It’s finally tournament time. This is where all the money you’ve ever made in your life goes down the drain. Shit hits the fan. I’m here for damage control.
It’s been awhile since I’ve advised the world’s gamblers. I had a nice run that was filled with ups and downs. I gave advice on 29 games thus far. Thirteen hit, thirteen missed, and three pushed. 50% certainly isn’t bad, but it’s not good either. It’s about average which means you aren’t in too much debt if you’ve taken my advice. That’s a positive thing, right?
Caution: this is going to be tough because nobody really knows what’s going to happen. Logic goes out the window and madness sets in. It’s an absolute mess that nobody should gamble on. But that’s simply not an option. So here’s the games that should be gambled on.
The first game of the day is Princeton against Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish are favored by 6.5 in this 5-12 matchup. Princeton has become a popular upset pick, but I’m going to lean the opposite direction. Notre Dame can ball. They also have plenty of experience. They are a well oiled machine on offense led by floor general, Matt Farrell, with interior play from Bonzie Colson, future Hall of Famer. I don’t think Princeton will be able to keep up with a team that is as well rounded as Notre Dame and as battle-tested as the ACC tourney runner-up. ND -6.5
Having two games at once can be stressful, but let’s do it anyway. At 12:40, UNC Wilmington takes on Virginia. This 5-12 matchup is going the other way. UNC Wilmington gave a solid Duke team a game last year in the tournament last year, and they are returning majority of their ballers. They can score in bunches, but can’t defend anybody. Like at all. This is a game between polar opposites and I think it’s going to come down to the last minute. Virginia rarely lights it up on offense and I think they struggle today. UNC Wilmington +7
What’s more stressful than 2 games at once? 3! Butler-Winthrop has the 1:30 time slot and it’s an -11 spread for the Bulldogs right now. Winthrop can play a little bit. They are led by a 5’7” point guard that can really stroke it from 3. I haven’t been overly impressed with Butler, aside from two wins against Villanova this year (which, I know, is very impressive). However, I’m thinking Butler struggles in this matchup. Also, Winthrop broke my heart by beating the Fighting Camels in the Big South championship game. The Fighting Camels live on through the Eagles. Winthrop +11. Go Big South.
Now you need a break. It’s been back-to-back-to-back action for you with money on the line. So take off until 9:40 when Virginia Tech plays Wisconsin. A lot of people have Wisconsin beating Villanova in the round of 32, which is all well and good, but let’s not look past an ACC team. Wisconsin is favored by 5.5, but everyone, even Vegas, keeps forgetting that Wisconsin played in the Big Ten, which was a joke this year, and they can look really bad at times. I understand they have a nice mix of talent and experience, but Virginia Tech has been playing the best teams in the nation roughly twice a week for months now. Let’s not overlook the Hokies. VA Tech +5.5
Now a couple interesting points. Middle Tennessee State is one of the most popular upset picks. However, they are a 12 seed playing against a 5. And they are favored. I have MTSU winning too, but the 5 seed is the underdog? That’s absurd. A moneyline bet is very smart for your wallet.
Another point of interest is found in the least interesting game of all: VCU-St. Mary’s. Neither team really excels at putting the ball into the basket, but both defend very well. The over/under is set at 129.5, which made me audibly laugh to myself (which I think makes me weird?). I predict a 47-45 game. These two teams aren’t hitting the 50s, let alone the 60s. Under.
That’s a lot of action for day 1. Hopefully it works out because I’ll be back with more all tournament. And you need money, so you can listen to the wisdom I rant about. Will all my bets hit? Absolutely not. But just remember, 50% ain’t bad. And I’m still working on it. I promise.