NCAA March Madness: 1st Round

Picks for the 1st Round of March Madness

 

Overview: After a successful college football season, I took a brief break from betting… only to make my MJ-esque return for the NCAA College Basketball Tournament. For this edition, I will be picking a mix of spreads, points, and props. The college football season was bountiful.. with $500+ in profits and a win rate of 65%. One can only hope that we unpredictable lands of basketball in March can be just as fruitful. 

Prop bets for fun with money at the listed line. Straight bets placed at the odds set on BetOnlineAg.com.

Visit www.vegasinsider.com for updated points and spreads.

THURSDAY

Yale (+8.5) vs LSU (What’s the difference between a Yale basketball player and an LSU basketball player? One was paid to play and the other paid to play.)

New Mexico State (Money Line +275) vs Auburn (The line on this game is too tempting to pass. I’m not sold on NMSU and Auburn is on fire after winning the SEC but Virginia looked on fire last year when they entered the tournament after winning the ACC…)

Kansas (-8) vs Northeastern (For everyone picking this upset.. please remember that Northeastern lost more games playing in the Colonial Athletic Conference then Kansas lost playing in the Big 12.)

Murray State (Money Line +195) vs Marquette (Ja Morant and the Racers have won 11 straight and are under-seeded with a 27-4 record. Marquette has lost 5 of their last 6 and are a foul prone team limping into the tournament.)

Florida vs Nevada (Over 132) (The real question here is whether a wolf pack can beat a pack of gators. Final score: 77 – 74 = more than 132.)

Villanova (-5) vs St Mary’s (Shocked when I saw this line at the open. I understand Nova doesn’t have the fire power of the past few seasons but I trust any Jay Wright-coached squad to win a first rounder by more than 5.)

Montana (+17.5) vs Michigan (Last year the Griz led UofM 10-0 two minutes into their first round matchup. I expect the Maize and Blue to be a little more prepared this time but watch out for the Big Sky champs to hang around like Grizzlies at a campsite,)

FRIDAY

Virginia (-23.5) vs Gardner Webb (I can’t believe I’m taking Virginia here to cover 23 points considering what UMBC did to the Cavs last season. That being said, is there any way you don’t take Virginia here considering what UMBC did to the Cavs last season?)

UC Irvine (+5.5) vs Kansas State (Disclaimer: This bet is being made solely on the grounds that I have never put money on a team called the Anteaters before.)

VCU (+1) vs UCF (Not sure I’ve never heard so many people hype up a player that barely averages 10 points/game and 7 rebounds. Tacko Fall might be 7’6 but he’s obviously not using that height too well.)

UNC vs Iona (Under 167) (This just seems like a crazy amount of points for a game that could be a blowout early. Even if the Heels drop a Ben Franklin on the Gaels I think this one settles around 160.)

ADDITIONAL PROP BETS:

4-Seed Makes the Final Four (+450) (Florida State, Kansas, Virginia Tech, and Kansas State are all teams that could either lose in the first round…. or win their region.)

A Double-Digit seed makes the Elite Eight (+500) (Belmont? Murray State?? Oregon??? THE ANTEATERS????)

At least one 2-Seed loses in the first weekend (+350) (I really like this bet and these odds. Michigan could play Nevada. MSU could play Louisville. Tennessee could play Cincy. UK could play Wofford. Alright maybe should have stopped after Tennessee but you get the point.)

Cincinnati wins the South Region (+1400) (Obviously this is a bit of a long-shot, hence the odds but hear me out. Cincy is the scrappiest team in the tournament and will play the first weekend practically at home. The south region is weak and no team except for  Tennessee has the athletes to match what the Bearcats will put on the floor.)

 

College Football Picks: Bowl Season

Champ Week Recap: A 7-7 week led to my first loss of money on the year but it’s not my fault the Conference titles were disappointingly boring. No upsets and we even have to live with another month of UCF fans clamoring about wanting Bama. With bowl season upon us, I plan to place bets on each of the games with the hope of hitting the $500 target that eluded me last week.

As a note, all wagers are at -110 odds and I make the majority of my plays

the morning after opening lines have been released. Visit www.vegasinsider.com for updated points and spreads.

Utah State (-7.5) vs North Texas (I’ve picked Utah State to cover spreads all season and they have repaid me with impressive performances.)

Louisiana Lafayette (+5.5) vs Tulane (Tulane looks to be the better team on paper but six points seems like a stretch for this game.)

Fresno State (-3) vs Arizona State (The MWC champs have been one of the most consistent FBS squads this year. Herm Edwards will be without his top offensive playmaker N’Keal Harry.

Georgia Southern (+1.5) vs EMU (In this battle of the Eagles, I’ll take the team with the 9th best rushing offense over the one with the 93th best rush defense.)

Appalachian State (-6.5) vs Middle Tennessee St. (I like App State to win the game by a wide margin. MTSU isn’t bad but their defense is porous and Zac Thomas is a talented passer.)

UAB (-1.5) vs NIU (In bowl games I tend to pick the better defense. UAB holds a slight edge which gives them the upper hand.)

Ohio (-2.5) vs San Diego State (Ohio is surging, winning six of seven while SDSU will limp in with a three game losing streak.)

Marshall (+2) vs South Florida (In what is a home game for USF, Marshall is my pick due to more consistency and better defensive play.)

FIU (+6.5) vs Toledo (QB James Morgan has been on a tear for the Panthers with am 18-3 TD/INT ratio over his last 8 games. Toledo also boasts a balanced attack and I expect this one to be close.)

Western Michigan (+14.5) vs BYU (The Cougs should beat the Broncos but i’ll take the points in a spread this wide during bowl season.)

Memphis (-2.5) vs Wake Forest (Wake has been a roller coaster of a team which doesn’t bode well heading into a matchup against the offensive power Memphis has.)

Army (-3) vs Houston (Houston has the worst defense of any bowl team and will be without the services of star DE Ed Oliver and QB D’Eriq King. Army is a disciplined team that should wear down the Cougars.)

Buffalo (-2.5) vs Troy (I am looking for 6’7 monster Tyree Jackson to wear down the Trojan’s defense and help the Bulls pull away in the fourth.)

LA Tech (EVEN) vs Hawaii (Hawaii has a strong offense but wow is their defense rough. I’ll take Tech to get the win on the Warriors home soil. )

Boise State (-3) vs Boston College (Boise State should have enough offensive firepower to take down the Eagles who struggle to put up points.)

Georgia Tech (-3) vs Minnesota (In Paul Johnsons final game, Minnesota’s 76th ranked run defense struggles to stop the triple option.)

TCU (EVEN) vs Cal (The Golden Bears can play D but their offense is one of the worst in the country. Give me Coach Patterson and the Horned Frogs in this low scoring battle.)

Temple (-3) vs Duke (The only time I was successful picking Duke was when they only lost by 29 to Clemson. Temple has more talent and should be more motivated against the Blue Devils.)

Wisconsin (+5) vs Miami (In the “Underachiever Game of the Year” Wisco running the ball in freezing Yankee stadium seems like decent odds to me.)

Vanderbilt (-2.5) vs Baylor (Vandy closed out the season 3-1 to become bowl eligible and should take advantage of Baylor losing top receiver Jalen Hurd.)

Auburn (-3.5) vs Purdue (At different points this season both of these teams looked like they should be playing in a bigger game than the Music City Bowl. Obviously neither played up to their potential.)

Syracuse (+7) vs WVU (This game has since dropped to almost even after the news broke of Will Grier sitting out. If Eric Dungey is healthy WVU’s defense could be in for a long game.)

Washington State (-3) vs Iowa State (Iowa State plays controlled and methodical. Wazzu plays just the way you’d expect a Mike Leach led team to play. I’ll take the Cougs to pull away late with big plays.)

Michigan (-5.5) vs Florida (This game should not be happening. Florida should be playing UFC and Harbaugh should be scheming against Coach O. The bowl planners failed us all and we’re stuck with another Big Ten-SEC snoozer.)

South Carolina (-4) vs Virginia (Fun Fact: SC is 0-5 against ranked teams and 7-0 against unranked ones. Luckily for them, Virginia isn’t ranked.)

Nevada (EVEN) vs Arkansas State (This one is a toss up but since Nevada’s top two playmakers are named Ty Gangi and Toa Taua, I have to go with the Wolfpack instead of the Red Wolves.)

Clemson (-10) vs Notre Dame (I believe Clemson is the most well-rounded team in the country. Their top ranked D-Line should give Notre Dame plenty of problems and Trevor Lawrence & Co will pick apart the Irish secondary.)

Alabama (-14) vs Oklahoma (Kyler Murray should keep the Sooners in the game but he’s bound to make a mistake at some point for the opportunistic Tide to capitalize on.)

Cincinnati (-4) vs Virginia Tech (Cincy gives up around 16 points/game while VT allows opponents to score over 30. That alone pushes me to take the Bearcats.)

Stanford (-6) vs Pitt (I have watched Pitt lose two consecutive games by a combined 53 points. Stanford is strong enough up front to force the Panthers to pass… which typically means the Panthers will lose.)

Oregon (-1) vs Michigan State (Sparty brings to the table one of the nations best defenses, but simultaneously provides us one the the worst offenses. Oregon should make just enough plays to win.)

Missouri (-7) vs Oklahoma State (With multiple players out for the Pokes and Drew Locke looking to impressive scouts on a national stage, I’m looking for an improving team of Tigers to run away with this one.)

Northwestern (+8.5) vs Utah (After watching Northwestern put up a decent battle against a motivated Ohio State team, I’ll take them at anything over a touchdown against a Ute team that was just held to 3 points by Washington.)

Texas A&M (-4.5) vs NC State (Ryan Finley will have to face a strong Aggies team without his top receiver. The Wolfpack defense will have to stop Kellen Mond without their top linebacker. Not a great recipe for success.)

Iowa (+7.5) vs Miss. State (Big Ten-SEC bowl battles tend to be closer then they should be. This game shouldn’t be close but the Bulldogs have been inconsistent all season.)

UCF (+9.5) vs LSU (My heart says “Geux Tigas” in true Coach O fashion, but my brain tells me this is the Golden Knights super bowl.)

Penn State (-4) vs Kentucky (Trace McSorely should make enough plays to score at least 20 points, which tends to be more than enough to beat the Wildcats by 5.)

Ohio State (-4.5) vs Washington (The Buckeyes send Urban out in his last game… for now… while the Huskies defense struggles to contain Haskins.)

Texas (+12.5) vs Georgia (Georgia should win this game by two scores but I have a feeling the Longhorns will hang around. The Bulldog secondary was exposed by Jalen Hurts which bodes well for Tom Herman’s playmakers.)

Overall: 65-38 (63%)

ATS: 50-32

O/U: 9-4

Gameday: 6-1

Earnings: +$415.85

College Football Picks: Week 12

College football lines, spreads and predictions for Week 12

Week 11 Recap: The wins have continued to pile on as we have gone four consecutive weeks with a positive performance. With a record of 10-8 over the weekend, total earnings jumped to $242.38. While Week 12 may not have the glamour of previous Saturdays, there is still a solid slate of games with plenty of upset opportunities to shake up the college football world.

As a note, all wagers are at -110 odds and I make the majority of my plays the morning after opening lines have been released. Visit http://www.vegasinsider.com for updated points and spreads.

Minnesota (+3.5) vs Northwestern (Last week I correctly called the Wildcats to upset Iowa. This week I like the Golden Gophers who are an entirely different team at home…. 5-1 versus 0-4 on the road. PJ Fleck’s squad is coming off a dominating win against Purdue, so I’ll take anything at a field goal or more.) 

Middle Tennessee State (+16.5) at Kentucky (It’s been SIX WEEKS since Kentucky has scored more than 17-points in a game. MTSU is a solid 7-3 and I wouldn’t trust this Wildcat team to put up three scores against a high school team at this point.) 

Arkansas (+21.5) at Mississippi State (The Razorbacks looked respectable against LSU and I still do not hold much confidence in the Bulldogs offense. Miss State should win but three touchdowns is a stretch.)

Ohio State (-14) at Maryland (Last week I said Ohio State needed to win by more than a field goal to look at all like a playoff team. Well, they won by 20 against a half-decent Michigan State team. There’s no reason they don’t do the same against a porous Maryland squad.)

Nebraska (+3) vs Michigan State (Michigan State has a great defense so it’s too bad their offense is completely worthless. Scott Frost seems to have the Huskers moving in the right direction and a future star in Adrian Martinez.) 

NC State (-14.5) at Louisville (Wake Forest came out of nowhere to knock-off the Wolfpack last week but the Deamon Deacons also beat the Cardinals by 21 in the ‘Ville.)

Utah (-6.5) at Colorado (The Buffs are spiraling out of control while the Utes lost yours truly money last week when they ran all over Oregon.) 

Syracuse (+11) vs Notre Dame (Both of the Syracuse’s losses were by less than a touchdown. Ian Book won’t be 100% for the Irish and this ‘Cuse team has averaged 46 points in their last four games.) 

Utah State (-26) at Colorado State (Utah State is 9-1 this year ATS and I expect this trend to continue with a pummeling of CSU. The Rams are rough and Utah State has one of the most exciting offenses in football.) 

West Virginia (-4.5) at Oklahoma State (In a conference where no one knows what a defense is, WVU at least has a mediocre secondary. OK State might as well not not send anyone onto the field when they don’t have the ball. Give me Grier and the ‘Neers by a touchdown.)

Liberty (+33) at Auburn (Auburn is a mess and looks far from the SEC West champs of last season. They should easily run away with this game but Gus Malzhan knows a 50-point win against Liberty means nothing unless his team is 100% healthy for Bama.)

UAB (+28) at Texas A&M (Talk about a trap game. The Aggies are reeling after a 5-2 start in which their only losses were against the top two teams in the country. They’ve now dropped 2 of 3 and have to take on a 9-1 UAB team that leads the nation in sacks. Did I mention that A&M is 121st in the nation in sacks allowed?) 

Duke (+29.5) at Clemson (Duke actually has a decent team and quarterback Daniel Jones has NFL potential. I’ll take the 7-3 Blue Devils to keep this one within four touchdowns.) 

Stanford (-1.5) at Cal (The Golden Bears simply can’t score. Their defense has played exceptionally well but I feel this is the week things fall apart for a team that hasn’t reached 16 points in three straight weeks.) 

Southern Miss (+3) at LA Tech (Southern Miss. loves close games, with their last three outings all decided by a field goal or less. It’s also their senior day and the team is vying for a bowl bid.) 

Boston College (+1) at Florida State (I am 2-0 when picking against the ‘Noles and 0-2 when picking in their favor. Congrats to FSU for winning the inaugural award for College football’s “Biggest Waste of Talent”.) 

Arizona State (+4.5) at Oregon (Herm Edwards has these Sun Devils playing at a high level. Meanwhile, Oregon looks like a lost team after dropping 3 of 4.) 

Over/Under:

Miami at Virginia Tech (Over 38.5) (I understand neither offense is great but when I saw this opening on William Hill’s bookie site I couldn’t pass it up.)  

San Diego State at Fresno State (Under 52.5) (These two teams have gone under the line in their past five meetings. Both defenses are solid so let’s make it six straight.)  

College Gameday Pick ’em: 

UCF- 51 Cincinnati- 42 (Gameday heads to the home of the faux National Champs and their 22 game win streak. The Bearcats are a formidable opponent and UCF puts up little resistance on defense. Barring any inclement weather in Orlando, I expect a fast paced shootout that stays close into the fourth quarter. )

Overall: 31-19 (62%)

ATS: 24-16

O/U: 3-3

Gameday: 4-0

Earnings: +$242.38

College Football Picks: Week 10

College football lines, spreads and predictions for Week 10

Week 9 Recap: We went 5-2 overall with Iowa, Kentucky and Navy all getting wins ATS, raising our two week earnings to $89.33. As a note, all wagers are at -110 odds and I make the majority of my plays the morning after opening lines have been released. Visit http://www.vegasinsider.com for updated points and spreads.

Arguably the best game slate of the college football season, so let’s find the winners and make some money.

Pitt (+7.5) at Virginia (This Panther team is ridiculously unpredictable and Virginia isn’t known for blowing anyone out. Clemson might run away with the Atlantic title, but no team seems to want to win the Coastal division, so let’s keep the chaos rolling and bank on a close one.) 

Nebraska (+21.5) at Ohio State (I grabbed this line early and by publication it’ll probably be around 17. This Buckeye team can’t run, or stop the run. Huskers have rolled off two straight and look much improved with a healthy Adrian Martinez/Devine Ozigbo combo.) 

Georgia Tech (-4.5) at North Carolina (UNC has an abysmal run defense and Tech loves to run. The Tar Heels season is virtually over, while the Yellow Jackets are fighting for bowl eligibility.) 

NC State (-6.5) vs Florida State (The ‘Noles are terrible and the Wolfpack can put up points at the very least. In a battle between two reeling teams, I’ll take the one with more to play for.) 

WVU (+2.5) at Texas (Hoped this game would bump to a field goal for added support but the line hasn’t budged. This is the make or break game for Will Grier’s long-shot Heisman campaign and Texas just let a former walk-on throw for 321 yards and 3 touchdowns.) 

Iowa (+3) at Purdue (Two weeks ago, I would’ve taken Purdue -3 and not thought twice about it. That of course, was before I watched their pitiful performance against Michigan State.)

Penn State (+12) at Michigan (I am still not convinced Shea Patterson is a quality starters and two scores seems like a stretch for a team with a mediocre offense.)

Florida (-5.5) vs Missouri (I’ll take Florida to win this game by a touchdown in The Swamp. Mizzou is 0-4 in the SEC and the #11 Gators still have plenty to play for with being the highest two-loss team in the first CFP poll.) 

Northwestern (+10.5) vs Notre Dame (Betting against Notre Dame to cover the spread has netted me $32 in profits this year. Pat Fitzgerald and his Wildcats have a chance to make history at home and they almost pulled off a stunner against Michigan earlier this season.)

LA Tech (+24) at Miss. St (This is the same LA Tech team that only trailed LSU by 3 points in the 4th. State Bulldogs should win, but don’t be surprised if the Tech Bulldogs hang around in Starkville.)

LSU (+15) vs Alabama (I firmly believe no one is beating Bama but LSU won’t back down and Death Valley should be electric. Westgate has raised their spread to +15 so grab the extra half point and join me in praying that Tua is mortal.) 

Texas Tech (+13.5) vs Oklahoma (Grab anything above 10.5 as Tech dominated OK State and kept WVU and Iowa State within 10. Oklahoma is rolling, but craziness is always expected under the lights in Lubbock.) 

USC (Pick ’em) vs Oregon State (Trojans have seemingly settled for mediocrity, although they should have enough athletes to beat a bad Beavers squad that is 1-19 against FBS foes. This one opened as a surprise pick’em and has since bounced to two touchdowns.) 

Stanford (+10) at Washington (The Pac-12 tends to cannibalize itself each week, so don’t be shocked if the Cardinal pull the upset. Neither team has been impressive and Washington quarterback Jake Browning was benched in their loss against Cal.) 

Utah State (+18) at Hawaii (Utah State likes to pummel teams, they’ve won three of their last four by over 25 points. Hawaii is highly pummel-able and just lost to Fresno State by 30.) 

O/U Picks:

Kentucky vs Georgia (Under 46.5) (I’ve never been more unsure on what to play in a game. I wanted to sit on the sidelines and not make a bet, but this is the presumptive SEC East Championship game and I can let my readers down. My mind says UGA in a blowout, but my heart loves this Wildcat defense. I expect a slug fest between the trenches, with both teams struggling to score.) **I have bought two points to raise the total, lowering my payout to +100**

Boston College at Virginia Tech (Under 57.5) (Each time I ran my simulation, I came out with a final around 48. I like 28-20 for the score, which sits safely under the current line.)  

College Gameday Pick ’em: 

Alabama-24 vs LSU-13 (LSU keeps things close going into the half, but Tua and the Tide are too much for the Tigers, who fail to produce offensively.)

Overall: 8-6 (57%)

ATS: 5-4

O/U: 1-2

Gameday: 2-0

Earnings: +$89.33

College Football Picks: Week 9

College football lines, spreads and predictions for week 9

Week 8 Recap: We hit home runs with Stanford and LSU but with the remaining four picks missing, it’s time to right the ship and cash in this week.

Spread Picks: 

Navy (+24.5) vs Notre Dame (Midshipman aren’t great but 25 points is a lot to cover and the Fighting Irish have a tendency to allow bad teams to hang around.)

Kentucky (+7) at Missouri (As if they needed any extra motivation, 12th ranked Wildcats are the undercats against Tigers, who are 0-3 in SEC play.)

Iowa (+7.5) at Penn State (Hawkeyes are a solid football team and Nittany Lions have historically struggled against Iowa. Expect a barnburner in Happy Valley.) 

Colorado State (-1.5) vs Wyoming (Cowboys have the second worst scoring offense in the country, while CSU is desperate for wins to become bowl eligible.) 

Texas A&M (+3) at Mississippi State (Another ranked SEC team that opens as the surprise underdog. Kellen Mond has improved each week and the Bulldog’s offense is pitiful.) 

O/U Picks:

Oregon at Arizona Under 65 (This Duck squad has offensive shortcomings and Arizona doesn’t even know who their quarterback will be. I think 38-16 is a reasonable score and well under the line.)

College Gameday Pick ’em: (No money here, just channeling my inner Lee Corso)

Georgia-28 vs Florida-24 (In what could decide the SEC East, Georgia wins the most anticipated game this rivalry has seen since the Tim Tebow-Mark Rict era. Florida has improved but still needs a year to develop defensively.)

Overall: 3-4

ATS: 2-2

O/U: 0-2

Gameday: 1-0

Earnings: +$11.20