The Sweet 16 portion of the NCAAB tournament begins tomorrow at 1:40 PM CST. The Oregon St. Beavers (12) will be taking on the Ramblers of Loyola-Chicago (8). Wow, an 12 vs. 8 match-up in the Sweet 16?! That cannot be to common in March Madness history. If the parody of past year’s was not “maddening” enough for one such fan, than this year should be providing plenty. In fact, up to this point, the average remaining seed in the tournament is a 6 seed. Hypothetically, the level of competition remaining is equivalent to our USC’s, BYU’s, Texas Tech’s, and San Diego St.’s of the world. Interestingly enough, of these four 6 seeds, only USC is left standing. This Sweet 16 has produced a 15, 12, and two 11 seeds, for better or worse…
If you’re like myself, than your bracket is busted beyond belief. That doesn’t mean that my plays haven’t been covering! (Wink, wink). There is still a lot of tournament left for us to increase our bankroll heading into the start of the 2021 MLB season. By this point in the tournament, the little number next to each team might as well not enough be visible (team seed). Do not let this little number alter or manipulate your thought process in relation to your knowledge and
intuition of recognizing value on your plays. The most important statistical component to review before handicapping the Sweet 16 is a team’s Created Possession Margin. This statistic can be found by taking a team’s rebound margin and adding it to their turnover margin. Be wary of siding with teams that fall within the negative side of this statistical category. The round of 64 and round of 32 provide some of the most exciting moments in all of the tournament. Teams that no one has ever heard of take down the big school and games are being played all throughout the day. However, once the Sweet 16 begins, upsets are not quite as prevalent. This is not to say that underdogs don’t cover the point spread as much; no, not at all! Simply proceed with caution when taking those underdogs on the money-line. A spot that I love to angle and search for a significant edge comes when a Power-5 Conference program is a “lower” seeded team and is still standing by this point. What do I mean by this? Typically, if one of these teams remains, than it means one of two things (or both): one, they were undervalued throughout the season and/or two: they are peaking at the right time as far as their performance is concerned. So what are some of these teams that are still alive in the tournament? USC, Oregon, Oregon St, UCLA, and Syracuse would qualify as potential undervalued Power-5 schools. Look for a few of these teams to really rely on their strength of schedule and experience to will them to covering their respective point-spreads.
Best of luck during this 2021 Sweet 16 and don’t let the seed scramble your brain! My best play for the Sweet 16 is Florida St. (+3) vs. Michigan: PICK – FLORIDA ST. Since I briefly touched on the MLB season, here is a 2021 MLB Mock Draft to get you geared up for the upcoming season that is right around the corner!
When I launched this blog, in 2017, only one state in the entire country legally offered sports gambling. Nevada first allowed sports gambling in 1931! It has now taken 77 years for the next state to follow suite (New Jersey). By this point, we are seeing more and more states legalize the ever growing phenomena known as sport betting. As of now in the year 2021, we see 20 of the 50 states offer some form of sports gambling. The picture above details each state and their current status regarding sports gambling from a legalization point of view. Nevada’s younger brother, New Jersey, has $2.9 billion in sports wagers placed in any given year. Nearly doubling this number, you will find the amount of money up for grabs in the sports gambling realm in the state of Nevada each year ($5.2 billion). Point being, more and more states are noticing these large dollar signs that these states are beginning to profit from gamblers “losses.” Speaking of the amount of money states generate from sports gambling; one of the largest sports betting events will take place this month. March Madness is only a few weeks away whereas Selection Sunday will take place this coming Sunday (March 14th). When filling out your brackets come Sunday, remember that team’s with elite defenses
typically display that defensive strength in each game; making them more consistent and reliable squads to advance in the tournament. Teams to “proceed with caution” are those that of which rely heavily on the 3-ball. If that does not put this discussion to rest: over the past 20 years, there has never been a team win the tournament that has been outside of the top 20 in defensive efficiency. As usual, make sure you are doing your due-diligence and conducting your own research. Especially given this specific tournament; make sure that you know which teams had to leave players behind due to COVID-19 protocols or what-have-you. Teams and their particular routines may be altered depending on varying COVID procedures that could significantly hinder a team’s play on the court. After all, athletes are in fact creatures of habit… Thus far, 26 of the 31 D1 basketball conferences have announced conference tournament winners meaning that 26 automatic bids to the “big dance” have been punched. Once all 31 conference tournaments have concluded, the comity will determine who the final 37 at-large bids are that will join the tournament.
Shifting away from the hardwood and towards the gridiron, the 2021 NFL Draft is only a month away. Although the NFL Combine will be non-existent this year, the disparity in college talent coming out this year will not be lacking in the slightest. Here is a list of the projected top five players at each offensive position entering the 2021 NFL Draft. Looking ahead to next NFL season, (assuming that there are fans in attendance) lets see if we can find value in the odds makers “over-valuing” home field advantage once these stadiums get their roaring crowds back to full capacity. I believe that the game lines and point-spreads will be inflated in favor of the home team because everyone and their mom over-values the “home field advantage” factor in NFL play. Let’s be honest here, home field advantage is far more “advantageous” in the college football realm. In 2020, we saw more visiting teams win on the road more than we ever have in NFL history. Sure, this was probably large in part due to the lack of fans packing in to cheer on their home team. However, what if this so called “home field advantage” is becoming less and less of and edge for not only the home teams, but for the betters as well?! Look for the odds makers and avid sports gambler to over state the 2020 data and sway more value towards home teams come this next 2021-22 NFL season. Hence, giving road underdogs extremely high leverage heading into the early part of the NFL season come September.
As for some last day college basketball conference tournament championship PICKS, I really like the St. Bonaventure Bonnies laying the 2.5 against the VCU Rams in the Atlantic 10 Championship. Tune into CBS tomorrow at 5 PM CST for the 2021 March Madness Selection Sunday Show. Best of luck this coming tournament! Lord knows that our bankroll and our brackets need it.