NCAA Tournament Odds & Logical Cinderella Teams Sharps Ignore

Kevin Stott

Sunday, March 20, 2016 1:03 PM UTC

Sunday, Mar. 20, 2016 1:03 PM UTC

Here are a couple of things that the Wise Guys have missed or overlooked amidst the Hoops Haze that is March Madness. Get expert thoughts on some specific spots which haven’t received much cash.

Introduction: November-February Actually Best Time to Profit, Make Money From NCAAB
Every year around the Ides of March we foam at the mouth for the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament and every year it arrives so fast, as Regular Season play seems to lull fans and sports gamblers to sleep from November to February, although those are the grind-it-out months where betters make their NCAA Tournament picks to beef up their profits—on Good teams that are playing Bad teams.

Once the Tourney (or Tourneys) tip off, you pretty much have all Good teams playing Good teams, and teams which needed to win games to get to the point of making the NCAA Tournament’s Field of 68. So everyone is expecting to win at this time of year and all of The Citadels and the Rutgers and the TCUs are gone, so finding the expected holes that were always there in the Winter seem to suddenly dry up after the selection Committee meets.

In short, a true Wise Guy or really good basketball bettor will have hopefully made enough profits that he or she can sit on and be happy with and either avoid betting on the Big Dance or to take the amounts down due to this mega-parity created, not only by the schools, but from the reality we are grouping all the Good teams to play each other at this point.

And people get excited about the scale of the NCAA Tournament, the Brackets, the Little Guys making it, and that excitement often translates to betting when in reality these games are tougher to hit that Regular Season contests and College Basketball is easily one of the hardest sports on which to bet because of the lead changes, lack of Defense at the very end of games by a team with a significant lead.

When up by 17, does a team really care about holding that 17-point lead the last 3 minutes? And not usually with the earliest, initial line movements but the Big Dance is a different beast and there are more Chalk (perceived Square) players swimming in the pool for this much-anticipated event and some who bet on nothing all year-long will wait to bet on the NCAA Tournament odds boards, it’s that intoxicating.

So, like the Super Bowl, the NCAA Tournament gets much attention and hype, and therefore much betting dollars when the sharpest of the Sharps know that the Big Dance is a tough place in which to try to grind out a profit. Even the Wiseguys sometimes aren’t wise enough to lay off or know that betting on the Big Dance is usually more about having fun and having action as opposed to trying to make money on the games themselves.


Wise Guys Not Backing Some Logical Cinderellas at the Betting Windows Early
The Wise Guys have a reputation for taking Underdogs (and the points) and especially “Live Dogs” when they bet and there are some games in which a solid, Cinderella Underdog which would appear to be one of those “Live Dogs” were bet against. Indiana opened up as a 9-point favorite over Tennessee-Chattanooga and the Hoosiers were quickly bet up to 11½ and 12 where the number stands almost everywhere (Tuesday).

Southern Conference champions Chattanooga (#53 RPI) and first-year Head Coach Matt McCall have lost only five games and have beaten Georgia, Illinois, and (then) #4 Iowa State and Dayton and Tre McLean (12.3 ppg, 6.4 rpg) and the Mocs (29-5, 16-13 ATS) may be able to pull off the upset and beat (TN-CHATT +600 Moneyline, William Hill) an overrated and sometimes Defensively lazy Big Ten Regular Season champion and #5-seed Indiana on Thursday (CBS, 7:10 p.m. ET/4:10 p.m. PT; (IND -11½, Bet365).

And fellow Hoosier State, Big Ten school and Biggest rival to Indiana, Purdue received early money from its opening line of 8 against a really good a Defensive University of Arkansas Little Rock (UALR) team, moving the number to its current 8½ and mostly 9’s at sportsbooks Offshore, Online, in Europe and the US. Normally it seems the wise Guys would be all over an upstart team like UALR (#43, RPI), a big team who isn’t scared of playing anyone.

The Trojans are led by G Josh Hagins (12.8 ppg), G Marcus Johnson Jr. (12.7 ppg), 6-11 F Lis Shoshi (6.8 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.2 bpg) and senior F Roger Woods (9.8 ppg, 4.1 rpg), and UALR could really be a handful for the Boilermakers on Thursday night when the teams meet in Round 1 (TBS, Directv 247, 4:30 p.m. ET/1:30 p.m. PT; PUR -8, 131, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook), and it honestly seems that outside of Michigan State and maybe Maryland that the Big beaten may be a little overrated heading in here.


Backing Under-the-Radar Big 12 Conference Teams in Futures Book Marketplace
The Iowa State Cyclones (21-11, 5th in Big 12) may be thin but they play as good as anyone as a team and don’t beat themselves. This team has seven main players that have to pretty much do it all in Georges Niang (19.8 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 3.3 apg), Monte Norris (13.9 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 6.9 apg), Abdel Nader (13.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg), Nazareth Mitrou-Long (12.0 ppg), Jameel McKay (11.5 ppg, 8.9 rpg), Matt Thomas (10.7 rpg, 4.5 rpg) and Deonte Burton (10.0 ppg, 4.1 rpg), and the Cyclones have beaten Colorado, Virginia Tech, Cincinnati, Iowa (then) #1 Oklahoma and (then) #4 Kansas in a span of a week, and (then) #24 Texas.

Sharpening your teeth on the toughest Conference in the land should serve Iowa State well and the current 55/1 odds (10Red) and little movement maybe reveals that the Wise Guys (and others) don’t like the path the Cyclones may have or just haven’t seen Iowa State and these odds in the Futures Book marketplace because so much is going on this week.

The Cyclones are at Home in the Midwest Region and would have a theoretical (top-seeded) Iona-Virginia-Michigan State path to the Final Four. And backing Iowa State in that opener early on Thursday against Iona (TBS, Directv 247, 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT; IOWA ST. -7½, 166, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) seems wise in a matchup in which Monte Morris is Probable for the Cyclones while G Schadrac Casimir is listed as Out the Gaels.

And fellow Big 12 bangers West Virginia (26-8), Baylor (22-11), and Texas Tech (19-12) should be watched as much of the attention in the Big 12 Conference has ended up going to Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas for bringing in Shaka Smart to Austin and making improvements and a nice run with the Longhorns. But the #22 Cyclones, #8 Mountaineers, #21 Bears and Red Raiders are where some money can possibly be made. Just think about having to play all of the teams in this rugged Conference twice each season and you can see why it’s so tough and why these teams become so battle-tested by March.


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