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NCAA Hoops Picks
Note: My past/weekly records and links to other months can be found at the bottom of the page.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Ohio State (35-3) vs. Florida (34-5).
Line: Florida by 4.5.

Let me take this opportunity to talk about how horrendous the officials were in the Ohio State-Georgetown game. I'm not saying a better effort from the referees would have resulted in a Hoyas victory, I'm talking about how quickly they called fouls on Greg Oden and Roy Hibbert. It was ridiculous. ESPN and CBS billed that contest as the greatest battle of the big men since Patrick Ewing and Hakeem Olajuwon. Yet, the three corrupt zebras felt the need to whistle both centers for ticky-tack fouls. Let them play!

What irks me even more is that neither Jim Nantz nor Billy Packer discussed how inept the officiating crew was. That's just irresponsible journalism. I actually like Nantz and Packer, but I have to say that I'm extremely disappointed in both of them. How do you not comment on how poor the officials were?

Before I get to my pick, I have to say that I like the first-half under. It hit in each of the Final Four contests because each team was nervous. You can bet that both the Gators and Buckeyes will be timid tonight.

Anyway, I like Florida in this game. That shouldn't surprise you, as I've said the Gators will win the National Championship all year. Florida is just too quick, long and experienced for a young Buckeye squad. They'll cover the 4.5. Final score: Florida 74, Ohio State 62.

Prediction: Florida -4.5.
Best Bet.
Under 65.5 (1st Half).

Saturday, March 31, 2007 (1-1, -$10)

Georgetown (30-6) vs. Ohio State (34-3).
Line: Georgetown by 1.

It's a joke that Ohio State is still alive in this tournament. First of all, the Buckeyes would have lost to Xavier if the Muskateer coach had half a brain. Secondly, Tennessee choked away a 20-point lead in the second half. And finally, the officials really helped Ohio State against Memphis, perhaps receiving orders from a corrupt NCAA that wanted a larger market in the Final Four.

Prediction: Georgetown -1.
Best Bet.
Incorrect; -$110

UCLA (30-5) vs. Florida (33-5).
Line: Florida by 3.

I had this matchup in my bracket, so let me copy-paste what I wrote:

Florida dominated UCLA in the National Championship last year in a 73-57 blowout, as Joakim Noah scored 16 points, nine rebounds and six blocks.

Will the Gators have the same desire this time around? Two weeks ago, I would have said the Bruins could easily avenge the 16-point loss. Well, not anymore. Florida clearly knows what time of year it is; as I previously mentioned, they didn't trail for a single second in the SEC Tournament. Not even 2-0. They're focused, experienced, talented and deadly.

I like UCLA a lot and I wish it were on the other side of the bracket so I could predict a rematch of last year's title game. I just don't think the Bruins will have an answer for Noah. Florida's defense will give UCLA problems on the offensive end.

Prediction: Florida -3.
Correct; +$100

Saturday/Sunday, March 24 & 25, 2007 (2-2, +$65)

Memphis (33-3) vs. Ohio State (33-3).
Line: Memphis +120.

I can't believe USC didn't cover yesterday despite being up 16 in the second half and giving eight points. Ridiculous. I like Memphis to win here straight-up. Ohio State has a freshman point guard and cannot score consistently. Memphis is the better team. The Buckeyes should have lost twice already. The third time will be the charm.

Prediction: Memphis +120.
Incorrect; -$100

UCLA (29-5) vs. Kansas (33-4).
Line: UCLA +120.

As I said in my Sweet 16 preview, Bill Self will get what's coming to him. Today will be the day. Goodbye, Jayhawks.

Prediction: UCLA +120.
Best Bet No. 1.
Correct; +$120

Georgetown (28-6) vs. North Carolina (30-6).
Line: Georgetown +155.

Like Ohio State, North Carolina will lose because of its freshman point guard. Georgetown will not choke away a 16-point lead like USC.

Prediction: Georgetown +155.
Correct; +$155

Oregon (28-7) vs. Florida (31-5).
Line: Florida by 6?.

No one is talking about Oregon. CBS won't even show any Oregon games. Yet, the Ducks completely demolished their last two opponents. It won't surprise me one bit if they beat Florida. I like the Gators to sneak out a victory, so I'll take the points.

Prediction: Oregon +6?.
Best Bet No. 2.
Incorrect; -$110

Thursday/Friday, March 22 & 23, 2007 (2-3, -$120)

Texas A&M (27-6) vs. Memphis (32-3).
Line: Texas A&M by 3.

Find it odd that Texas A&M is favored despite being the lower seed? Is that another mistake by the selection committee? Seriously, how many can you have in one tournament? This is for that idiot who appeared on CBS and ESPN, and avoided every single tough question thrown at him.

Prediction: Texas A&M -3.
Best Bet No. 1.
Incorrect; -$110

Southern Illinois (29-6) vs. Kansas (32-4).
Line: Southern Illinois +410.

I have Southern Illinois winning in my bracket, so why not pick them at a +410 clip? Who has Kansas played so far? Niagara? Kentucky? Please... The Salukis will shut the Jayhawks down, and Bill Self won't know what hit him.

Prediction: Southern Illinois +410.
Incorrect; -$100

Pittsburgh (29-7) vs. UCLA (28-5).
Line: UCLA by 3.

Pittsburgh is a slow, sluggish team that should have lost to Virginia Commonwealth. The experienced Bruins will run circles around Aaron Gray, who won't be able to keep up with all of the donuts he'll have stashed away in his pocket.

Prediction: UCLA -3.
Best Bet No. 2.
Correct; +$100

USC (25-11) vs. North Carolina (30-6).
Line: North Carolina by 8.

The Tar Heels have a freshman point guard, so they could lose. I'll say they win by a few points over the upstart Trojans.

Prediction: USC +8.
Incorrect; -$110

UNLV (30-6) vs. Oregon (28-7).
Line: Oregon by 2?.

All of the talking heads on ESPN, CBS and other stations keep doubting the Ducks. I just don't understand why. Oregon is a Final Four-caliber team. It's just a shame they run into Florida in the Elite Eight. Ducks win by crushing.

Prediction: Oregon -2?.
Best Bet No. 3.
Correct; +$100

Sunday, March 18, 2007 (2-1, +$100)

Tennessee (23-10) vs. Virginia (21-10).
Line: Virginia +130.

Shawn Miller, Xavier's head coach, deserves to be fired. If you're up three with seconds to go, there's no reason for not fouling instead of letting the opposing team shoot an makeable long-distance shot. No reason. The game should never have went to overtime. In fact, when an Athletic Director is interviewing coaching candidates, one of his or her questions should be, "When you're up by three with a few seconds left, do you foul or not?" If the coach says yes, fine. If not, next. Miller is clueless.

Moving on, a number of freshmen point guards all got the ax yesterday. That trend should continue, as Virginia will bounce Tennessee out of the tournament.

Prediction: Virginia +130.
Incorrect; -$100

Virginia Tech (22-11) vs. Southern Illinois (28-6).
Line: Southern Illinois by 1?.

I have Southern Illinois going to the Elite Eight, so it better not lose to Virginia Tech.

Prediction: Southern Illinois -1?.
Best Bet.
Correct; +$100

Winthrop (29-4) vs. Oregon (27-7).
Line: Oregon by 3?.

Same goes for Oregon. I'm counting on you, Ducks. Don't Duck this up. Wow, that was terrible, I'll go hang myself now. Sorry.

Prediction: Oregon -3?.
Correct; +$100

Saturday, March 17, 2007 (2-2, +$120)

Butler (28-6) vs. Maryland (25-8).
Line: Butler +220.

Maryland has a freshman point guard, which will be the reason why it gets bounced out in the second round. It didn't affect them in the first because Davidson had one as well.

Prediction: Butler +220.
Correct; +$220

Virginia Commonwealth (28-6) vs. Pittsburgh (28-7).
Line: Virginia Commonwealth +280.

I have Virginia Commonwealth over Pittsburgh in my bracket, so why not here as well?

Prediction: Virginia Commonwealth +280.
Incorrect; -$100

Texas A&M (26-6) at Louisville (24-9).
Line: Texas A&M by 2?.

Doesn't it seem a little stupid that a No. 6 seed gets to play at home? Yet another gaff by the selection committee. Texas A&M is the superior team and has won at places like Kansas.

Prediction: Texas A&M -2?.
Best Bet.
Correct; +$100

Xavier (25-8) vs. Ohio State (31-3).
Line: Xavier +310.

I have Xavier upsetting Ohio State in my brackets. They'll get the job done. I hope.

Prediction: Xavier +310.
Incorrect; -$100

Friday, March 16, 2007 (1-4-1, -$350)

Albany (23-9) vs. Virginia (20-10).
Line: Virginia by 8?.

This Albany squad was able to stay with No. 1 Connecticut last year. Think they can knock off the Cavaliers, who have had trouble on the road all season?

Prediction: Albany +8?.
Incorrect; -$110

Texas A&M Corpus Christi (26-6) vs. Wisconsin (29-5).
Line: Wisconsin by 13.

In my bracket I explain why I think Corpus Christi has a great shot at knocking off Wisconsin.

Prediction: Texas A&M Corpus Christi +13.
Push; -$10

Niagara (23-11) vs. Kansas (30-4).
Line: Kansas by 19.

Niagara felt really disrespected because it was selected to participate in the play-in game. They were able to beat up Florida A&M as a result. Now they're out to prove themselves to the world. They might not win, but I like the points.

Prediction: Niagara +19.
Best Bet.
Incorrect; -$110

Jackson State (21-13) vs. Florida (29-5).
Line: Florida by 27?.

Let's see if we can get the No. 16 seeds to go 4-0 ATS.

Prediction: Jackson State +27?.
Incorrect; -$110

Miami of Ohio (18-14) vs. Oregon (26-7).
Line: Oregon by 8?.

Miami of Ohio has no business in this tournament. Blowout.

Prediction: Oregon -8?.
Incorrect; -$110

New Mexico State (25-8) vs. Texas (24-9).
Line: Texas by 8.

The team that's losing in these tournaments fouls like crazy toward the end of the game, giving the winner extra free throws. I think that's why the favorite covered the majority of yesterday's contests.

Prediction: Texas -8.
Correct; +$100

Thursday, March 15, 2007 (3-4, -$140)

Virginia Commonwealth (27-6) vs. Duke (22-10).
Line: Duke by 6?.

Thanks a lot for hitting that "meaningless" 3-pointer, Florida A&M. Was that really necessary? Anyway, I have Virginia Commonwealth upsetting Duke in my bracket so why not take the points?

Prediction: Virginia Commonwealth +6?.
Correct; +$100

Eastern Kentucky (21-11) vs. North Carolina (28-6).
Line: North Carolina by 26.

No. 1 seeds are something like 1-7 against the spread the past two years in the opening round.

Prediction: Eastern Kentucky +26.
Correct; +$100

Michigan State (22-11) vs. Marquette (24-9).
Line: Michigan State by 1?.

The wrong team's favored here. Michigan State is a sluggish Big Ten team with no offensive talent. Marquette can at least score.

Prediction: Marquette +1?.
Incorrect; -$110

Central Connecticut State (21-11) vs. Ohio State (30-3).
Line: Ohio State by 22.

Another 1-16 matchup.

Prediction: Central Connecticut State +22.
Correct; +$100

Stanford (18-12) vs. Louisville (23-9).
Line: Louisville by 5?.

Too much pressure on Louisville as a home favorite. Stanford will pull the upset.

Prediction: Stanford +5?.
Incorrect; -$110

Gonzaga (23-10) vs. Indiana (20-10).
Line: Indiana by 1?.

Another sluggish Big Ten team that will quickly meet its demise.

Prediction: Gonzaga +1?.
Incorrect; -$110

Oral Roberts (23-10) vs. Washington State (25-7).
Line: Washington State by 6?.

Oral Roberts actually has the two best players and the superior offense in this matchup. Go figure.

Prediction: Oral Roberts +6?.
Best Bet.
Incorrect; -$110

Tuesday, March 13, 2007 (0-3, -$330)

Florida A&M (21-13) vs. Niagara (22-11).
Line: Niagara by 8?.

If you want to know my feelings about this game, just go to March Madness in the menu and click on the West Bracket. You'll see some quotes from Niagara personnel.

Prediction: Niagara -8?.
Incorrect; -$110

Toledo (19-12) vs. Florida State (20-12).
Line: Florida State by 11?.

I don't usually do NIT games, but this was one of two that really stood out at me. Florida State was a team expecting to get into the NCAA Tournament. I thought they should have. Well, they didn't, and I don't think they care about the NIT. A program like Toledo can really benefit from beating the Seminoles.

Prediction: Toledo +11?.
Incorrect; -$110

Utah State (23-11) vs. Michigan (21-12).
Line: Michigan by 7?.

I really can't believe this spread. Michigan is a 7?-point favorite based solely on reputation and name. Utah State should be favored; the Aggies are the better team.

Prediction: Utah State +7?.
Best Bet.
Incorrect; -$110

Sunday, March 11, 2007 (1-0, +$100)

Northwestern State (17-14) vs. Texas A&M Corpus Cristi (25-6).
Line: Texas A&M Corpus Cristi by 6?.

My angle of taking the underdog in small-conference championship games was 2-1 yesterday, so let's keep it going.

Prediction: Northwestern State +6?.
Best Bet.
Correct; +$100

Saturday, March 10, 2007 (3-3, -$30)

Albany (22-9) vs. Vermont (25-6).
Line: Vermont by 5.

I like going against the top seeds in conference tournament championships. Way too much pressure on a group of kids who haven't been here before.

Prediction: Albany +5.
Best Bet No. 1.
Correct; +$100

Wisconsin (28-4) at Illinois (23-10).
Line: Wisconsin by 6?.

Let's stick with what worked yesterday. Throwing everything aside, Illinois is a 6?-point home underdog in a conference where hosts dominate.

Prediction: Illinois +6?.
Incorrect; -$110

Texas (23-8) at Oklahoma State (22-11).
Line: Texas by 3?.

One gaff I made yesterday... OK, one of the gaffs I made yesterday was forgetting that the Big XII Tournament is held in Oklahoma State's backyard. That means the Cowboys are home underdogs here.

Prediction: Oklahoma State +3?.
Incorrect; -$110

Oregon (25-7) at USC (23-10).
Line: USC by 1.

Like Illinois and Oklahoma State, USC is at home. Unlike the two aforementioned squads, USC isn't an underdog. The Trojans are expected to win. As I mentioned in my NCAA Tournament Preview (click on March Madness under NCAA Hoops in the menu), I like this Oregon squad a lot.

Prediction: Oregon +1.
Correct; +$100

Cal Poly-SLO (19-10) vs. Long Beach State (23-7).
Line: Long Beach State by 3?.

Another No. 1 seed in a championship. Long Beach State didn't fold yesterday, but it should happen tonight.

Prediction: Cal Poly-SLO +3?.
Best Bet No. 2.
Incorrect; -$110

Florida A&M (20-13) vs. Delaware State (21-11).
Line: Delaware State by 4.

See above. Delaware State will choke.

Prediction: Florida A&M +4.
Correct; +$100

Friday, March 9, 2007 (4-7, -$360)

Florida State (20-11) vs. North Carolina (25-6).
Line: North Carolina by 11.

Tough day yesterday, as I lost two games in overtime and another by half a point. I like Florida State because it will be playing for its tournament life. The Seminoles aren't that bad; remember, their record is misleading because they were missing Tony Douglas for five games. North Carolina doesn't need to win this contest.

Prediction: Florida State +11.
Incorrect; -$110

Michigan (21-11) vs. Ohio State (27-3).
Line: Ohio State by 8.

I have a rule and it says that if everyone on ESPN (or any other network) says one thing will happen, I'll pick the opposite. Every talking head was talking about how Michigan has the potential to pull the upset here. Right. Not going to happen. Not even close.

Prediction: Ohio State -8.
Correct; +$100

Wake Forest (15-15) vs. Virginia Tech (20-10).
Line: Virginia Tech by 8.

There's a lot of value here, as the oddsmakers are compensating for Wake Forest's double-overtime affair with Georgia Tech. The Demon Deacons do this every year; they make an unbelievable run in the ACC Tournament after a mediocre regular season.

Prediction: Wake Forest +8.
Incorrect; -$110

Indiana (22-10) at Illinois (20-9).
Line: Indiana by 2?.

Playing at home in conference tournaments generally doesn't mean much -- unless the host is an underdog. I like the desperate Illini here. Can you blame me? This is a conference where home teams dominate.

Prediction: Illinois +2?.
Correct; +$100

Oklahoma State (21-11) vs. Texas A&M (25-5).
Line: Texas A&M by 8.

One of my favorite handicappers and ESPN Radio personalities, Dave Cokin, has a saying. It goes something like this: "If you need a win at the end of the season, it probably means you're not that good to begin with." I think that applies to Oklahoma State.

Prediction: Texas A&M -8.
Incorrect; -$110

Arkansas (19-12) vs. Vanderbilt (20-10).
Line: Arkansas by 2.

The same can be said about Arkansas. Vanderbilt is in, so there is no pressure on them. The Razorbacks will choke like dogs. Or hogs. Whatever.

Prediction: Vanderbilt +2.
Correct; +$100

Notre Dame (24-6) vs. Georgetown (24-6).
Line: Georgetown by 4.

All Notre Dame does is shoot threes, correct? Well, Georgetown's 3-point defense is incredible, as the team surrenders a 30.8 percentage to opponents. I guess that's why the Hoyas squashed the Irish in their previous meeting.

Prediction: Georgetown -4.
Incorrect; -$110

Pittsburgh (26-6) vs. Louisville (23-8).
Line: Pittsburgh by 2?.

Pittsburgh has been in the Big East Championship two years in a row. Make it three; Jamie Dixon is masterful when it comes to coaching in the conference tournament.

Prediction: Pittsburgh -2?.
Correct; +$100

Utah State (22-10) vs. Nevada (28-3).
Line: Nevada by 7.

Utah State needs a victory to get into the NCAA Tournament. All Nevada does is scoff at that. The merciless Wolfpack blow the Aggies away.

Prediction: Nevada -7.
Incorrect; -$110

UC-Irvine (15-17) vs. Long Beach State (22-7).
Line: Long Beach State by 4?.

If Long Beach State loses, all the work it did to assemble a 22-7 record gets flushed down the toilet. That's too much pressure on a group of college kids who haven't played a game in six days.

Prediction: UC-Irvine +4?.
Best Bet No. 1.
Incorrect; -$110

Bucknell (20-11) vs. Holy Cross (25-6).
Line: Holy Cross by 2; Bucknell +120.

Let's see... a conference No. 1 seed is also the host in the championship. That spells nothing but trouble. Bucknell has been in the NCAA Tournament the last two years and knows exactly what it's doing. The Bison win straight up.

Prediction: Bucknell +120.
Best Bet No. 2.
Incorrect; -$100

Thursday, March 8, 2007 (4-6, -$260)

Villanova (22-9) vs. Georgetown (23-6).
Line: Georgetown by 4?.

Villanova won at Georgetown and nearly knocked the Hoyas off again at home, so I think we can establish that both teams are about equal. I like the fact that Villanova played yesterday; Georgetown could be a bit rusty and sluggish in this noon start. As I said before, college kids can't function properly till about 2:30 in the afternoon.

Prediction: Villanova +4?.
Incorrect; -$110

West Virginia (22-8) vs. Louisville (22-8).
Line: Louisville by 3?.

I'll spare you all of the Steve Slaton-Brian Brohm jokes and say it's hard to go against a Louisville squad that has won six in a row. But West Virginia needs this much more than its bitter rival; every talking head on TV is saying that the Mountaineers need at least two or three victories in the Big East Tournament.

Prediction: West Virginia +3?.
Incorrect; -$110

Marquette (24-8) vs. Pittsburgh (25-6).
Line: Pittsburgh by 5?.

It's not surprising that Marquette swept Pittsburgh this season; the former just plays too quickly for the sluggish, defensively oriented Panthers. Pittsburgh's inability to score consistently is the reason it lost to Bradley last year, and it will be the reason why it gets knocked off early again.

Prediction: Marquette +5?.
Incorrect; -$110

Florida State (19-11) vs. Clemson (21-9).
Line: Clemson by 1.

Two teams going in opposite directions: Clemson started the season 16-0 but is just 5-9 since then. Florida State, meanwhile, has won two in a row since getting Tony Douglas back from injury. I believe Florida State is the better team.

Prediction: Florida State +1.
Best Bet No. 1.
Correct; +$100

Eastern Michigan (13-18) vs. Toledo (18-11).
Line: Toledo by 9?.

Toledo is the No. 1 seed in the MAC, so you know what I love to do. Too much pressure on a group of young kids; if the Rockets lose this, everything they've worked for gets flushed down the toilet.

Prediction: Eastern Michigan +9?.
Correct; +$100

Central Michigan (13-17) vs. Akron (24-6).
Line: Akron by 13.

Like Toledo, Akron has a lot to lose and barely anything to gain in this contest. And besides, these two teams played a pair of contests decided by single digits in the regular season.

Prediction: Central Michigan +13.
Incorrect; -$110

Alabama (20-10) vs. Kentucky (20-10).
Line: Kentucky by 4?.

They may have the same record, but Kentucky's in the tournament; Alabama's not. The Crimson Tide have much more to play for.

Prediction: Alabama +4?.
Incorrect; -$110

LSU (16-14) vs. Tennessee (22-9).
Line: Tennessee by 2?.

Remember my explanation for taking Syracuse over Connecticut yesterday? Let me copy-paste, replacing Connecticut and Huskies with LSU and Tigers: "Suckers. Anyone who thinks LSU is going to bounce back is a sucker. The reason this spread is only 2? is because Vegas is banking on the suckers who think the Tigers are going to start a run. They won't. They suck."

Prediction: Tennessee -2?.
Best Bet No. 2.
Incorrect; -$110

Arizona (20-9) vs. Oregon (23-7).
Line: Arizona by 2.

Arizona is a lazy team that doesn't function well as a favorite. And I have no idea why the Wildcats are favored, but it seems like everyone's betting on them. I'll take the better squad, thanks.

Prediction: Oregon +2.
Correct; +$100

Washington (19-12) vs. Washington State (24-6).
Line: Washington State by 3.

Isn't Washington State much better than Washington? Didn't the former sweep the latter this year? Am I missing something here? Why is the spread only 3? I don't know what's going on here, but I'll take the Cougars, who should be favored by at least 8.

Prediction: Washington State -3.
Correct; +$100

Wednesday, March 7, 2007 (3-3, -$30)

Villanova (21-9) vs. DePaul (18-12).
Line: Villanova by 4?.

With victories over Connecticut and Syracuse, Villanova punched its ticket into the Big Dance. The same can't be said about DePaul, who are 18-12 in the wake of a slow start. The Blue Demons need at least two wins in the Big East Tournament to be even considered by the selection committee.

Prediction: DePaul +4?.
Incorrect; -$110

Connecticut (17-13) at Syracuse (21-9).
Line: Syracuse by 3?.

Suckers. Anyone who thinks Connecticut is going to bounce back is a sucker. The reason this spread is only 3? is because Vegas is banking on the suckers to think the Huskies are going to start a run. They won't. They suck.

Prediction: Syracuse -3?.
Best Bet No. 1.
Correct; +$100

Providence (18-11) vs. West Virginia (21-8).
Line: West Virginia by 3.

Both teams need a victory to get one step closer to the NCAA Tournament. West Virginia's actually a good team. Providence? The Friars recently snuck by South Florida and was beaten down by St. John's. Providence is 2-8 away from home this year. The Mountaineers are 6-7.

Prediction: West Virginia -3.
Correct; +$100

Arizona State (8-21) vs. Washington (18-12).
Line: Washington by 6.

It's seems strange to say this because of their record, but the Sun Devils are the peaking at the right time; they recently won at Cal and beat USC, and lost at Oregon and against UCLA and Arizona by just a few points. I know Washington just defeated UCLA, but the team has had severe problems winning away from home. The Huskies lost at Oregon State by 8 for crying out loud.

Prediction: Arizona State +6.
Incorrect; -$110

Northern Arizona (17-11) at Weber State (19-11).
Line: Weber State by 2.

Weber State is the No. 1 seed and the host so it has everything to lose. There will be too much pressure on the Wildcats, who should have folded yesterday.

Prediction: Northern Arizona +2.
Incorrect; -$110

Sacred Heart (18-13) at Central Connecticut State (21-11).
Line: Central Connecticut State by 6.

Same thing applies to Central Connecticut State, the No. 1 seed and the host of the NEC. The Blue Devils' glorious season will be flushed down the drain if they lose here.

Prediction: Sacred Heart +6.
Best Bet No. 2.
Correct; +$100

Tuesday, March 6, 2007 (1-0-1, +$90)

Butler (27-5) at Wright State (22-9).
Line: Butler by 1?.

I normally go against teams that host conference-tournament championships because they're usually favored, and consequently choke. However, Wright State is an underdog that no one really expects to come out on top. Butler doesn't really need to win here. Remember, George Mason was the right side last night in a similar situation; the team just committed too many turnovers in the final minute of the game.

Prediction: Wright State +1?.
Correct; +$100

Portland State (19-12) vs. Weber State (18-11).
Line: Weber State by 3.

We've seen a handful of No. 1 seeds go down in the first game they've played. That's because there's way too much pressure on them. I like Portland State to pull the upset.

Prediction: Portland State +3.
Best Bet.
Push; -$10

Monday, March 5, 2007 (1-1, -$10)

George Mason (18-14) at Virginia Commonwealth (26-6).
Line: Virginia Commonwealth by 3?.

I'm this close to shutting down my NCAA picks and waiting until next year. If you recall, I had similar problems last March. Let's just give it one last shot. I can't believe George Mason is doing this again. Can they really get back to the Final Four? Virginia Commonwealth has a bid locked up no matter what, so the Patriots need this a lot more.

Prediction: George Mason +3?.
Incorrect; -$110

Oklahoma State (20-10) at Nebraska (16-13).
Line: Pick.

No way Oklahoma State wins its first road game of the season. The team is going through some turmoil with one of its players if it had enough problems already.

Prediction: Nebraska PK.
Best Bet.
Correct; +$100

Sunday, March 4, 2007 (1-3, -$230)

Providence (18-10) at St. John's (15-14).
Line: Providence by 1.

I don't know what happened the past two days, but I'm going to try and get things back under control. I like Providence here; I took them earlier in the week because they absolutely needed to win a road game. The Friars are now 8-7 in the Big East, and I think a 9-7 conference record would look much more appealing to the selection committee than an 8-8 mark.

Prediction: Providence -1.
Incorrect; -$110

Boston College (19-9) at Georgia Tech (19-10).
Line: Georgia Tech by 7.

I think Georgia Tech is too stupid a team to be favored by seven over a quality squad like Boston College. Also remember that the Jackets are coming off a huge victory against North Carolina.

Prediction: Boston College +7.
Best Bet.
Incorrect; -$110

Virginia Commonwealth (25-6) vs. Drexel (23-7).
Line: Virginia Commonwealth by 1?.

As I said yesterday, CBS states that Virginia Commonwealth has its bid sealed up. Drexel doesn't. That's why I'm taking the Dragons.

Prediction: Drexel +1?.
Incorrect; -$110

George Mason (17-14) vs. Old Dominion (24-7).
Line: Old Dominion by 4.

I'm changing things up. The old me would have stated that George Mason's victory over Hofstra was a fluke. Well, not this time. The Patriots are back! They're going to the Final Four! And it doesn't hurt that they need this much more than Old Dominion.

Prediction: George Mason +4.
Correct; +$100

Saturday, March 3, 2007 (5-10-1, -$610)

Syracuse (21-8) at Villanova (20-9).
Line: Villanova by 6.

Remember how I said I was two points away from being 5-0 on Thursday? Well I was a four points away from being 0-6 yesterday. Pathetic. I have to reevaluate how I'm betting these conference tournaments. Luckily, this isn't one of them. Syracuse had an emotional victory against Georgetown on Monday, sealing up its tournament bid. Now it's Villanova's turn. The Wildcats can't afford a loss here.

Prediction: Villanova -6.
Incorrect; -$110

Connecticut (17-12) at Georgetown (22-6).
Line: Georgetown by 11?.

I went to Penn State for six years and the one thing I learned is that college kids can't function before 2 or 3 in the afternoon. After a night of drinking, Georgetown's asked to cover 11? versus a team everyone suddenly wants to bet against? I'll take the Huskies.

Prediction: Connecticut +11?.
Incorrect; -$110

Tennessee (21-9) at Georgia (17-11).
Line: Georgia by 3.

Tennessee put way too much stock into its victory against Florida. I expect the Vols to struggle for at least two weeks. Just in time to get bounced out of the NCAA Tournament. Don't forget that this overrated team is 2-8 straight up and against the spread on the road.

Prediction: Georgia -3.
Best Bet.
Incorrect; -$110

Oregon State (11-19) at Oregon (22-7).
Line: Oregon by 13.

These Civil War games are always close. This is such a huge rivalry that the favorite seldom covers.

Prediction: Oregon State +13.
Incorrect; -$110

Illinois (21-9) at Iowa (16-13).
Line: Iowa by 1?.

I love betting small Big Ten favorites. That's it, that's my analysis.

Prediction: Iowa -1?.
Correct; +$100

South Carolina (14-14) at LSU (15-14).
Line: LSU by 10?.

Like Connecticut, LSU is one of these overrated teams that people think are going to bounce back. They wont; they suck.

Prediction: South Carolina +10?.
Correct; +$100

Texas Tech (19-11) at Iowa State (15-14).
Line: Texas Tech by 2.

This is a really emotional game for Iowa State, as its seniors will be playing their final game at Ames in this 8 p.m. start. The Cyclones have historically been outstanding as home dogs.

Prediction: Iowa State +2.
Push; -$10

Michigan State (21-9) at Wisconsin (26-4).
Line: Wisconsin by 8?.

You know how Michigan State beat Wisconsin a few weeks ago? You know how Wisconsin just lost two games in a row? Yep, blowout city.

Prediction: Wisconsin -8?.
Incorrect; -$110

Georgia State (10-19) vs. Virginia-Commonwealth (24-6).
Line: Virginia Commonwealth by 14?.

Let's go with the only thing that worked yesterday. CBS says Virginia-Commonwealth is a lock, so there's no pressure on the Rams.

Prediction: Virginia Commonwealth -14?.
Incorrect; -$110

Drexel (22-7) vs. Northeastern (12-18).
Line: Drexel by 8?.

Drexel already beat Northeastern twice this season, but the team needs to make it thrice to get one step closer to the NCAA Tournament. The Dragons need two victories in the CAA Tournament.

Prediction: Drexel -8?.
Correct; +$100

Hofstra (22-8) vs. George Mason (15-14).
Line: Hofstra by 1?.

I think we're getting a lot of value here because people think George Mason will conjure up its magic from 2006. Not going to happen; most of the players graduated. Hofstra needs this more.

Prediction: Hofstra -1?.
Incorrect; -$110

Wright State (21-9) vs. Wisconsin-Green Bay (17-14).
Line: Wright State by 6?.

Wright State smacked Wisconsin-Green Bay around twice this season. Can they do it again? Yesterday, I wouldn't have thought so, but I just heard that the dominant squad covers the third game about 63 percent of the time. Go Raiders.

Prediction: Wright State -6?.
Correct; +$100

Manhattan (13-16) vs. Siena (18-11).
Line: Siena by 7?.

Siena beat Manhattan twice this year. You know what that means.

Prediction: Siena -7?.
Incorrect; -$110

Fairfield (13-18) vs. Loyola-Maryland (17-12).
Line: Fairfield by 2.

Does anyone find it odd that the team with the worse record is favored, and has beaten the squad with the better record twice?

Prediction: Fairfield -2.
Incorrect; -$110

Southern Illinois (25-5) vs. Bradley (20-11).
Line: Southern Illinois by 8.

I told you yesterday -- and it was the only correct thing -- that Southern Illinois could relax because there was no pressure on them. Well, that'll work against a crappy team like Drake, but Bradley is a solid squad that needs this victory much more than the Salukis. I think that makes sense.

Prediction: Bradley +8.
Correct; +$100

Austin Peay (20-10) vs. Eastern Kentucky (19-11).
Line: Austin Peay by 2.

Austin Peay has beaten Eastern Kentucky twice this season, and is only a 2-point favorite? Seems way too good to be true.

Prediction: Austin Peay -2.
Incorrect; -$110

Friday, March 2, 2007 (1-5, -$450)

Drake (17-14) at Southern Illinois (25-5).
Line: Southern Illinois by 8.

Just two points away from being 5-0. Oh well. I said yesterday that I like going against No. 1 seeds who don't have their bids locked up. Well, Southern Illinois does, so the Salukis can play their game without any pressure. They'll squash Drake.

Prediction: Southern Illinois -8.
Best Bet.
Correct; +$100

Indiana State (13-17) at Creighton (19-10).
Line: Creighton by 10?

And unlike Southern Illinois, Creighton is done if it loses. That's going to put way too much pressure on them to beat Indiana State, who suddenly is playing like the team that started the year 11-4.

Prediction: Indiana State +10?.
Incorrect; -$110

Illinois-Chicago (14-17) at Loyola-Illinois (20-10).
Line: Loyola-Illinois by 4?.

It's tough to beat a team thrice in one year, and that's exactly what Illinois-Chicago will need to do to move on in the Horizon League Tournament. In fact, the last game Loyola-Illinois played was a one-point loss to the Flames eight days ago. They've had eight days to think about their defeat. That spells trouble for Illinois-Chicago.

Prediction: Loyola-Illinois -4?.
Incorrect; -$110

Furman (15-15) at Davidson (27-4).
Line: Davidson by 9?.

As I mentioned yesterday, Davidson's season and pristine 27-4 record get flushed down the toilet if the team loses in this tournament. Way too much pressure on a group of young kids.

Prediction: Furman +9?.
Incorrect; -$110

Samford (16-15) at Austin Peay (20-10).
Line: Austin Peay by 2?.

A No. 1 seed goes down! Or at least I think so... Why is this line only 2?? Austin Peay's No. 1 in the OVC! And that's exactly why I think the Govs will be impeached.

Prediction: Samford +2?.
Incorrect; -$110

Iona (2-27) at Rider (15-14).
Line: Rider by 5.

Iona's 2-27. Season over. Right? No! This team went to the NCAA Tournament last year. I think the Gaels have been saving energy for the MAAC Tournament. As odd as that sounds. Iona has played better toward the end of the season, nearly winning at Manhattan on Feb. 25. We saw this from Indiana State yesterday; crappy teams have a habit of rising up from the dead to win a game or two in these tourneys.

Prediction: Iona +5.
Incorrect; -$110

Thursday, March 1, 2007 (4-1, +$290)

George Washington (18-8) at Charlotte (13-14).
Line: Pick.

Wow, I'm embarrassed I even thought that system would work. It went 1-4 after looking promising. So, I'm just going to erase those picks and pretend I never thought of that system. I think I can do that because I told people not to bet on them because it was on a test run. So, those picks are gone. What picks? Exactly.

Anyway, after losing four in a row, George Washington responded with three consecutive double-digit victories. I think that will continue tonight, as the team knows it can't mess around if it wants to make the NCAA Tournament.

Prediction: George Washington PK.
Correct; +$100

Boise State (16-11) at Fresno State (20-8).
Line: Fresno State by 5.

Fresno State just battled through a four-game gauntlet, beating Sam Houston State, Louisiana Tech and more importantly, New Mexico State twice. It plays at Utah State on Saturday. The Bulldogs may be a little flat against the Broncos, who are somehow 6-0 against the spread at Fresno State since 1997.

Prediction: Boise State +5.
Correct; +$100

USC (21-8) at Washington (16-12).
Line: Washington by 3.

UHF! How've you been? Haven't seen you in a while! In case you think I'm a crazed lunatic, UHF stands for Unranked Home Favorite. Teams in that situation who are playing ranked visitors cover about 60-65 percent of the time.

Prediction: Washington -3.
Best Bet.
Correct; +$100

Arizona (18-9) at California (14-14).
Line: Arizona by 3?.

Arizona is one of the most laziest teams of all time. That would explain why they're horrible as a favorite. They're 11-13 on the year, but those ATS victories include games against the likes of Northern Arizona and Houston. Since Jan. 6, the Wildcats are 2-7 ATS as favorites and 2-1 ATS as dogs.

Prediction: California +3?.
Incorrect; -$110

UT-Chattanooga (15-17) at Davidson (26-4).
Line: Davidson by 12.

I like betting against No. 1 seeds in conference tournaments who don't really have their bids locked up. There's just too much pressure on Davidson. If it loses, all the work it has done this year probably goes to waste. These players aren't grown men; they're all 18-22.

Prediction: UT-Chattanooga +12.
Correct; +$100

2013-14: 2013-14 -
2012-13: 2012-13 -
2011-12: 2011-12 -
2010-11: 2010-11 -
2009-10: 2009-10 -
2008-09: 2008-09 -
2007-2008: December - January - February - March -
2006-2007: November - December - January - February - March - April -

2003-2004 Season: 138-107-6 (56.3%)
2004-2005 Season: 168-148-6 (53.2%)
2005-2006 Season: 188-173-7 (52.1%)
2006-2007 Season: 273-255-8 (51.7%), +$945
2007-2008 Season: 71-64-5 (52.6%), +$1,420
2008-2009 Season: 66-53-2 (55.5%), +$1,680

Career Against The Spread: 906-780-32 (53.7%), +$4,045



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