By: PJ Guippone
The world of betting is very up and down. Sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose. As much as you think you may know the sport you are betting on, you have absolutely no control over what is going on. You might start your run up $300, but there’s a good chance you lose 400 in the next three weeks. That’s just the nature of the beast.
So, when Mark has had two bad days in a row and I write the column today, don’t think, “Wow Mark is bad.” Think, “I can’t wait for Mark to turn a corner and get back to the professional gambler status he has acquired through years of throwing money at games to make watching them even more exciting.”
Regardless, today I am on the book because Mark has this weird thing called “school” that I forgot existed until he told me he had midterms this week. But let’s get into it: picks for March 2.
I’m going to open with the fact that today isn’t really a great day to bet in College Hoops. This is the last week before conference tournaments, and many of the major conferences are just about finished with their regular season play. Other than a couple of PAC-12 games, and one game in the BIG 10, there are no major conference games. The game that really stands out to me is a late game between Cal and Utah in Utah, but I am going to learn from Mark yesterday and stay away from a conference road game. Especially one between two middle-of-the-road teams because that is the ultimate toss-up.
Today there are only two picks again. The first is in the Houston at Cincinnati game. The Bearcats have had an excellent season, being ranked as high as thirteen in the beautifully meaningless AP poll, but in sixteen conference games, they have only won seven games by double digits (two against the abysmal Tulane Blue Wave). The spread for this game is CIN -8.5, which is just outside the end of the game free throw madness range, which means the Cats would have to win by nine against an underrated Houston team. I personally do not see that happening from a very low-scoring Cincinnati team. Take the points here. Houston +8.5.
For the second, I have to leave the NCAA because there is literally nothing good. I’m going to transition to the NBA and direct your attention to the Thunder @ Portland. Oklahoma City is not on a back to back, and they are recently coming off of the All-Star Break. What does that mean for you? It means Russ (and those other guys on his team) are currently playing on fresh legs against one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA. They are only giving 1 point. They will win by at least 10. OKC -1.