1. #1
    Point Blank
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    PB (3/14): Start Dancing - Time for The Game Inside The Game


    Start Dancing: Time for The Game Inside the Game…What happens to the ASU guards when they have to drive below the speed limit, and can Trae be “young” again…Trying to knit together the NIT patterns…


    Point Blank – March 14, 2018

    There are folks across the betting markets loading themselves up with volumes of information right now, stats, power ratings, seeding charts and all sorts of various ways to approach the Madness of the next few weeks. Many such folks come here to read each day, and as was the case in the past at the old platform I will use tourney time, and the NBA playoffs, to literally walk through ways to best use some of that info.

    I call this process “The Game Inside the Game” (TGITG), a way of bringing those numbers to life, and there are some compelling matchups as the dancing gets underway. I’ll put Syracuse/Arizona State tonight and the early Rhode Island/Oklahoma tipoff on Thursday into the spotlight, and even if it doesn’t lead to direct tickets on those games, it can help bring into play the kind of processes that can be valuable in the long run.


    Item: ASU/Syracuse TGITG - Good guards with experience are a key against a zone
    Sub-Item: Guards that aren’t tall can be a problem against this particular zone

    Basketball theorists will often suggest that savvy guard play is the ideal way to beat a zone defense, the experience to recognize passing lanes, move the ball effectively into them, and knock down open shoots when they are available. That would lead some to believe Arizona State matches up well into Syracuse and that 2-3 zone, Bobby Hurley having four guards among the top five in minutes played in his rotation, and plenty of experience with the already-graduated Kodi Justice, grad-transfer Shannon Evans, and senior Tra Holder. Add in the talents of prized freshmen Remy Martin and it is quite a group.

    Yet there is a problem for this particular setting. Let’s set the matchup of those four guards against the four perimeter players in the Orange zone, and you can see where the logic gets twisted:

    Holder 6-1 6-6 Battle
    Evans 6-1 6-5 Howard
    Justice 6-5 6-8 Brissett
    Martin 6-1 6-9 Dolezaj

    The Sun Devils indeed move the ball well. Had Martin made one more basket they would have been the rare team with five players averaging in double figures (adding in 6-8 forward Romello White), but Martin enters the game at 9.9. What they do is beat teams off the dribble, those smaller and quicker guards penetrating vs. man-to-man defenses to create open shots, and also generate a lot of fouls. The Sun Devils are #15 in the nation in FTA/FGA.

    What does the Syracuse zone take away in theory, and absolutely take away in reality this season because of the wingspans on the perimeter? It is ever so difficult to drive against them, and because of that they don’t commit many fouls – the defense #125 in FTA/FGA. Yet this is still not what one thinks of as a typical zone, the Orange being extremely active:

    Eff FG% #15
    Blk Shot% #2
    Steal% #18



    The 2018 edition of the Jim Boeheim zone is not about sitting back and forcing opponents to take long shots, it is about aggressively challenging them to find passing lanes. That can happen when the mix is a rare one – Syracuse is #1 in the nation in Average Height, but it isn’t because of muscle inside, but instead size and athleticism on the perimeter. By the way, Arizona State is #265 in Average Height on the court.

    Why wasn’t Syracuse better? Because there just isn’t any depth at all, the Orange dead last at #351 in bench usage, reserves playing only 16.4 percent of the floor minutes. And there is also the issue of being in an awfully good conference in which some of the nation’s best coaches and best talent get accustomed to facing that zone.

    ASU lacks that experience. The Sun Devils did get a look at a reasonable facsimile, the 2-3 that former Boeheim assistant Mike Hopkins installed at Washington, but note in that game in Seattle the Sun Devils were held to their Pac 12 low of 64 points, managing just .91 PPP, with turnovers on 21.4 percent of their possessions.

    This all has me inclined towards #612 Syracuse, especially with the prospect of finding a +2. But now the wild card thrown into the equation, which has likely been part of the ASU money showing – Frank Howard has been dealing with strep throat. That is such an important issue because the projection would be for him to go the full 40 minutes tonight.

    Howard was limited to just shooting in practice on Monday, but appeared to be better yesterday, this from Orange beat writer Donna DitotaHoward worked out during a public practice here, working up a sweat and participating in all the drills his teammates performed. That will keep the investment moderate if the trigger gets pulled, but at +2 it is likely to be pulled.


    Item: Rhode Island/Oklahoma TGITG - Was Trae Young worn down, or was it the Big 12 learning how to defend him
    Sub-Item: Does time off get Young fresh again

    I am going to bring in Big 12 talking points from a couple of directions the next two days, because there may be some key food for thought inside of it. There has been a lot of negative talk regarding Oklahoma’s tourney bid because of that dismal showing down the stretch, so much of that connected to Trae Young’s performance because the Sooners outcomes became too attached to Young.

    In a 2-8 Oklahoma slide over the last 10 games, here were the dismal numbers for their catalyst, who went from being the favorite for Player of the Year to not even being one of the four finalists for the Citizen Naismith Trophy:

    FG/FGA 64-184
    3-pt 25-99
    TO 50



    That isn’t pretty. And of course there is the natural question of why a player performing at such an inefficient level was taking 9.9 triples per game, but this season got away from Lon Kruger a bit, caught between developing a one-and-done type of talent and having the team as a whole grow.

    Now the handicapping challenge. How much of Young’s decline was the result of the Big 12 grinder, part of what made the Oklahoma schedule #2 in the nation, and also the result of those quality teams in the conference understanding far better how to defend him on the second look? The answer is naturally of tantamount importance in projecting the game vs. Rhode Island.

    What made the second look so important for opponents was the distance that Young can comfortably shoot from, a good full step beyond where most defenses have to guard, and that wreaked havoc early in league play. Rhode Island lacks that in-game experience, and has to rely on video study. And as for fatigue, how much different is this setting now that the Sooners are only playing their second game in 13 days? Have the physical batteries been recharged?

    If Young has his legs there will be a tremendous battle between his unique talent and the savvy of those experienced Ram guards, E.C. Matthews and Jared Terrell having played about as many career floor minutes together as any duo in this field. It is an intriguing exercise to sort through, and the kind of process that does help to put a game into a clearer perspective, even if it does not directly lead to a bet; if the process only leads to the better grading of the RI/Oklahoma outcome going forward, that will still be time well spent.


    Item: Sorting through the details of NIT night #1

    There was a lot of speculation across the betting markets as to how the new rules changes would impact scoring in the NIT, which naturally makes sorting through the Tuesday results a high priority. It is also something that has to be done with a grain of salt, the tough travel cycles for the road teams impact play, and that certainly showed on those scoreboards.

    In terms of scoring the new rules brought both positive and negative issues into play, and it turned out to be a mixed bag. The overall counts were not too far off of what the regular season had looked like, nor the market expectations, and to lay that out I will go with the KenPom projections, the closing Totals, and the final scores, reducing NC-Asheville/USC to regulation play:

    KenPom 146.6
    Closer 149.3
    Scoreboard 145.9

    It is in the path to those scores where one key aspect was much different; 3-point shooting did fall off markedly, with the line being extended 20 inches. Some home teams in blowouts were able to fatten up their numbers, but for the visitors it was a dismal night of shooting:

    2018 Season 35.0
    All NIT 32.6
    Home 40.5
    Road 25.1

    Those numbers for the road teams do need to be taken with a grain of salt, because of both the travel cycles and the fact that they were playing at venues they were not accustomed to. It gets easier for tonight’s visitors, many of whom will have been at their destination in time to get a practice in on the re-drawn courts.


    In the Sights, Wednesday NIT…

    While doing your own fine-tuning for this evening’s card note that Marquette will be hosting Harvard at the Al McGuire Center (3,700), and not the Bradley Center (18,600). That can make a difference, with a sell-out expected for the smaller venue despite the school being on spring break, instead of a small crowd in the larger arena. It should not be an issue for the Golden Eagles players, who use this as their practice court throughout the season, and in fact might help in one key aspect.

    In terms of a TGITG notion, think about the Marquette shooting this evening. The Golden Eagles were #3 in the nation from 3-point range at 41.5, but perhaps #2 would be more proper, elevating them above William & Mary because of the major difference in difficulty of opposition faced. They are loaded with shooters that can knock them down beyond the new distance, which will be a challenge for a Harvard defense that may be without Seth Towns, who suffered a knee injury in Sunday’s Ivy League Championship game vs. Penn.

    Where am I going here? One of the best 3-point shooting teams in the nation now gets to fire away on their practice court, and who knows how many shots Andrew Rowsey (105-262 on 3-point attempts), Markus Howard (97-246) or Sam Hauser (91-178) have aimed at these baskets since they registered at the University. That will lead me to #614 Marquette Team Total Over (7:00 Eastern), at 80 or less, and it helps that Pinnacle is keeping the early markets favorable by currently sitting on 79.5.



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  2. #2
    Eric Nisbet
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    Top of the morning David- Do you re-adjust your Viriginia side of bracket with their key cog sixth man now out? Thanks.

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    Point Blank
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Nisbet View Post
    Top of the morning David- Do you re-adjust your Viriginia side of bracket with their key cog sixth man now out? Thanks.
    This one came up late in yesterday's thread so a good time to go into more detail, but it does not change the bracket at this stage, though when I first posted the bracket I thought De Andre Hunter might attempt to play with a soft cast, and be back for the Sweet 16.

    There won't be any power rating change to Virginia this week without Hunter, but I would consider him worth about .3 to .5 of a point beginning next week. Hunter averaged 19.9 minutes per game, but they were productive minutes, his energy and athleticism a plus in the Cavalier schemes. But Tony Bennett will still have a solid 7-player rotation, which is all he needs at tournament time, and can use this weekend to tighten things up. Keep in mind that Hunter is also just a freshmen, and was slowly learning all of the intricacies of the "pack line" defense; now all of the floor minutes will go to players with more experience in those schemes.

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    Eric Nisbet
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    David-awesome. Good to know. Thanks for the reply. I'll will stay Pat & ride with Virginia until the finals. I loved your final 4. Thanks again for all you do!

  5. #5
    SBR Drew
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    Dave excellent Marquette view...based on how the NIT went last night this could be a good bet to be on.

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    Point Blank
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    Quote Originally Posted by SBR drew View Post
    Dave excellent Marquette view...based on how the NIT went last night this could be a good bet to be on.
    If you sit back and think about it for a bit, you wonder how many times Rowsey/Howard have played one-on-one in the McGuire Center. How many games of H-O-R-S-E. How many 3-point shooting competitions. Those guys are the prototypical "gym rats", and it will be interesting to track, this being far more of a "home" game for them individually than playing over at the Bradley Center.

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  7. #7
    toddo11
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    Hi Dave,
    I got a chance to go to the pac12 tourney and one of the teams I was very impressed with was Stanford. They are actually a difficult team to guard and the emergence of frosh okpala definitely added another dimension. Had Davis not been a non-factor because if foul trouble they may have handled UCLA. Of course they had no one who could stay in front of Holliday so they couldn’t defend but I’m not sure byu poses that kind of threat. Haase is saying the right things about cherishing this extra time and I’ll assume the players feel the same way. I know BYU will be ready and will play hard but the price seems short, even with the possibly smallish crowd. Curious to your thoughts on game thx.

  8. #8
    Point Blank
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    Quote Originally Posted by toddo11 View Post
    Hi Dave,
    I got a chance to go to the pac12 tourney and one of the teams I was very impressed with was Stanford. They are actually a difficult team to guard and the emergence of frosh okpala definitely added another dimension. Had Davis not been a non-factor because if foul trouble they may have handled UCLA. Of course they had no one who could stay in front of Holliday so they couldn’t defend but I’m not sure byu poses that kind of threat. Haase is saying the right things about cherishing this extra time and I’ll assume the players feel the same way. I know BYU will be ready and will play hard but the price seems short, even with the possibly smallish crowd. Curious to your thoughts on game thx.
    Stanford impressed me on both the closing regular-season weekend vs. the Arizona schools, and then down the street here in the Pac 12 tourney. The lack of fan support may not be a big deal because Maples has rarely been rocking lately anyway. I do get small chimes at -2 there, and something good at -1, BYU's lack of moxie on the WCC road, which included losses at Pacific, Loyola-Marymount and San Diego, plus an overtime escape at Pepperdine, showing what happens when a soft defense (#261 at defending 2-point shots) hits the highway. Why doesn't Reid Travis score in the mid 20's here and have his way around the basket?

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  9. #9
    benjy21
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    Hey Dave,

    Nebraska is on the road tonight against Mississippi State, and this team has shown an ability to compete in a hostile environment. The Cornhuskers have covered in road games against Purdue, Ohio State, Penn State & Wisconsin. Nebraska has struggled this year with teams that can shoot the 3 and teams that play a faster tempo - neither of which the Bulldogs do. What do you see in this matchup, and do you see value on Nebraska +4?

  10. #10
    Jspidey
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    greetings and thanks as always. We rode Nebraska down the stretch for good times n great profits. Is there a reason we shouldn't go back to the well n grab some points? Maybe even sprinkle on the ML?

  11. #11
    Point Blank
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    Quote Originally Posted by benjy21 View Post
    Hey Dave,

    Nebraska is on the road tonight against Mississippi State, and this team has shown an ability to compete in a hostile environment. The Cornhuskers have covered in road games against Purdue, Ohio State, Penn State & Wisconsin. Nebraska has struggled this year with teams that can shoot the 3 and teams that play a faster tempo - neither of which the Bulldogs do. What do you see in this matchup, and do you see value on Nebraska +4?
    Quote Originally Posted by Jspidey View Post
    greetings and thanks as always. We rode Nebraska down the stretch for good times n great profits. Is there a reason we shouldn't go back to the well n grab some points? Maybe even sprinkle on the ML?
    +4 is enough for something small with the Cornhuskers, and +5 puts some meat between the bread, with State not having much of a student section because of spring break, and also playing without Nick Weatherspoon. The issue for Nebraska, along with Penn State, is that they become the first exhibits of the Big 10 playing their tourney early this season - this will only be the second game in 17 days, the other that 77-58 loss to Michigan in Madison Square Garden on March 2. It should mean fresh legs, but what about playing rhythm, with no players in the rotation that have any kind of post-season experience at all?

    I am of the belief that Tom Izzo, John Beilein and Matt Painter will do some good work with that down time because of their experience, especially in terms of being alive in the middle of March, but i will be watching Tim Miles and the other Big 10 coaches closely to see how sharp their teams are following the layoff.

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  12. #12
    nri77
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    Hey Dave,

    Your Syracuse breakdown has inspired an opinion on the Boise St/Washington total being a bit too high at 148. This will be Boise St's first look at a zone of this quality against Washington. However, Boise St. has a pretty solid offensive rating on KenPom at 110.6 (78th) and is a top 50 team in the country in both 3 PT% and 3PM that gives me some hesitation.

    Considering that, I took at look at the season matchups between Washington and Wazzu since Wazzu has a similar profile to Boise St in terms of how they play the game and how effective they are at shooting the long ball. In the two matchups between Washington and Wazzu, the Cougars shot 25% from deep (13/51) vs their season average of 37.7%. This gives me confidence that Washington's zone isn't too susceptible to Boise St.'s ability from 3.

    Thoughts on the under 148 in this matchup?

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    Point Blank
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    Quote Originally Posted by nri77 View Post
    Hey Dave,

    Your Syracuse breakdown has inspired an opinion on the Boise St/Washington total being a bit too high at 148. This will be Boise St's first look at a zone of this quality against Washington. However, Boise St. has a pretty solid offensive rating on KenPom at 110.6 (78th) and is a top 50 team in the country in both 3 PT% and 3PM that gives me some hesitation.

    Considering that, I took at look at the season matchups between Washington and Wazzu since Wazzu has a similar profile to Boise St in terms of how they play the game and how effective they are at shooting the long ball. In the two matchups between Washington and Wazzu, the Cougars shot 25% from deep (13/51) vs their season average of 37.7%. This gives me confidence that Washington's zone isn't too susceptible to Boise St.'s ability from 3.

    Thoughts on the under 148 in this matchup?
    It fits. There is one concern about Boise possibly getting some easy points off the glass, a major disparity in rebounding overall (Boise is +7.5 per game, Washington -1.8), and the Huskies having the usual zone weakness of clearing the offensive glass. There is also the concern about a pick'em game possibly creating a late scramble if it is close, so I have opted for some First Half Under 69.5 for half of the ticket.

    Note that Boise set a school record by knocking down 299 triples this season, and because it is such a big part of the attack they taped-up their home court to get some practice in before leaving for Seattle. From Leon Rice:

    "You don't want to be making a bunch of 19-footers. The worst shot in basketball now became further back, so we have to adjust to that, and we will."

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  14. #14
    Regul8er
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    Is this the same dude who makes appears on VSIN on XM Radio? If so, cheers boss!!

    I was just listening a few minutes ago, and was thinking your breakdown of the Syracuse game was pretty much as the writeup I read in this thread.
    Last edited by Regul8er; 03-14-18 at 01:00 PM.

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    Point Blank
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    Quote Originally Posted by Regul8er View Post
    Is this the same dude who makes appears on VSIN on XM Radio? If so, cheers boss!!

    I was just listening a few minutes ago, and was thinking your breakdown of the Syracuse game was pretty much as the writeup I read in this thread.
    I do make some appearances with Pauly Howard (of our own SportsBIT) and Mitch Moss, part of the on-running joke being that I am among the few folks awake in Las Vegas that they can get to come on the air at 5:30 AM...

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    Regul8er
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    LOL.....well keep up the good work.

    I shared many of the same sentiments as yourself on tonight's games. Let's hope this results in return visits to the window.

  17. #17
    Stephen Murrin
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    Afternoon David you like team over for Marquette would you recommend over for the game at 147. Can we trust Harvard to score. Thanks your thoughts

  18. #18
    Point Blank
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Murrin View Post
    Afternoon David you like team over for Marquette would you recommend over for the game at 147. Can we trust Harvard to score. Thanks your thoughts
    Because of the uncertainty about Towns, who literally will be a game-time decision, I don't want to make the Harvard offense much of a factor in the equation. So I have only gone Marquette TT.

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  19. #19
    keely85
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    David,

    I think the Ramblers have a good shot at winning round 1, they shoot pretty well and have a decent defense. There isn't really one player that seems to carry them either. Any chance of them winning more than 1? aka how good is Tennessee?

    (I am a Loyola alum so I have watched a lot of them this season, but not enough college ball to know much)

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    Point Blank
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    Quote Originally Posted by keely85 View Post
    David,

    I think the Ramblers have a good shot at winning round 1, they shoot pretty well and have a decent defense. There isn't really one player that seems to carry them either. Any chance of them winning more than 1? aka how good is Tennessee?

    (I am a Loyola alum so I have watched a lot of them this season, but not enough college ball to know much)
    Loyola has played impeccable basketball this season, doing things right on both ends of the court. They are #8 in Effective FG% offensively, showing good balance, and #25 in total defense, that being a real number because it is schedule-adjusted. I wanted to like them in the opener against Miami because the Hurricanes have shown their inexperience with a lot of inconsistent play, but the oddsmakers and betting markets were too sharp - this is the kind of matchup in which a +4 would have been available a decade ago, now we might even see it dropping down to Miami -1. I did check the Ramblers box on all of the outright contests I am in, but won't bet them.

    Round 2 might be asking a bit too much - Tennessee #4 in defensive efficiency, the Volts bringing the kind of athleticism on the perimeter that Loyola does not get to face much during the regular season. The Ramblers will be in the hunt, but I don't believe they are good enough to win that one.

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  21. #21
    keely85
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    thanks

  22. #22
    josephbacaltos
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    Hi Dave,

    With a lot of people out for the Warriors tonight(Klay, Green, Curry, West) and the Lakers off a back to back with key players playing heavy minutes, would a look towards the under tonight work at 224? I think a 226 was out there but I was unable to get it in time.

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    Jspidey
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    Quote Originally Posted by Point Blank View Post
    +4 is enough for something small with the Cornhuskers, and +5 puts some meat between the bread, with State not having much of a student section because of spring break, and also playing without Nick Weatherspoon. The issue for Nebraska, along with Penn State, is that they become the first exhibits of the Big 10 playing their tourney early this season - this will only be the second game in 17 days, the other that 77-58 loss to Michigan in Madison Square Garden on March 2. It should mean fresh legs, but what about playing rhythm, with no players in the rotation that have any kind of post-season experience at all?

    I am of the belief that Tom Izzo, John Beilein and Matt Painter will do some good work with that down time because of their experience, especially in terms of being alive in the middle of March, but i will be watching Tim Miles and the other Big 10 coaches closely to see how sharp their teams are following the layoff.
    And the first +5 are appearing. Do we see +5.5 or 6? Also ml +175 starting to look pretty good for a slice
    Last edited by Jspidey; 03-14-18 at 03:48 PM.

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    Point Blank
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    Quote Originally Posted by josephbacaltos View Post
    Hi Dave,

    With a lot of people out for the Warriors tonight(Klay, Green, Curry, West) and the Lakers off a back to back with key players playing heavy minutes, would a look towards the under tonight work at 224? I think a 226 was out there but I was unable to get it in time.
    The rotations are so scrambled, with Kyle Kumza a question mark for the Lakers, that I am not sure if the coaches put a lot of focus into this one, or just let the guys go out and run and play. I don't have much confidence in my grade, but it does call for Under chimes at 224. I just can't make it more than about a half ticket under the circumstances.

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  25. #25
    Point Blank
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jspidey View Post
    And the first +5 are appearing. Do we see +5.5 or 6? Also ml +175 starting to look pretty good for a slice
    With some of the prime shops still anchored at 4.5, I decided to go ahead and fill out at +5, not sure if that game can draw enough play to run further than it has (the fact that those good stores stayed at 4.5 told me something).

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  26. #26
    Forearm Shiver
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    Dave,

    Have you had a chance to look at the San Fran/Colgate game? This game is probably under the radar for most; big defensive edge for the Dons and a long trip from upstate NY to the Bay area for Colgate. Any chimes at -7 for USF?

  27. #27
    Point Blank
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forearm Shiver View Post
    Dave,

    Have you had a chance to look at the San Fran/Colgate game? This game is probably under the radar for most; big defensive edge for the Dons and a long trip from upstate NY to the Bay area for Colgate. Any chimes at -7 for USF?
    Unfortunately I will not be able to be of any help there - that tournament is completely off of my radar screens, just not enough hours in the day for me to be able to do the proper work.

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  28. #28
    ikid2groove415
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    Syracuse is always seem to play good in the tournament !!

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    Since it has been a topic here today, it doesn't look like leading scorer Seth Towns (16.0 PPG, also 5.7 RPG) will be seeing action for Harvard at Marquette this evening.

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  30. #30
    unclejimmy
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    NCAA Tournament:
    Are there any unique psychological factors, team/coaching, for handicapping 1st time teams (i.e. Lipscomb)?
    Also for teams with a long tourney lay-off (i.e. Marshall 1987 last appearance)?

  31. #31
    Point Blank
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    Quote Originally Posted by unclejimmy View Post
    NCAA Tournament:
    Are there any unique psychological factors, team/coaching, for handicapping 1st time teams (i.e. Lipscomb)?
    Also for teams with a long tourney lay-off (i.e. Marshall 1987 last appearance)?
    The issue with teams like Lipscomb, as is the case with so many first timers, is that the big focus is on "getting there", and often so happy to be a part of it that they often underachieve once they take the court. What will be interesting fo the Bisons is that they love to run, #5 in the nation in pace, and Roger Idstrom may genuinely choose to have his players go out and run with North Carolina, being willing to let the chips fall where they may as they have a little fun. There probably isn't a result that would genuinely track as a "loss" for them in this one.

    I consider Marshall to be the same - none of the current players were even born the last time they were in the tourney. And under Dan D'Antoni the Thundering Herd like to run and have some fun on the court, #5 in overall pace and #3 in SPS on offense. That is a difficult way to pull tournament upsets, since it allows the team with the superior talent more opportunities to put that superiority into play, but in D'Antoni's case this is also a recruiting statement, showing prospects the kind of basketball they can play if they decide to come to Huntington (which is otherwise a tough sell, a prime reason why they haven't been in the tourney for so long).

    The way I look at first timers is to try to get inside the mindset of the coaches, and whether or not they are putting a premium on how well their team plays, or how much fun their team can have staying loose and being a part of the experience (those two things don't always go hand in hand). Many coaches, like Idstrom, know that there is no realistic chance to win, so playing for fun isn't the worst thing.

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  32. #32
    Point Blank
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    Quote Originally Posted by josephbacaltos View Post
    Hi Dave,

    With a lot of people out for the Warriors tonight(Klay, Green, Curry, West) and the Lakers off a back to back with key players playing heavy minutes, would a look towards the under tonight work at 224? I think a 226 was out there but I was unable to get it in time.
    Quote Originally Posted by Point Blank View Post
    The rotations are so scrambled, with Kyle Kumza a question mark for the Lakers, that I am not sure if the coaches put a lot of focus into this one, or just let the guys go out and run and play. I don't have much confidence in my grade, but it does call for Under chimes at 224. I just can't make it more than about a half ticket under the circumstances.
    To throw a serious curveball into that Total there will be no Kuzma tonight, but Luke Walton will use Isaiah Thomas in the starting lineup instead, using Kentavious Caldwell-Pope as the #3 instead of the #2. The presence of Thomas on each end is enough to take me out of play completely in terms of thinking Under.

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  33. #33
    benjy21
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    Hey Dave,

    The market is moving against Ohio State in their 1st round matchup with South Dakota State. The Jack Rabbits make hay at the FT line, sinking 77% of their attempts. However, the Buckeyes do not send their opponents to the charity stripe very often, ranking #23 in FT attempts allowed per 100 possessions. Do you see value on bucking the market and backing Ohio State in this matchup?

  34. #34
    Point Blank
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    Quote Originally Posted by benjy21 View Post
    Hey Dave,

    The market is moving against Ohio State in their 1st round matchup with South Dakota State. The Jack Rabbits make hay at the FT line, sinking 77% of their attempts. However, the Buckeyes do not send their opponents to the charity stripe very often, ranking #23 in FT attempts allowed per 100 possessions. Do you see value on bucking the market and backing Ohio State in this matchup?
    I don't. I believe Ohio State peaked early, a case of a team being much more mature than most because three of the prime players in the rotation had already graduated, which also made it easier for them to concentrate on basketball. But in terms of physical skills there were limitations, and they simply didn't get any better as the season progressed. I wouldn't be surprised if this one stayed close, with one unique matchup in play - SDS was #1 in the nation for lowest TO%, while Ohio State was only #209 in forcing them. Those numbers both need to be adjusted for the disparity in schedules, but it does show an aspect of the game in which the underdog can hang around, being able to get shots on their possessions, and having guys like Mike Daum and David Jenkins that can make those shots.

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  35. #35
    rkelly110
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    Hey Dave, 1st time reader. Have question regarding NCAAB tourney play.

    Team I bet last night went 4 quarters. Noticed other teams did the same not being tied up after the 2nd.

    During the regular season they all did 2 quarters unless they went to OT.

    Why are some doing 2 quarters and others 4?

    Thanks.

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