Ok, since the name of this piece is “The Four M’s” lets go ahead and get what those are out there so you won’t be skipping past all of the important stuff to see what they are. They are Momemtum, Motivation, Money, and Mo D. Now I know that Mo is not really a word and for that matter neither is D. But I was looking for a Cool Title so just humor me on this so that I can have 4 M’s. These M’s can and will give you a quick jumpstart on who is going to fair well over the next few weeks.
This first one is kind of tricky because momentum does not necesarily mean a team that is coming into the Tourney winning a bunch of games, is going to be a good play. The fact is, often it can mean getting a better number because of this and betting against those teams because they are too overvalued. Oddsmakers are not stupid people, although we would like to think so, and as a handicapper I often do call them that. That is just simply a “Wanting to be cool Thing” going on with me so you have to overlook it. There are, however, some squads that do have a lot of momemtum coming in, and one’s that are peaking in their capabilities, but are not getting enough respect for that because their overall record for the year is not all that spiffy. These are the one’s you will want to find, and these are the one’s that you might will want to bet, if the number is a good one. The phrase “Under the Radar” comes to mind here.
Some College Basketball Teams just want to win more than others. Finding those teams can be very good for your bankroll, but who are they? Why are they more motivated? While it is not a written rule, generally we have to have two things in place to have a motivated squad. We almost always have to have a group of Kids on the court that have been here before. It’s the Ole, been there, done that thing. But more importantly, it is teams that have a junior and senior laden roster. These guys are getting what might be their last chance to be the team cutting down the nets. In some cases, they have no real chance of doing that, but that does not mean that they will not give it the Ole College Try. These squads do not have to be the Big Boys of this Tournament, they can be the Winthrop’s, the Northern Iowa’s, the Cornell’s. These Guys are not going to go out without a fight, and in some cases they will be getting an inordinate amount of points from those Stupid Oddsmakers. Whoops, I said it again.
Ok, here is another tricky one. While many might not agree with this statement I will throw it out there anyway. The NCAA Selection Committee wants to put the best teams on the court, but they also want the Tourney’s to make money. Including too many Big 10, Big East, and Big 12 squads in the group of 64 means that there will be high TV Revenue, high attendence, and more money. Oddsmakers know this too because these are not stupid people. (See Above) They know that we bettors as a whole, are going to bet these High Profile Teams and so they set lines that are maybe just a bit out of whack. That gives us some real bargains to work with, perhaps with those squads that are more motivated to win. You know, the junior and senior laden teams and the one’s that do what is written about below.
No, this is not the name of a Famous Rapper. Well let me correct that. This might be the name of a Famous Rapper because I am not really up on the current one’s past MC Hammer. This Stands for More Defense. While overused a bit, it is a fair statement to make that Defense wins games. This is true in almost any sport but maybe more true in this tournament. Teams that allow less than 40% shooting are already well on their way to being competitive, especially in the Big Games, and let’s face it, all of these games are Big. You would be hardpressed to find any NCAA Champion that did not play Mo D than the rest of their opponents in these games. Mo D creates turnovers. Mo D creates fewer better quality shots by opponents. Mo D creates more fast break opportunities. The Simple fact is, Mo D allows for Mo O which gives teams Mo Memtum and therefore Mo Tivation late in games.
The Tip of the Iceburg has been covered here but it is important to note that level of competition is also important. Not only who teams beat, but how often they played quality teams throughout the year and how they faired against them. Oddsmakers would like for you to believe that the Missouri Valley, CAA and other smaller groups of teams don’t play a good level of competition. They want you to buy into the fact that if they say Wisconsin is 10 points better than Wofford, then they are. These Oddsmaker Guys are not stupid. Have I said that yet?