Before I dive into Friday night’s games, I want to address last night and the beginning of the tournament for a lot of guys. I’ve read a ton of betting content since I was 16 years old and a lot of handicappers use their articles as an opportunity to boast about how well they’re doing and try to brainwash you about how badly you need their service. I’m having a very good tournament, but I’m not here to stick my chest out and pump my ego – I know this tournament has been brutal for the majority of bettors and last night was no exception. Kentucky -6 was pounded by the public (amongst live bets that lost on them). Gonzaga was another one. Those two pubic pounders after an opening weekend bloodbath for most is just hard to absorb for most guys.
If you’ve been having a profitable tournament, great. The first part of this article isn’t for you and you can scroll to the bottom for my picks. But for the guys who have been losing and are pressing on every game now, I’m here to say that I get it and understand your situation. When you’re in a hole you can’t wait to try to win that next bet because the stress and the anxiety start to pile up and the thought of forking over hard earned cash is hard to swallow.
I’m trying to give back some advice I learned the hard way in the past – you’re not going to make your money back on 1,2, or 3 games. You’re down 25 points and one or two shots aren’t going to get you the lead – you need to play chip away. You’re going to have to deal with being down at halftime, paying the man some money, and play the rest of the tournament in “chip away mode.”
My days of coaching ball taught me how to manage deficits – a 25 point deficit has to be cut to 15 before you can think of tying the game up. Trim the deficit to 15 and then you can regroup and talk about getting it to single digits. 90%+ bettors start swinging away and forcing bets when they’re down. Relax, accept the situation you’re in, and little by little build some momentum back.
That’s my two cents for the day and I’ll cut my preaching off at that. On to the games….
Factoring in lives, I’m 12-4 in this tournament after Loyola +2 and Nevada +5.5 live hit for me last night (Gonzaga ML parlay lost for me). Sister Jean and her rosary beads were glorious late in that game. I’m looking to pickup another 2 wins tonight:
Texas Tech +2:
I like the way this team is trending ever since Keenan Evans got healthy – he had a toe injury (sounds soft, I know) but it really affected him and the whole team – he averaged 3 ppg in 3 games from 2/17 to 2/24 (all Tech losses) but has gotten healthy since and has averaged 21.2 ppg in his last 5. Tech has won 4 of 5 since he got healthy and they’re looking like the team they were earlier in the year when they were a top 10 team. They have the #4 defense in the country and held Florida 10 points below their scoring average and held Stephen F Austin to 21 points below their scoring average. Purdue shoots 42% from 3 for the season but, without Haas, teams don’t have to double the post anymore and their shooters won’t have as much space tonight as they have all season. Texas Tech held Florida to 27% from 3 their last game and I see Purdue’s 3 point numbers dipping tonight from their season total. Texas Tech drives the ball a lot more than Purdue’s last opponent (Butler) and foul trouble could play a little more of a factor tonight for Purdue with less depth in the frontcourt. Texas Tech has held their last 4 opponents to 62.8 ppg and I think you’re going to see Purdue’s offensive numbers drop a bit and Tech win in a physical, defensive game that stays in the high 60s, low 70s max. I’m on Tech tonight for the outright win.
Syracuse Under 61 team total:
I don’t see Syracuse getting to this number tonight. They’ve been under 61 in 4 straight games and that includes 3 tournament wins! The first matchup with Duke was a 60-44 Duke win and, if Syracuse somehow pulls off the miracle tonight, it’ll likely be because their defense held Duke below their scoring average more so than Syracuse’s offense went off. I also like Under 133 for the game here but I wanted to remove Duke’s offense out of the equation for my bet and just rely on Cuse’s offense to stay under the number and score less than 1.5 points per minute. Fascinating stat – in Boeheim’s last 15 March Madness games, Cuse’s games would have went UNDER 133 in 14 of them. I’m rooting for blocked shots and contested 3’s all night.
If you feel yourself pressing, keep the head game strong, stand up and say “WOOOSAH,” and just try to find a win of any dollar amount to get the ball rolling.
Bonus parlay: Kansas ML
Duke/Syracuse Under 133
Texas Tech +2
*4.2 to 1 payout
Let’s cash some tickets.