Let the Madness (almost) begin!

march madness 2018 blog

It is about that time of the sports calendar where we enter in our “winning” brackets with our office colleagues, dorm mates, family members, and so on to compete against one another. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a bit of an edge in your respective pools?! Hell yeah it would be! Well hopefully I can provide that for you in this discussion.

Filling out your bracket can seem like a daunting task to say the least. As you look at all of those empty bubbles you must fill out and which of the 64/68 (I say 68 because of the new formatted play-in games) teams to scratch in, don’t fret. Let’s take it one round at a time – much like a boxer. Before we get started, pretty please do not ever choose a 1 or a 2 seeded team to get upset in round 1. Why? well for starters, a 1 seed has never been upset and as for those 2 seeds, they have a 94% win rate. Just don’t even bother. So there, now you have 8 of your 64/68 teams scribbled in.

The Round of 32: Now, you are free to choose who you wish… within reason. Every team is now vulnerable. In this round you want to be weary of teams that possess one of two (or both) attributes. First, be cautions when choosing teams to advance that tend to foul a lot as free-throws can become major points in tournament games. Second, don’t fall in love with a team that relies heavily on the 3-pointer. These types of teams have games where they go cold and it very well could be in the round you may choose them to advance. NOTICE: These rules of thumb listed above may not only pertain in the round of 32. Rather, it is when you should really begin to evaluate these types of statistics.

The Sweet 16: In the Sweet 16, you really want to dive into teams’ “created possession margin.” This factor can be calculated using this formula: (REBOUND MARGIN) + (TURNOVER MARGIN) = CREATED POSSESSION MARGIN. It’s that easy. You also want to favor teams that are efficient when they shoot. The name of the game is score more points than the other team, right? A good rule of thumb when evaluating your remaining picks is to look for teams that hover around these three statistics: FG% >45, 3P% > 36, and FT% > 71.

The Elite 8: The Elite 8 strategy is a bit less overwhelming in terms of all of the analytics and what not. This round asks more for the bracketers’ (yourself) input and better judgment. When choosing who you want to be represented in San Antonio for the Final Four, make sure you are doing everything in your power to take teams that display as few weaknesses as possible. You also want to keep in mind the conferences from which each of your remaining teams represent. For instance, did one conference demonstrate a power-house factor throughout the season that strengthened a team compared to the other.

The Final 4: By this round, hopefully you have a pretty good idea of who you want winning it all. If not, don’t worry. Let’s take a look at another statistical factor that can be of use. PPS (points per shot) encompasses how many points a team makes per shot attempt. Consider this, team A  hovers around 1.37 PPS is facing team B that holds a 1.24 PPS. If team A and team B each took 70 shots that game then obviously team A would come out victorious (baring these stats hold true).

***I would like to give a special thanks to Andrew Clark and his book titled Bracketeering

Today’s Picks:

CLEMSON (+4 1stH) vs. VIRGINIA – Pick = Clemson

KANSAS ST. (+7.5) vs. KANSAS – Pick = Kansas St. 

TEXAS TECH vs. WEST VIRGINIA (-1 1stH) – Pick = WVU

ARKANSAS vs. FLORIDA (-4) – Pick = Florida

As always, good luck today and this March of college hoops!

2018 NFL Mock Draft & some…

Hi all, sorry for my recent absence. Nevertheless, that is all in the past. Let’s begin to focus on the future and how much we have to look forward to! For starters, March Madness’s Selection Sunday Show airs this Sunday, and the 2018 NFL Draft will begin on April 26th. With that being said, many (including myself) think that the Browns should be able to muster out at least a few wins this upcoming season with the 1st and 4th overall picks, along with such a large room for cap space. So who should the Browns take? Many, including CBS Sports, believe that Saquon Barkley (RB Penn St.) will be the Browns first pick in the draft. However, is this in their best interest? Many of us are aware that the average lifespan of an NFL RB ranges from 2.5-3.5 years. I believe that the Browns should pounce all over the QB from Wyoming, Josh Allen. In my opinion, he is a better version of Derik Carr (who also competed in the Mountain West Conference). The tricky thing about the draft is that you just never know who is going to pan out or not… same goes with every other professional sports draft. Who would you pick if you were the Browns?!

Well, whoever the Browns decide to go with will probably not help them out too much in the 2018-19 NFL season. Nevertheless, it very much might aid them in winning a game here and there and covering more lines! This is a perfect segway into my betting tips for Week 1 of the NFL season. Let me go ahead and just lay the facts out there, thanks to Jimmy Boyd of BoydsBets.com. Recent history shows us that teams that won >7 games the previous season have the following percentages of covering the point spread in Week 1 competition (only) if: HOME FAVORITES (49%), HOME DOGS (52%), ROAD FAVORITES (47%), ROAD DOGS (40%). In this case, avoid making your plays on 7+ win teams when they are road dogs; but lean towards picking them when they are home dogs. Now, how do the numbers shape up if the team had <7 wins the previous season? HOME FAVORITES (55%), HOME DOGS (54%), ROAD FAVORITES (47%), ROAD UNDERDOGS (60%). As you can clearly see, the odds makers tend to undervalue the unsuccessful teams form last season.

NOTICE: Last season was and is last season. It is a brand new year! Don’t be shy to take those “shitty” 2017 teams if they are road dogs in week 1. They are looking to come out and make a statement for the next season.