the game where the difference between the ACC and Big Ten becomes evident. (3*)

Akron +12 vs Gonzaga. Zags are going deep this year, but they will be a bit nervous as a heavy favorite in the first round. I have no doubt they win the game, but Akron is tough on the boards and will keep it in single digits. After this game I expect Gonzaga to hit their stride and really play well all the way to or close to the final four! (3*)

Villanova -17 vs American. Too many scoring options and too much speed out of Villanova. Jay Wright has been scared before as a high seed, and his team will pull this one out early. I am looking for a 15-20 point 1st half lead, and will bet it accordingly! (4*)

Minnesota +5 vs Texas: Texas has been underachieving all year, and they are just not that good. Tubby Smith's team is great at playing ugly ball and keeping it close. Gophers are Big inside and they will turn this game into an ugly Big Ten type of contest. I like the points, but Texas advances. (2*)

Night games: 6:40 Pm- 7:30 PST

Duke -22 vs Binghampton. I am not a Blue Devil fan, but they have the type of team that scores in bunches and really dominates teams that are not as physically gifted. I see an early dose of pressure and 3-pointers. Lay the chalk (3*)

VCU +8.5 vs UCLA. VCU has more pro's on their team. They may not win outright because of Howland's experience, but this is a great game in the making and I love the points. (4*)

W. Kentucky +5 vs Illinois. I am starting to realize that the night session will be a place to get healthy. I love this Western Kentucky team, and I really am not that impressed with Illinois. I will bet this money line and with the points! (4*)

Morgan St +16.5 vs Oklahoma. I think Bozeman will junk this up and be able to keep it close. Not a big opinion on this one. (1*). However, Griffin will make some highlights, so worth watching early.

Good Luck,

B. Anthony.

Back tomorrow with Friday's Picks!