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Sun, 03/19/17 - 7:10 PM Dave Essler | CBB Sides
triple-dime bet 729 Rhode Island 6.0 (-120) Westgate vs 730 Oregon
Results: W, $300
Analysis:
I'm not making any bold predictions nor do I want to give back, but the Ducks -5 2H leaves us a reasonable 8 point middle or so, if one is so inclined to throw SOME on it. 

Michigan State 75:1
URI 100:1
South Carolina 200:1
Cincinnati 75:1
Xavier 75:1 (already in S16)
Arkansas 200:1
Why wouldn't we throw a half-marble or less on these guys at this point. Xavier is already in the Sweet 16 and one or two of the other could be. May set up a nice hedge or two or three. You never know. 

I also took Witchita State and Michigan. Michigan is a bad matchup if they bring their A game for L'ville, and Kentucky is simply not capable IMO of blowing out the Shockers. One of those two dogs quite likely wins outright.

Here's for tomorrow - I don't think this closes higher than -6, and my bad if it does. But, there are plenty of +5.5's to buy right now, and I am fairly certain there are going to be more. I think this could be where the rubber meets the road for the Ducks and the loss of Boucher rears it's head. Against a team like URI that plays offense under the rim they'll sorely miss is defense and rebounding. They've played Arizona (and lost) and Iona (who shoot three's all day) without him. They clearly KNOW Arizona so they can/did make some adjustments, but URI is a different animal playing at a different level. Take away Boucher's length and URI isn't as under sized here as it looks at first glance, leaving Oregon with really only Williams as the only real "big" - and he's not used to "big" minutes. He played more minutes in the last two games than any single game in the last two months - and against Iona had four fouls. URI is by far the best perimeter defense Oregon has seen in while, #1 in the A-10 in fact, who sees more three point shooting teams that the Pac-12. URI is the #1 shot blocking team in the A-10, and Oregon even with Boucher had some issues getting shots blocked. If URI was a better FT shooting team this would be a MASSIVE game - but against Creighton they made 90% of 31 FT's - if that happens here URI wins this game outright. They mad 73% of them against VCU in the A-10 Championship game, and that's so cyclical for marginal teams I can live with what they're doing NOW. URI had that meltdown game against Fordham, who doesn't TOTALLY suck, back on February 15th. Aside from that they've lost three other games all season by more than five points, one of them to Duke. Oregon lost two non-conference games, to G-Town and Baylor, to other slow/ugly teams that are physical, as is URI - who may be in the Sweet 16 here while the Ducks lament not having Boucher. That's all I got for now, the rest of Sunday coming in due course.

What I think we're going to do is call this one goo for the day - even if I see lines that tip something. I will of course pass those on here, but not likely to enter them. Yesterday stung - more due to the ones I didn't play, which of course were all the other winners. Let's move forward -

There was some significant money at Bookmaker this morning on the Tar Heels. There wasn't too much chance of me taking Arkansas anyway - they beat the bottom of the SEC  but not the cream, and expended lots of energy beating Seton Hall. Add that to Berry being in, out, maybe, maybe not - depending on where you look, and best case scenario that's a late add one way (lean under) or the other.

South Carolina is indeed playing close to home, but I would be willing to bet that the Duke fans have more of the tickets. That aside, I worry about the Gamecocks being able to score. They can defend the perimeter so I could make a case that they keep the game close. If you made me, SC and under because the favorite/over just doesn't cash all that often, and cannot IMO continue in this tournament.

Interesting in that the Kentucky line, both the opener and the movement to date, are almost an overlay of that Arizona/SMC game last night. Kentucky worked harder and longer than people thought against Northern Kentucky, which could have an upside in that it gave the Wildcat youth a chance to get their feet wet and forced them to play. Of course Witchita is a different animal, so MY instinct would be to take the Shockers here. And the over. Witchita can shoot over KY's defense and they'll spend time at the line. I think we'll see a very efficient game - and efficient usually leads to points.

I've always wondered when Baylor is going to fall on their ass - and it may be here. They win by getting teams to get out of their comfort zone, i.e. running, which is what USC does. We know the Trojans have the talent, a lot like FSU - so which team shows up will be the question. Balyors' clearly more rested with SoCal having to play in Dayton, use ton of energy coming back from way down, then playing to the wire against SMU, another physical team. So that would push me towards Baylor, but I might make the case that SoCal can get one more game out of "emotion" especially with their youth. Baylor's had turnover issues and isn't a team that plays great from behind, so I can make the argument for USC here. And might, as right now that's perhaps my strongest lean.

Bill Self against Tom Izzo. Better players (Kansas) against a slow-down style (Michigan State). On one had getting an Izzo team with +8 in the Tournament is almost a no-brainer. On the other hand if we see the "bad" Spartans then laying -8 with Kansas is a gift, too. Interesting that the Spartans are one of the deepest (perhaps THE deepest) teams in the nation and Kansas has one of the shortest benches - so maybe that shows up in the 2H if MSU can keep this close for the 1H. IMO this game sets itself up for a 2H bet better (potentially) than anything.

I think this one could be the not-so-cool "over" game. Aside from the fact that I expect it to be close, bot teams protect the ball very well. Neither teams' perimeter defense is all that good, so if someone gets hot from outside, there could (will) be flurries of points. The pace should be decent - my concern is that UCLA doesn't get to the stripe often enough, which as we know that IMO means "soft" - so give me Cincinnati if you made me. They're kind of a bargain thanks to that SMU debacle a week ago, and without that I don't think we'd get +4 or more. Another game with "St. Marys-like" line move - so beware, history does repeat itself, it's just a matter of when.


Pick Made: Mar 18 2017 9:35AM PST
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