Pick #3 added at the bottom
It seems we are destined to lose every close game in March! Those
watching the Cincinnati game must have been left fuming because two days
after the Memphis game, we have AGAIN lost yet ANOTHER game by half a
point! There was also Houston Rockets and another example earlier in the
The difference maker in this case was the free-throws. Cincinnati missed 3
critical freebies in the final minute and shot an embarrassing 44% from
the Free-throw line! While Creighton made 22 out of 25 and 88%! That was
the difference between not only losing the game but more importantly for
us, not covering the spread.
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and are better off for it.
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All server issues seem to have now been resolved and will revert back to
normal. And with a bit more luck, we should have a good Saturday & Sunday
#1: Take Cincinatti
Bearcats at +3.5 spread against Creighton Blue Jays risking 3 Units
What this game is going to come right down
to is if Cincinnati will have an answer for slowing down Doug McDermott.
McDermott was a first-team All-American last year and is likely to repeat
again this year. He's the nation's second-leading scorer and gets his
points in every way imaginable, making him extremely fun to watch.
Cincinnati is a tough, defensive-minded team
from the rugged Big East conference, they rely heavily on their defense
to keep them in games and an offense that can push the ball inside or
shoot from the perimeter. When Cincinnati is hitting their shots, they
are an extremely tough team to beat.
The issue that I have with this game and Creighton
in general is that teams are figuring out the Blue Jays and how to stop
them. You will not stop McDermott completely but if you can limit him
or slow him down just a bit, then you have a chance to win. No other Creighton player besides McDermott is scoring in double figures
I have Cincinnati pulling off the upset today
in my brackets and expect this to be a close game this afternoon that
could come down to the final shot. Take the points.
#2: Take Colorado Buffalos at +1.5 spread against Illinois Fighting
Illini risking 3 Units (4:40 PM)
Just like the Oregon Vs Oklahoma State last
night, this is a game where I feel that the odds makers simply missed
the mark and favored the wrong team. Plain and simple I believe that
the Illini are truly overrated as a No. 7 seed in this tournament. Yes,
they have some scrappy guards in Brandon Paul, Tracy Abrams, and DJ
Richardson but when you really look at it, none of them are great shooters.
They are like the Rajon Rondo of the college world. They can pass the
ball real well but they are not the players that you want to have the
ball when the game is on the line. Not only are they not great shooters
but they are not particularly capable three-point shooters. So basically
the Illini have 3 guards who are not great shooters yet they expect
to win this game?
As a team, the Illini are shooting just 41.6
percent from the floor and 32.5 percent from downtown. In Big Ten play this year, Illinois were out-rebounded
on a pretty consistent basis. Colorado has four players that average double
digits in scoring and the majority of the teams that were able to capiltilize
on the rebounding advantage against Illinois were teams like Colorado.
A player who
I feel is really going to dominate in this game is Andre Roberson who
happens to be Colorado's leading rebounder. An interesting statistic is that Roberson is putting up more than
double the boards than anyone on the Illinois team! Roberson should actually be in for a huge day. In the end, I think
that the odds-makers and the Selection Committee got this one wrong. Colorado should be
the No. 7 seed, not the No. 10 seed and Colorado should be the one laying
a couple of points and not getting them.
A few extra trends to consider:
- Illinois are 6-13 ATS in their last 19 games following a loss.
- Illinois are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games overall.
- Colorado are 15-8 ATS when playing against a team with a winning record
- Colorado are 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a loss.
#3: Take Iowa State at +1 spread against Notre Dame risking 3 units. (9:45 PM)
This game is going to come down to which team can make their shots
when it counts. Notre Dame is a team that will need to go inside to
veteran Jack Cooley and attack the paint, a place where the Cyclones
are the most vulnerable. The problem for Notre Dame is while they their
defense in good in the interior, Iowa State is not a team who penetrates
into the lane very often. State is an outside shooting team. In fact, no team
in the country takes and makes more three-pointers than Iowa State and
I fully expect them to be firing away from downtown at all angles today.
Notre Dame has also not fared well in recent NCAA tournaments. They
are typically a team who does not get past the first round. Notre Dame's
only victory in the past three years came against 15th-seeded Akron
and it lost to two teams seeded 10th and one seeded 11th in that span.
Iowa State are 11-4 ATS in their last 15 games following a loss while
Notre Dame are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 NCAA tournament games! For all of coach
Mike Brey's experience, he has rarely taken his Notre Dame team more
forward at this stage.
Iowa State is the type of team that can get plenty of scoring help
from just about every starter and I personally have them moving on in
my bracket and feel that their ability to shoot and make 3 pointers
when needed is going to be the difference maker in this game.
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